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Monday, August 3, 2009

Successful Mother...

(Reposted from my November 2007 blog entry. I've been so stressed with school lately, that I needed a quick trip down memory lane. I desperately needed to remind myself that I am a mother first and foremost, before anything else. After I read this entry, I also realized that my writing style and subject matter changed drastically after losing Ethan. Ignorance was truly bliss. I miss the days when my ONLY stressful goal was this...)

As if being a Mother isn't challenging enough, we live in an era where Mommies must be capable of doing it all. In order to be a successful Mother in this day and age, we have to be what I like to call a "hybrid person". We are supposed to be Donald Trump, June Cleaver, Emeril Lagasse, Albert Einstein, Martha Stewart, AND Jenna Jameson all rolled into one flawless package. It's true I tell you! The modern day woman is expected to be a powerhouse in the work force, the "perfect homemaker", a master chef, smart enough to know the answer to homework's hardest questions, a crafty domestic genius, and a sex goddess!

Let's explore this shall we…

Donald Trump

He's" tough, he's smart, and he's successful at what he does. Donald Trump's "business-mindedness" is a perfect example of what expectations mothers in the workforce must live up to. Mothers have to be as no-nonsense and committed to their job as Donald Trump is. We live in a society where it is mandatory to have a dual income household. Working & motherhood must coincide without the two worlds colliding. Moms must succeed in the workplace and cannot let their family issues jeopardize their productivity. Sure there are laws that prevent discrimination and allow time for family leave, but most employers have difficulty compromising company time for ballet recitals and basketball games. Your co-workers might be bitter if they have to pick up your slack. Mother or not, you are expected to conduct business in the same retrospect that your single and child-free co-workers do. Being a breeder doesn't mean you don't have to be as productive as the next person. A successful Mom MUST balance the demands of both work & family.

June Cleaver

"Leave It to Beaver" gave birth to the quintessential image of the "Perfect Mom". June Cleaver's character loved nothing more than to stay home and care for her family. Her appearance was manicured at all times. She could be on her hands and knees turning up soil in the garden and June would still have her hair lookin' right! Being the "Perfect Mom" that she was, June always had a batch of fresh baked cookies on hand in case her son Beaver needed some comfort. No matter what bewildering situation Beaver got himself into, June's mothering tactics were flawless. That bitch…she was never stressed. Okay, okay - so maybe June Cleaver is fiction, but nevertheless, modern day Mommies strive to be her. We want to bake cookies and look cute while we're raking shit in the garden. We want to have healthy home cooked meals ready by 6pm sharp. We feel like failures when dinner is take-out from Fung Wong and it's that damn woman's fault! Moms must try to be modern June Cleavers. Successful Moms are there at all times for their children and try their best to have healthy meals made every night. No stress, just perfection.

Emeril Lagasse

Picture this: It's 7pm, you just got home, and dinner still isn't made. All you have in your pantry is Kraft Macaroni & Cheese and some Hamburger Helper. The kids are hungry but you can't feed them mac & cheese for dinner and there's no ground beef for a quick, but hearty boxed-dinner a la Betty Crocker. What are you gonna do?! What are you gonna do?!! Rather than succumb to Fung Wong's 2-hour wait-for-chow mein-delivery standards (it's a true story I tell you!), you have to get creative with whatever you have in the kitchen. Lord knows you ain't about to go full out grocery shopping with your kids in tow!!! So you start up the computer and hope to God that can give you a recipe to throw together. Your items are random, but you hope for the best. In the search field you enter "lemon and chicken". Lo and behold, you have all the ingredients in your very kitchen own to make Emeril's Honey-Lemon Chicken! It's fast, it's easy, and once you're done whipping it up...BAM!!! the kids and your Baby Daddy are happy & well-fed. God, I love the internet! Perhaps googling recipes may be cheating a little, but that's the beauty of cooking. You can build on basic recipes and make them your own. Emeril is the bomb because he's never let me down. No matter how random my food items might be, Emeril has always had a recipe for me. Mothers need to be creative geniuses in the kitchen. We are not supposed to cook the same tired old pasta dish or ethnic cuisine from the motherland! Successful Moms do know how to cook and cook well.

