Motherhood Manifesto: Life on Planet Mom
by Jen Swift
We get it. We’re moms just like you. We’ll understand if you have to cancel a playdate because someone just swallowed a penny. We get that your new obsession with coupons is the result of spending more money on a week’s worth of groceries than you used to spend on a month’s worth before kids.
We won’t ask if you saw the latest blockbuster movie (that premiered last night at midnight!) Chances are the only movies we see are animated. We would, however, be happy to compare the relative educational value of various early morning cartoons. Just don’t ask us about anything on the New York Times bestseller list — unless it’s in the kid’s category.
The world is different once we’re parents. Moms even speak a dialect no one else seems to get. For example, “she missed her nap” is easily translated to “prepare yourselves for the personality transformation that will change my sweet princess into a meltdown queen.” Or if we call you the morning of a playdate to mention that “our child has the sniffles,” you’ll know it really means “if you want to risk a miserably sick child, a week of sleepless, coughing nights, a middle-of-the-night ER visit, and a cancellation of your plans for the next week, then we’d love to have you over. But you’ve been warned.”
It’s no wonder you feel like you’re on a different planet, especially when you get a twitter update from a childless friend about a weeknight spent wining and dining. You had a Friday night of whining too, but it hardly seems tweet worthy.
You might have an occasional moment when you wonder how you got here. Who knew that an advanced degree in Philosophy wouldn’t prepare you for life as a mom. No one warned you that motherhood is learn-as-you-go and that you’ve never been on a learning curve this steep before. Sure, this is your life, but you don’t feel like the same you living it. Your old friends wouldn’t recognize you these days, which might make you feel as if you’re here alone.
You’re not alone. We understand. We’re here with you — it’s Life on Planet Mom and we’re all here together. We are Moms: from your neighborhood, local community or the far reaches of the globe. No matter where we live, we’re all mired in the daily struggle to make our world better for our children. Whether that means “going green” or educating ourselves on the spiritual, relational and practical influences that shape development. We understand that this world is the one we’re going to leave our children and we want it to be the best it can be.
So we accept the reality that it begins with us. That to be the best parent we can be, we need to be the best person we can be. Taking care of ourselves is as important as taking care of our family. Nurturing our faith and our friendships and finding time to play, relax and laugh is vital to the well-being of our families. Home décor is about creating a beautiful and comfortable haven. Cooking is a way to feed the soul by taking care of the body. Family outings are times for education and introducing our children to the world. It’s all important and we get that. We’re MOPS.