Every now and then I attempt to be “that mom.” You know the one who wields a glue gun whilst craftifying something worth being on display at the Hobby Lobby. And the one who joyfully reads aloud to her children without being sneaky and skipping pages. Yes, her.
But it never works out for me.
I’m telling you the minute I start trying to shine my mommy halo, it slips down like a noose around my neck. Take for example the brilliant time I decided to attend a book warehouse clearance sale. I loaded up my kids and decided this was the perfect time to help my people fall in love with books. I wrongly figured a sale could help anyone feel the literary love. Not so.
My kids could have cared less about the books.
They wanted what was in a crate off to the side of all the book shelves. The brightly colored packages were laced with promises. I plucked one from my kid’s hands to read that this package contained the coolest science experiment kit. Anytime a brightly colored package uses the words “cool” and “experiment” on the front, a mother should beware. Especially when said package is marked
down to $1.
She should be very wise and tell her children, “no.”
But I was tired from all the efforts to convince them to love books. I rationalized in my brain that we’d dedicated our morning to this sale, we should at least walk out with something educational. So, I bought several of the kits.
Sea monkeys. That’s what the kits were supposed to grow. Key words, “supposed to.” Anyhow, my kids were beyond excited to get this party started. So into the container went the chemicals, the water, the little food crystals and plastic green trees upon which the sea monkeys could play once they hatched.
It’s at this point I should share this is one of those ‘good news’ / ‘bad news’ stories. Yes ma’am, which would you like first?
The good news… something did hatch.
The bad news… they weren’t sea monkeys.
After leaving the experiment overnight, I woke to find my kitchen invaded by the biggest, nastiest, hairiest, giant flies you have ever seen. I’m not sure if our sea monkeys had some kind of mutation situation going on or if some sort of larvae had gotten into the packages we purchased and ate our sea monkeys.
Either way, it was awful.
The moral of this story is simple. Some moms are equipped by the hand of God to be “that mom.” They have been formed with the 3 C gene. Cooking, Crafting and Cleaning come easily and naturally to them.
Others of us have been delightfully chosen to provide the comic relief necessary to keep this world entertained. And to keep future therapists in business.
I feel certain I will be called into some counseling meeting one day where one of my kids reveals the great devastation caused by mommy having to kill the special “flying sea monkeys.” Oh mercy. Y’all will defend me, right?Leave a Comment
You giant hairy sea monkey killer!
What is a sea monkey! This is somewhat disturbing to me, and for some reason it’s encouraging. I am starting to hang up my “that mom” hat. I mean, I don’t know how to sew, so it was probably a lost cause to begin with. Can I join your club instead?
My days have been full of fodder for other people’s entertainment. Thankfully, I have not had to deal with hairy sea monkeys…last week it was a hairless dead squirrel, but I’ll just focus on the tragedies avoided. Eek!
Terri Camp says
Oh Lysa I’m a “that mom” reformed. Now, I just love to hear my kids say, “Mom! Are you getting Taco Bell? It’s your night to cook.” “I’ve got a hole in my jeans, should I just throw them away?” (umm…yes) and, “Oh, it’s okay, John helped me with my school work, I knew you were busy working”
Thanks you so much for sharing! Man does it feel good to know I’m not the only one out there that is sooooo not “that mom”. I try, but usually just come to the conclusion that I’m not her, I’m my own special mom version and exactly who God intended me to be! And I skip pages at storytime too! 😉
Southern Gal says
Problem is I used to be that mom with my older two. Now with my third child who is 10 1/2 years younger than my second, I’m not that mom. At times it makes me feel so guilty. Thanks for the encouragement. I needed it.
Leah T. says
I’m definitely trying to reform my need to be “That Mom”, too. So much so that I was reading your post, and thought, “I always wanted sea monkeys as a kid – maybe I’ll try that with my girl, too.” – read a little further and then thought, “Neeeeevermind!” Thanks for the post – You definitely are not alone!
I feel ya sister. I’ve been trying to do the clean house mom thing. Quicksand, that is what trying to polish off a to do list is, it is quicksand. lol
Yep, I have my own “that mom” momemnts. I do bake from scratch and cook good dinners. Other than that, getting down to play on the floor with the 2 year old only happens when this 43 year old’s back isn’t killing her from “cawrry me mommy” up 3 flights of stairs 5 times a day!
Danelle Townsend says
I love this! I am the mom that feels guilty when my new issue of FAMILY FUN comes in the mail and I realize it’s been a million days since I’ve completed a “craft” and the “craft” was something completely simple.
We all have our “good” days and our “bad” days. . but I don’t think our “bad” days are really bad at all. Often times God’s plans for our days are very different that what is on our to do list or what we feel like we need to check off in order to be considered a “good mom” by the world’s standards.
Frozen pizza served with lots of love and attention. . good conversation, laughs. . . well, that is being a good mom to me any day of the week! 🙂
Danelle Townsend says
Love that pic of you too! You look like a sweet friend I could sit down and have a good laugh with over a cup of Starbucks! 🙂 Love to you!
