Fame. Glory. The adoring masses. It’s what draws us all into the vocation of motherhood, right? For a moment, let’s just imagine that being a rock star mother could be a process as fast-tracked and glamorous as the making of an American Idol …
Ryan Seacrest: Will Peggy’s handling of her 3-year old’s temper tantrum wow the judges? Will she hit a sour note with her handling of her teenager daughter’s bad-boy boyfriend?
Will Susan’s rendition of Turkey Tettrazini On a Dime continue to resonate a happy note in the audience’s mind?
Let’s not forget how Elizabeth came up from the trenches with a heart-pounding performance as she dashed across the school parking lot to deliver not 1, but 3 forgotten homework assignments. Some call it enabling—-others, the work of a true martyr.
Stay tuned. This is …. Mothering Idol.
The true reality is that motherhood is not a contest that we master in 12 weeks of intensive grooming, with weak-kneed fans cheering us on. There’s no immediate feedback from seasoned professionals at each attempt at something new.
And certainly we’re not awarded with a guarantee of mothering riches, i.e. happy, well-adjusted children.
Motherhood is more like working really hard in anonymity for years. Think Susan Boyle, the somewhat obscure talent that no one appreciated who suddenly burst on the stage, revealing the fruit of years of diligence.
In reality competition shows, there are usually only three judges instead of society, your family and the constant judge in your head.
Instead of belting out the latest tune, a mothering rock star audition might sound something like this: “Today, I made 13 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, settled a fight between squabbling teenagers, while at the same time managing to put on a full face of make-up and throwing together a mean crock pot meal. In under 30 minutes. Bring it on.”
Unfortunately, recognition usually is often directed at our embarrassing voice-cracking moments. If only kids that have meltdowns in department stores could wear t-shirts that proclaim, “Hey, I worked my butt off getting straight A’s for a solid school year. Give my mom a break.”
Moms who have meltdowns in department stores need t-shirts that proclaim, “Hey, I worked my butt off doing 75 loads of laundry and cooking 55 nutritious dinners for a solid school year. Sorry if I’m having a bad moment.”
Despite the fact that appreciation for the vocation of mothering has steadily declined, motherhood is an important and valuable calling. Rather than becoming rock stars, we play a starring role in our kids’ lives. The rules for the learning curve are different than musicians. We are producing more than one-hit wonders.