Hey there. Yeah, you. I see you. Though you’re not making much attempt to hide your disdain for my tattoos while I sit in my lawn chair watching my oldest daughter play in her soccer game. As my kid starts chit-chatting with yours, it’s equally apparent that the fact our daughters are friends gets under your skin; let’s face it, you wouldn’t associate with anyone like me if given the choice.
I can actually feel your eyes on the back of my head while I load my pack of kids into my pickup truck just as you push the button to close the door on your minivan. Your single daughter is sitting nicely, all buckled, and waiting for you to take her home where you will go line by line through all of her homework, feed her a nutritious meal, and tuck her into her bed from Pottery Barn Kids. You already know I’m about to usher my crew through the Chick-fil-a drive through then binge on Netflix while my kids tear my house down brick by brick.
It’s like you’ve known me for years without ever having a real conversation with me; you know my type.
I’m obviously young with four children. That alone speaks for itself. I have an arm covered in tattoos and wear gym clothes everywhere, but not the cute designer kind. We’re talking the Target sale stuff that should’ve been tossed out a few years ago. My kids are loud and unruly, most likely from the lack of attention they get while I’m working 40+ hours a week. I shamelessly bribe them to sit still with fruit snacks and iPads. I’m clearly the worst kind of mom.
You may have graduated summa cum laude from a prestigious university, but there’s a lot that you don’t know. Like the fact that I read books to my girls, as many as they can carry as they crawl into my lap. Or that I make homemade meals most evenings and sit down to eat as a family at the table every night. And that even though I drive a pickup truck, I can contour my makeup like a boss and have a sharp eye for interior design. You don’t know about the year I spent in Iraq away from my oldest, and how that took more inner strength than you’ll ever comprehend, but now I occasionally work from home just to spend extra time with my kids.
Oh, and those tattoos? They’re a dedication to each of my children.
Because moms with tattoos are the best kind of moms. And so are moms that drive minivans with their kid’s soccer sticker on the back. The best kind of moms don’t have time for makeup. The best kind of moms haven’t seen their natural hair color in decades. They believe in dressing to the nines and putting on their best face, even if they’re sitting on the sidelines to cheer on their little people. The best kind of moms get irritated when they’re stuck behind the coupon lady in the grocery store. The best moms ARE the coupon lady. They cuss a little. They kiss boo boos. Their kids are wild and their kids are also quiet and reserved. They discipline. They reassure. They make Pinterest-worthy birthday cakes. They buy cupcakes from Kroger and their kids love it. The best moms stay home to raise their children. And the best kind pursue rewarding careers. They worry over every fever and cough. They question their choices endlessly. They still haven’t figured out the secret to perfect parenting, but they’re working at it every. single. day.
But the absolute best kind of moms are the ones who don’t give a crap what you think of them because they know they’re doing the best they can. We spend so much time sizing each other up and scrutinizing how we each choose to parent, but it’s really like trying to compare apples to oranges. And at the end of the day we’re all just making juice here.
Moms across the spectrum need to support one another because this parenting thing is much bigger than any of us, and it’s hard. Plus, when you boil it all down, we are all working toward a single common goal: raising decent human beings.
So next time you see me at the soccer field, try saying hi. I promise my tattoos aren’t as scary as you’d think, and I’m sure your minivan is incredibly convenient. After all, we’re both the best kind of moms.