By JENNIFER RAWLINGS
“I AM THE 99% MOM”
When my alarm goes off at 5:45am every morning I want to hurl my phone across the room and sleep for another three hours. Instead, I simply push the 10-minute sleep button once and only once. Then I drag myself out of bed to make the coffee. I should have set the auto timer on the coffee maker the night before so that when I wake up the kitchen smells of French Roast and I don’t have to fiddle with the coffee grinder with my eyes half- mast. But I never do that, because I am too exhausted to do one more thing. Motherhood seems like a state of permanent exhaustion.
I used to think it was all the driving and cleaning and laundry and cooking that made me so tired. I don’t think that is it anymore. Sure, I would take a maid and a chauffeur if someone offers, but I think the exhaustion stems from worry.
No, I am not worried that my kids are going to poke their eyes out, slip on a banana, or eat cookies until they puke. Like all parents, I do have the fleeting moments of terror when they are out late and I have often found myself falling asleep praying.
I worry that I have not been a good enough mom. I am sure I am not alone in this fear -how can I possibly be a good enough mom – when the media promotes perfection. If “Us” and “People” magazine dedicate entire sections to the “celebrity mom” and constantly tout how the celeb du jour “lost all that baby weight”.
Nobody praises me and says: “How does Jennifer do it? Her youngest is only 13 years old and she only has 10 pounds to lose?” (Its actually 15 pounds but I am hoping my scale has a glitch). As a 99 percent mom I say: “love yourself where you are today” and that will teach your kids to love themselves.
There are moms in Los Angeles that have MORE than one nanny, and a maid, and a pool guy, and a gardener .You have seen them driving around- they are the moms in the yoga pants wearing full make-up with one kid in the black Lincoln Navigator with the “go green” sticker on the bumper that takes up two spots at Trader Joes. As a 99 percent mom I say to these moms: buy a smaller car if you want to “go green”, or better yet: ride your bike to Trader Joes. And please don’t take up two parking spots. It is important to teach your children to share.
The media constantly bombards us with stats and photos of billionaires and millionaires. It’s easy to feel like you are the only one on the planet without a trust fund, a bail out or company ready to go public. As a 99% percent mom, I am not ashamed to say that I would like to have financial security, and a first class ticket around the world. But for today, I will settle for the wealth that I can find in my three bedroom, yellow, possibly underwater, mortgaged house, with 20 more years of payments unless I win the lottery or sell millions of books. The riches under my roof are family dinners, movie nights, the kids playing guitars, and x-box, sleeping on my husband’s chest and shutting the blinds on Saturday morning when the Jehovah’s Witness comes knocking.
Today I will enjoy the simple pleasures of the 99% mom.