Oh my goodness. This is exactly what I needed to hear this morning! I have tried so hard to be “that mom”. In fact, I had prayed so hard last night that I would wake up this morning and finally be “that mom” because I thought it was what my kids needed. I even had to write about it right away it hit me so hard (http://lifewiththelittlers.blogspot.com/2011/03/ton-of-bricks.html)
Thank you Lysa!!! God really used you to speak to me today and I am just so thankful!!
jean klinger says
It is always good to have a good laugh first thing in the morning!! Thanks!! Sorry about the flies…gross!!
Marisa Gary says
GOODNESS!! As another “not that mom” I applaud you for simply allowing yourself to be who you are. Our kids know when we fake it and it teaches them that they may have to be someone they are not around those they love the most. It’s not worth it. I LOVE “those moms” and I think their strengths are AMAZING… I’m just not one of them and I’m OK in that skin too.
Maybe one day, our kids will be in therapy together. 🙂
LOL. I love what you shared. I’m not “that mom” either and I think God uses it to build my humility (which I desperately need). Its worth it when being my “non-perfect” self frees someone else up to share something about themself that they might not feel comfortable sharing wtih “that mom.” But its hard on my striving for perfection self.
I laughed so hard. I can totally see that happening in my house. Thanks for making me feel I am not the only one!
Oh my!! I have the sea monkey kit sitting on my counter right now!! I’m seriously re-thinking this…Will the kids notice if it disappears and we never grow sea monkeys?? Thanks for the warning!!
Thanks for this post. I’m hiding in bed right now reading this because we are heading to Disneyland today and I needed some extra prayer time. I’m afraid I’ll be “the” mom seen yelling at her kids in the land of happiness. For some reason it males me “yappy” instead – don’t lick the railing – you are dripping on your shirt – stay near me! Etc
Thanks for the laugh and encouragement. I needed the food endorphins!
Amen, Lysa!! LOL! I’m right there with you!
I am definitely in the same boat…born missing the “C” gene…but it does make for good writing material. I gave up trying to be “that mom”. But, I love being friends with “that mom” they cook good tasty meals!!
I’m definitely “that mom” with the C gene for crafting and creating, which all I love doing BUT somehow I’m missing the S gene “sports gene”. I have not one phyiscal or sport gene in my body, although I do try. I’m my children’s biggest cheerleader on the sidelines though, just don’t ask me to toss, kick, or hit any size ball. The kids are known to run away from me if they see me holding any sports equipment. I’m doomed!
I have a closet full of crafts started & never finished! I love reading your posts & all the comments. It helps to know I am not alone!! I have tried being “that mom”, but now I’m just trying to be the best mom & “Memaw” I can be in my own way. I know my kids & grandkids love me no matter what!
Oh my…the dreaded sea monkeys, been there done that!!! I have been trying to be “that MOM” for 20 years and sometimes it worked but most of the time the bright idea I had for the kids turned into an overnight project for ME to finish! So glad to know I am not alone in this journey! Thanks for making me smile this morning. Have a super day!
We may not ever be “that mom”, but we are “THE mom” our kids need, just as God planned.
I loved this post!!! Thank you!!!!
So much fun to read in the morning. I remember one Christmas my daughter bought the grandkids some play goop – my living area turned into play goop and for some reason the boys’ hands got sticky (you can picture where that led) and the girls’ hands didn’t. Go figure. I personally love homemade playdough (I know what is in it) and watercolours with large paper over newspaper on the table covered with plastic.
Have fun with those kids – naturally.
Funny story! I’m new to motherhood but haven’t yet gotten the desire to be “that mom” (at least in the craftifying sense–I *hate* crafts!)
Thank you for the post. I am also not “that mom”. I’m just so happy that “that mom” exists and is out there to share that gene with my children. My daughter LOVES that stuff and I’m so grateful that God put other women in my life that can do those types of things for her. I believe that is just another reason why we are all so important and important to each other. I’m going to call my girlfriends now.
Thank you Lysa for this timely and encouraging post.
I’m so not “that mom.” I am crafty but not in the sewing department (I tried to make a quilt and it was a disaster – lol).
It’s so sad and disheartening in the church today women (myself included) are still being told by both men and women that we belong at home in the kitchen and not involved in church ministry (unless it’s nursery duty). The thing is, I don’t have the “cooking gene.” I hate cooking with a passion (yes, that strongly – lol)! I’m not that great at it and would rather be doing anything but cooking.
I’m thankful God created each of us unique – we don’t have to fit into someone else’s mold – we’re free.
Have a blessed day!
LOL – I feel so much better. Although my daughter is now grown and I see an amazing young woman, I still wonder if I could have done better. I did get 1 of the C gene (cooking) but the rest? HA! There is a quote I carry with me still, don’t remember who said it, but it sticks, “when your children are grown they won’t remember the time you spent cleaning and cooking but the time you spent with them.” Thank God!
Ya know, I did alright.
Nikole Hahn says
My eyes burned with tears. I was trying so hard not to laugh (don’t want to disturb anyone in my office). LOL. Great blog!
