There are two instances in which a woman can be labeled “that mom” Type one describes a mom who has it all together. Her house is immaculate, she’s doesn’t understand the idea of a post-partum muffin top, she always looks photo-ready, her children are happy and polite and she has a healthy glow of tanned skin, despite it being nearly November and flippin freezing. Then there’s the other kind of “that mom,” type two. This is the frazzled mom who feels confident in her clothes if her favorite hoodie, the one that’s long enough to cover her butt in yoga pants, is clean enough to wear, her hair is in a ponytail and makeup hasn’t even crossed her mind for days or weeks. Her children run circles around her and scream and cry at the most inopportune times and sometimes she loses her cool. We’ve all seen “that mom.”
Most people can likely admit that they’ve been annoyed by either type of “that mom” at some point for one reason or another. I’d guess that most other moms would be annoyed with the kind who have everything together, and most other people’s annoyance is toward the tired mom with the whacko kids. The only thing worse than being trapped in close proximity to the type two mom and her kids, is BEING the type two mom. Trust me, I know.
I had the brilliant (note the sarcasm) idea of agreeing to treat Molli to McDonalds today. I had her in her high chair at home and was getting ready to give her one of her usual lunches when she asked, very politely, for chicken nuggets. I acknowledged that I appreciated her saying please and told her that sure, we can go to McDonalds. Super mom that I am, (er, occasionally pretend to be) I started the car, packed the diaper bag, dressed the kids and found a hoodie that covers my butt in my yoga pants. (That should have been my first hint, I’m a type two temporarily pretending to be a type one.)
Anyway, off we went. My sweet angel held my hand in the parking lot, said thank you when I fell prey to her polite request for chocolate milk, and turned into a beast when I set her food in front of her. I should have known things were going downhill when Gavin immediately woke up angry and Molli avoided the high chair with a request to go potty (I can’t say no to potty in public, it’s too risky). I’ll spare you the details, but just know that it involved a lot of flopping around in the booth, demanding words, bossiness, and very little eating. I was appalled at the sudden change in her attitude. As though we were not offensive enough, Gavin chimed in with his opinion of being restrained in the car seat with increasing volume until he was on my lap. After about ten minutes of back and forth arguments regarding a blasted chicken nugget, I packed up the happy meal and announced that we are going home, and shot obligatory apologetic glances at a handful of people who were not doing a good job of staring inconspicuously.
I filled my arms with all our junk, a crying baby and a whining toddler and high tailed it toward the door. A kind lady stopped me as I was leaving and offered me some words of encouragement. I couldn’t hear all of them over the noise of my offspring, but they were essentially praises for my discipline, perseverance and obvious love for my children on an “off day.” My guess was that she too, was once a type two mom and took pitty on my situation. My hunch was confirmed when she opened the door for me, offered to help me to the car and told me “keep it up, we’ve all been there.”
I tightened both kids in their car seats and within forty-five seconds of driving, Gavin was sleeping and Molli was deliriously staring out the window. My sweet angels had returned. Here’s hoping they stay a while.