Albert Einstein

Children expect their mothers to know the answers to everything. They are inquisitive little suckers from the moment they can speak. Generating answers for the incessant "W questions" is easy. Moms can wing it for a while and hope that their kids forget the silly answers our quick thinking concocted. Where do babies come from? When can I drive? Why do you have a tattoo? Who is Mike Jones? Whatever the question may be – Moms have the option of answering honestly or light-heartedly. Things get tricky when your little angel starts school though. That's when your answer really matters. Hence all of the sudden you have to be Albert Einstein. Sure it's easy when they're first starting out - 1+1=2, the big hand tells the hour and the little hand tells the minutes, a penny is 1 cent and a dime is 10 cents. Then it slowly gets harder. Memorizing the multiplication table, the very core of the 2nd grade, creeps up on you! Then comes long division and a whole bunch of basic shit you haven't done in years thanks to the almighty calculator. How do you divide a fraction using long division again? Sure you memorized all 50 states and their capitals in 5th grade, but that was EONS ago! Algebra is a distant memory, but your sweet little angel and their teacher expect you to know how to navigate through a problem like it was the back of your hand! Being a successful Mom means you won't be a dumb ass when your kid needs help with Geometry homework or memorizing the Preamble. After all, how could you expect your kid to learn if you don't invest the time in knowing the material yourself? Successful Mothers cannot rely on Ask Jeeves to tutor their kids. Lazy brains will breed lazy brained children.

Martha Stewart

Sure she went to jail for securities fraud and she's a raging control freak, but Martha Stewart can put together a mean Halloween costume with some foil, duct tape, and toilet paper. Now that's talent! Mothers are expected to be domestic miracle makers just like Martha. We should be able to change a light bulb and know nifty stuff like a potato will unscrew a broken bulb from a lamp. If your baby daddy/hubby/significant other lost a button on his work shirt, your ass better know how to slap another bad boy on there! As old fashioned as it sounds, a modern day mother should be no stranger to needle and thread. You can't always rely on the dry cleaner to mend your clothing ya know? If you need to bake 30 cupcakes at the last minute for a PTA meeting, you better already have a muffin tin handy. You can't run to Bed, Bath, and Beyond @ 2am the morning you remember about it. In other words, Moms should already be prepared for life's domestic blunders with tons clever solutions on hand. You can't always pay your way out of trouble. If the kid needs to make a replica of the solar system or needs to create a volcano for a science experiment, you can't exactly go to the store and buy it now can you? Successful Mothers are miracle workers when it comes to last minute projects, household remedies, and keeping life organized in general.

Jenna Jameson

After attempting to be all of these unattractive people, Mothers still have to be sexy. Yep, the MILF factor is very important not only for appearances, but for your own sanity too. Mother's shouldn't let the stress of parenthood make them look like something the cat dragged in. How many times do you remember being totally embarrassed by your mother's less than polished looks? How sexy will you be to your hubby/baby daddy (or potential male suitors if you're single) if you let your self go and de-sexualize yourself? Having a spicy sex life will rejuvenate anyone so keep thangs hot! Obviously, mothers aren't expected to be freaking porn star nymphomaniacs, but we still need to be sexy. Moms aren't out there trying to be Jenna Jameson, but we want our significant others (or male callers) to look at us as the same sexy little tramps they fell in love with. LOL! Stretch marks or not, Moms should still feel attractive and make the effort to meet their own expectations of that quota. If your pregnancy left you with droopy nipples, but the extra baby weight you're carrying around makes your ass looks like Kim Kardashian's – accentuate your ASS-ets! Besides, what woman doesn't want to be a "hot soccer mom" someday? Successful Mothers maintain their sex appeal no matter how tired they are. Buy some clear heels if ya have to.

Well there you have it - just my two cents on what it takes to be "Successful Mother" (aka: hybrid person). To give the guys some credit, I'm sure they have to be their own "hybrid person" too. Being a successful parent in general is tough work. However since I'm not a dude, you're just going to have to settle for a female point of view for now. Guys, remember this blog when you think of your mothers and future baby mamas. Tell your Mom/Baby Mama she looks pretty if she got a haircut for crissakes! Ladies, whether you're already a Mom or plan on being one in the future, rest assured the ride is a bumpy one, but it's well worth it.

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