Motherhood and Buttered Noodle Moments

It's almost Mother's Day.
I've been a mother for almost 12 years.  I have four kids.  I know things.  

I know that mothering is some kind of wonderful.  It's also hard.  And funny and complicated and conflicted.  It's all I'm going to drain your body of energy, but fill your heart with so much love.  So much love you will feel like you're going to burst.   With pride. With worry.  With compassion.  With anger.  With love.  Love.

I know that it's hard to feel like a good mother.  We compare, we judge, we worry, we stress.  So many decisions to make--big and small.  So many opinions.  

Most of us mothers are doing the best we can.  The other night, as we were getting ready to race to my son's baseball game I had to come up with something for dinner.  I hurriedly cooked some gluten free noodles, slathered them with butter and threw Parmesan cheese on them.  I put them in a container that would keep the noodles warm, grabbed some frozen peas, plates,forks, cups and a jug of water.  Feeling proud of myself for preparing an awesome picnic dinner, I smiled and felt like a good mother.

"We're having a picnic dinner at the game," I told the kids while we were driving to the field.

"What! I HATE buttered noodles," Lucy said sneering.
JT cried and said it was the worst night ever.
"No noodles!," Wade screamed and kicked the back of my seat.
Peyton just looked out the window wishing he was in another family with a better dinner.  And probably a better mother.
Tim was working late and probably getting some dinner in a drive thru somewhere on his way home.

In an instant, I went from amazing-I-can-do-it-all, super mom who can prepare a fun picnic dinner and get the kid to the game all in one fell swoop to a complete failure.  

Sitting in the minivan in the parking lot at the baseball game, after Peyton went to warm up with his team, we cried a little.  Yeah, over noodles (and overbusy schedules, and lack of sleep, and summer weather with homework, waaaaa).

Once we all got over it we made our way to the field with our sh*tty picnic dinner in hand.  We laid out the blanket and I started dishing out the noodles. The kids reluctantly started eating.  Those kids ate everything and then asked for seconds. Are you kidding me?

Other mothers and a few dads said how impressed they were with our spread.  

"You are so together Angela, look at you" one mom said.  I thought she was making fun of me at first. ( And she obviously doesn't read the blog.)  But she was being sincere.  She thought I had something together.  She had no idea what a disaster it had been just 10 minutes earlier in the minivan where I contemplated throwing the noodles at the screaming kids and yelling "I HATE BUTTERED NOODLES TOO YOU *@&^$?#s!!"

But that's the thing, mothering is ups and downs and lefts and rights and crazy like that.  It's highs and lows, I hate you and your noodles, oh wait I love you and your noodles.  

I know that it's hard, but we mothers have to trust ourselves and be kind to ourselves.  Our decisions may not look like everyone else's and that's okay.   Other mother's lives may look perfect and like they have it all together, but you have to know they have crazy buttered noodle moments too.  Because that's motherhood.  I know that for sure, this week.

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