Oh my! I am not a 3 C mom and I totally relate to your story. Glad that God had other uses for your talents and that they are to help us non-3c-er’s in our quest to belong!
my mom had a phrase that justified not being “that mom.” when it came to sewing and mending and altering, she would say that if it wasn’t for people like us, people who sewed for a living would have no one to buy their stuff. we were doing them a service 🙂
Amy Holbrook says
WOW….so happy to read this…my kids are now 18 (birthday today), 15 and 12…and I have never been that mom….have been married 20 years and just cooked my first real meal about a year ago….still no good at cooking. Thankfully, my husband can cook AND he likes it!! Always wanted to be the class mom who brought in the cool decorated cupcakes….never happened. Never sewed my kids a costume…. I think in the trying to be something I was not, I caused myself and my family much frustration…I have accepted it. I am embracing it.
I am a mom who loves my family very much…regardless of whether I cooked the meal, sewed the costume or baked the best treats….and “that” is the mom I want to be!! 🙂
Holley Gerth says
Oh, Lysa, you and me both. I incubated an entire swarm of fruit flies due to a sweet potato being long-forgotten in the unreachable bits of a cabinet. If I were a restaurant, I’m certain I would have been shut down and hauled to jail. Yes, ma’am. Then I would have to do a post on here–“Please click the ‘donate now’ button to contribute to Holley’s bail.”
I laughed so hard at the sea monkey story. Thank you for sharing it and for being so real.
I have a similar tragic animal story. Butterflies. You know those kits where you send off for the caterpillars and you get to watch them turn into beautiful butterflies. My two young boys were just so excited on the day we decided to release their butterflies. We had talked about how they would fly off and live their life in God’s big beautiful world. We watched the first butterfly fly from the container and head for the big tree in our front yard. Imagine my surprise (and horror) when, about halfway to the tree, a bird swooped down and snatched the butterfly out of the air! There were lots of tears! The boys didn’t want to release anymore so we just kept the rest of the butterflies in their little container until they “expired.”
I’m raising my granddaughter so I’m a bit older than you gals, but that is irrelevant because I too have no C gene. I’m a big mess here. I hate playing games and I can’t do crafts. I AM good at coloring, I can stay inside the lines, and right now my granddaughter thinks I’m quite clever, but some day she’s going to find out that EVERYBODY can stay inside the lines!! I’m going to enjoy her looking at me like I’m a goddess while it lasts because when she finds out I can’t draw or scrapbook or garden, the jig will be up.
Teri @ StumblingAroundInTheLight says
That is so hilarious! One of my best friends IS one of those moms…she home schools, does craft projects with her boys, and yes, got the SEA MONKEY kit and successfully grew them! My boys were so jealous. Seriously. What attraction there is in a jar of teeny little shrimp-looking creatures, I’ll never understand. But, figured we might as well let our boys do the sea monkeys too. Now I’m not so sure…
hairy flies???? Ew!!
Thanks for a great afternoon laugh!
I do enjoy cooking,(mainly baking), but I’m a sporadic crafter, at best. And I think the cleaning gene skipped me entirely. (I do clean, but I do so reluctantly.) Yet somehow my girls have all developed their own crafty interests. The Klutz books have been a great tool to let them develop their crafting skills on their own. Two of them have taught themselves to knit with Klutz books! (And then my older ones taught the younger two.)
This story just sent shivers down my back! UGH! I think there should be some kind of warranty clause for just that situation. We had sea monkeys once, but they never died. When I flushed them down the toilet, the kids were talking about them growing in the reservoir as large sea dragons. Thanks for sharing! It made me laugh…with shivers…and much trembling!
Smoked Salmon? | Smoke Salmon.org says
[…] “That mom” […]
Cara @ WhimsySmitten says
Not being ‘that mom’ discourages me every day. It is only that I find the humor, the lesson, or at the very least, the learning experience behind the daily disasters that I can get up and do it all again tomorrow!
And, as I type this, my 2-year-old is smashing Pop Tart pieces into my hair. Whatdya think the lesson is on *this* one? I bet ‘that mom’ would know. Sigh… 😉
Cara, your comment grabbed my heart & made me pray for you – I’m a grandma now, & looking back over those years of raising 3 kids, I’m grateful for some happy memories, & for our young adult children from whom I’ve had to ask forgiveness for times when I got too busy outside our home & gave my family the leftovers of my time & energy. Doesn’t life come down to “love God & love people” including our special people, our own family?! – I’m praying for God to help me do that, & that He’ll encourage YOU too, today & in these coming days.
Sherri Ohler says
This is one of the funniest stories i’ve ever read! I laughed over and over and I read it outloud to my 14yo daughter who was also laughing. My only memories of Sea Monkeys are that I could never get mine to hatch, I now know-that there are worse Sea Monkey outcomes!
You are a hoot! I always wondered about those sea monkey things. Now…as Paul Harvey said, I know the rest of the story. They are really mutant flies!! I think that is false advertisement. Hmmppfff!
Thanks for making me laugh:)
Heather Gemmen Wilson says
Sometimes the only comfort when things go terribly wrong is that it’ll make a great story. 🙂 (And it was!)
Thomas Sabo Australia says
yeah I agree & I couldn’t have said it better. keep it up