Sep 012009
 

Every morning in the kitchen, my kids and I boogie to country music. Craig eats his cereal, head cocked in confusion, and watches his suburban family sing into broomsticks about tractors, guns, honky tonks and whiskey. Our children believe that brooms are made to serve solely as special kitchen microphones.

I love country music. It makes life seem simple and sweet. Country transforms my mundane mommy life into an inspiring musical. Changing diapers, paying bills, sweeping the floor, watching the kids pummel each other…it’s all set to music. There are entire country songs about the heartbreak caused by a broken dishwasher. To this, I can relate. And with country, if you’re broke, dripping with babies, and clinging to Jesus and sobriety with white knuckles…. it’s cool! Romantic, actually. Patriotic, even! Country is a good niche for me.

But it also means that occasionally I have moments like these:

Yesterday I was folding laundry upstairs and heard Tish in the family room singing with a serious twang. I sneaked down the stairs and saw that her dollies were all lined up on the couch, watching her perform on the coffee table.

She closed her eyes, adjusted her cowgirl hat, and belted into her broom stick…

“GOD IS GREAT….BEER IS GOOD….AND PEOPLE ARE CRAAAAAZY….”

I stood frozen on the stairs, deciding whether to interrupt the concert or not. Do other three year olds sing about beer and crazy people? Is that okay? If not, how do I correct her? What do I say? Beer isn’t good? People aren’t crazy?

I decided that “Great God, Good Beer, People Crazy” was as good a theology as any I’d come up with…so I stepped down from the stairs and offered her a standing ovation. Tish turned towards me, tipped her cowgirl hat, and curtsied.

Sep 022009
 

After I graduated from college, my therapist prescribed Prozac in a last ditch effort to treat my bulimia and other eccentricities. The problem with trying to cure bulimia with pills though, is that you become a dog chasing her tail. The Prozac can’t work unless you keep the pills down, but for dedicated bulimics like me, the pills never stay down long enough to take effect.It’s enough to make a girl insane-er.

After I’d been taking the pills for a month, my therapist asked me if they were helping.

“Weeelllll, “I said, “it’s hard to tell. I don’t think they’re always…staying down.”

She closed her eyes for a moment and took a deep breath, which I thought I was paying her not to do. But, in her defense- I was a tough nut to crack.

She peered at me above the rims of her teeny therapist glasses and said:

“Glennon: You must stop puking long enough for the Prozac to work.”

Friends, I know there’s a perfect analogy for life inside that instruction, but I can’t put my finger on it.

If you figure it out, holla back.

Sep 032009
 

When Chase was 3, he waddled into my bedroom and found me reading a book about how to get him to sleep without Benadryl. I was previously unaware that there was another method. He asked me what I was doing and I told him I was learning how to be a better mommy.Chase said “Oh, Good. Keep Weading,” and he waddled out. I figured he must have read my parenting book about positive reinforcement.

I still read parenting books sometimes. I find that it’s an excellent way to actually sit down and still appear diligent.

Last night I was shocked to read the following sentence in my new book: “As long as you ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST …you will inevitably be a successful mother.”

I will not be reading any more of this book.

What kind of angry person would give this advice? We should ALWAYS do our best? ALWAYS, as in from the moment our kids start crowing at 5:30 am until they pass out on the floor like drunken soldiers two hours past their bedtimes? Is there a keg of Red Bull offered with this advice?

This scary book has inspired me to share the first and likely only parenting advice I’ll offer on this blog. (Full Disclosure: If this is your first Momastery visit, please read “Mouth to Ear Rescue” and “Plan B.” before even considering accepting my parenting advice.)

Please, ladies, let us NOT ALWAYS DO OUR BEST. Can you imagine how neurotic everyone in our homes would be if we followed this advice? Can you even fathom how much coffee and therapy we would need? NO,THANK YOU. Instead ladies, let us choose a specific time each day when we plan to do our best.I don’t know…say 6:45-7:10 each evening. Around 6:30, let us hide in the bathroom, take deep breaths, pound some caffeine, and get our game faces on. Then from 6:45 to 7:10, let us do our best. Let us gaze adoringly and continuously at our children, listen to what they say and actually respond, say sweetheart a lot, play a board game, do a craft, ask what’s wrong when they cry and wait for an answer, whatever it is that you think constitutesdoing your mommy best.

Actually, that is stressing me out. Maybe we should start smaller. How about 6:45- 7:00? That feels doable.

But for the rest of the day, in the name of all that’s holy, let’s just relax a bit and let everybody be themselves.

“ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST.”AS IF. That ranks up there with “hang in there, it gets easier” as the silliest advice I’ve ever heard.

Um, how about 6:45-6:50 instead? Nobody likes a martyr, ladies.