I’m officially a bad mom. I agreed to let my son steer the jumbo-sized, three-seated, boat of a cart at Target, yesterday. It’s so big he can’t see over the front. I guided the basket cheerfully until I realized Brandon had abandoned the helm. I backtracked saying his name as loud as I felt comfortable in public. “Brandon? Brandon?” I walked ten rows to the toy section. I expected to see his wondrous eyes gazing up at the bikes. Nothing. Panic swept through the empty aisle. My daughter looked up at me from her baby carrier with a half grin. I was about to call security when I saw a wave of sun-kissed brown hair jetting toward a clothing rack. “Brandon!”
Most days I don’t live up to the perfect mom I strive to be (in control, calm, fun and intentional.) I succumb to crankiness, like my mother did and her mother before her. I love my kids so very much. I feel enormous pressure to give them my best. Moms everywhere must be feeling the same pressure. The writers of the Hangover (in an obvious art-imitating-life moment) created Bad Moms starring Mila Kunis and Kristen Bell. It looks hilarious. A friend sent a group of moms the trailer this week hoping to lock down a mom’s night out when it opens in theaters July 29th. I can’t wait.
The stars also appeared on Ellen to promote the movie. Ellen surprised them by bringing out their husband’s Ashton Kutcher and Dax Sheppard. Ellen then kicked off a round of “Never have I ever.” watch here. The foursome held up paddles and played the game I remember playing in college. Like most games in college my friends and I turned it into a drinking game (players took a sip of something alcoholic every time they’d done something someone else had never done.) Take a swig, if you’ve ever lost your child!
I left Target yesterday clutching my son’s hand with a simultaneous dose of gratitude and frustration. In the distance, as I pulled away, I saw a mom carrying a swinging, screaming toddler out of the store. Never have I ever done that. This list is for that mom and any mom who needs to hear that they’re best is enough. We can be loving, intentional and devoted moms and still struggle. Cheers! (I’d be forced to drink up if I wasn’t still nursing.)
Never have I ever accidently locked my child in the car.
Never have I ever called poison control.
Never have I ever fed my child hot dogs/donuts/gluten/mac-n-cheese.
Never have I ever strapped my child into his car seat and prayed for him to take a NAP.
Never have I ever forgotten to pack a change of clothes.
Never have I ever let my child pee in a flower bed (long story).
Never have I ever forgotten wipes/diapers/snacks and had to bum goldfish off of a mommy friend at a playdate.
Never have I ever let my son eat something he found at the bottom of his car seat.
Never have I ever let my child sleep even though he fell asleep before he brushed his teeth (let sleeping toddlers lie…’em I right?)
Never have I ever wanted to go to work to get a break from my kids.
Never have I ever wanted to stay home from work for extra snuggles.
Never have I ever wanted to assault the creator of my son’s toy jackhammer.
Never have I ever shouted at my son for assaulting his sister.
Never have I ever used so much cell phone data (Mother Goose Club Anyone?)
Never have I ever tried to make a thirty-minute meal in fifteen minutes.
Never have I ever tried to be so perfect.
Never have I ever have worried so much.
Never have I ever needed coffee more.
Never have I ever felt so overwhelmed.
Never have I ever wanted to be good at anything so much.
Never have I ever loved more.
Never have I ever felt so blessed.
Camaron Brooks is a mother, wife, blogger and the author of Reporting Live from Studio B: Lessons and Reflections Found on My Journey From Striving TV Reporter to Struggling New Mom