Saturday, April 20, 2013

I Want a Black-Belt in "Mommy"

A friend announced that her son just got his yellow belt in Karate and I felt myself getting jealous.  I thought, "Why in the world should I be jealous of that?"  Am I jealous because I want my son to try martial arts, and he has absolutely no interest?  Maybe.  But as I thought about it more, I realized that what I was really jealous of was...
the system where-- as her son learned new skills and "mastered them," he could rise up the ranks and earn a swanky new colorful belt as a physical symbol of his accomplishments.  Shoot.  I want one of those...
 
As a mom, there's no reward or marker of achievement if I get through an usually tough day, week or even month.  I guess one can say if my kids are still alive, than I've done my job... but who wants to say that?  If I had a career or job outside the home, I would at least get a paycheck at the end of the week.  So, as a mom, what is my paycheck?  I suppose I'm paid in kisses and hugs, and the joy that comes from seeing my children happy and content.  Boo.  I want more. 

I want a black-belt in "Mommy."  Every time I survive a tantrum or a fight over who gets to use the I-Pad, I should earn a point towards a new belt.  Every time my 3 year-old-old son wakes me up in the middle of the night, and I have to endure the tantrum that ensues when I tell him he needs to sleep in his own bed, I should earn a point.  Every time I have to explain to my 6-year-old that the tone he's using to ask me for food, or complain about food I've given him-- is not respectful, I should earn a point.  

I want some kind of acknowledgement that what I do every day as a mom is tough work.  And although I don't think any of it is really something you "master," I'd love a bright colorful belt to show the world, "Yeah... that's right.  I'm a mom. I'm 'in it.'" Now, I'm leaving to help clean up Playdough and play "camping" (however you play that).  Aren't you jealous?

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