When I told my older daughter that I would be coming to her pre-prom party straight from a charity dance event dressed like Madonna, she said: “Why can’t you be a regular mom?”
Ironically, the response I got from my 13-year-old was: “What’s a regular mom? There is no such thing.”
It brings me back to when my children were little and they wanted to know why I “wasn’t like other moms” who picked their children up at school every day. No matter how many times I explained to them that I was working at that time, they continued to ask. But as they’ve gotten older, I hope they’ve come to realize that all mothers are different. There is no such thing as a “regular mom.”
My friend told me once that she remembers coming home from school and seeing her mother sitting on a lawn chair reading People magazine in the backyard. We laughed about it and said that today we would have to hide in our rooms to do that so we don't appear, to our families, to be slacking off. But in the eighties, mothers didn’t have the same pressures they do today — to do everything seamlessly and make it look effortless. They made no apologies for taking time for themselves the way we do today.
While we have come a long way, most of the mothers I know still manage their households and their family’s lives regardless of whether or not they work outside of the home. Granted, they do so, hopefully, with a great deal of help from their spouses, but they are still at the helm of the operation.
So, regular? I don’t really think there is such a thing. We’re all just trying to do the best we can with what we’ve got, and sometimes, this means cramming too much into one day, like a charity dance event and a pre-prom party. And by the way, I did not come as Madonna. I toned my look down as best I could and raced there to get photos of her in her prom dress. But did I get credit for that? No way. Maybe I will in heaven …
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books, including some on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.