posted in Parenting
One recent morning I was in a rush, per usual. I’d asked my 6-year-old to feed the dog, and it wasn’t until I’d already ground my coffee that I saw it. Somehow, my daughter had left a trail of dog food on the counter, and it had clearly gotten mixed up with my coffee beans. Except, I’d just grabbed a handful of beans from that very pile to toss into my coffee grinder. So, chances are, there was a coffee/dog food blend currently brewing in the French press.
Here’s where the story gets kinda messed up. Because, um, yeah, I went ahead and drank the coffee afterwards. I knew I didn’t have time to make more. And I figured, “Well, it’s good enough.”
My dog food latte got me thinking; as moms, have our standards dropped since becoming parents? Before motherhood, there’s no way I would have downed a potentially-tainted Italian roast! But now, I barely gave my protein-enriched cup of Joe a second thought.
The same can be said about many other aspects of my life now that I’m a mother. I don’t consider showering to be an essential daily practice anymore. Every other day is good enough! I no longer insist on putting on makeup to go somewhere. I don’t buy new clothes for myself unless I absolutely need them (yoga pants aren’t technically wedding-appropriate).
When it comes to meals, eating whatever’s available, while standing up, has become the norm. Sleep? Ha! We get what we can take, right? And I don’t care too much if I get to go out on the weekends. A date night a few times a year is, again, good enough.
My point is this: It seems my standards are pretty low, post-kids. Coming to this unsettling realization got me to pondering if I have stopped valuing myself. Have I slipped so far into the black hole of mommydom that I believe, deep down, I no longer matter? Oh God; have I? Have we as moms stopped valuing ourselves? Do we end up focusing so much on our kids that we forget that we matter, and just drink the dog food coffee, because, oh well, that’s our life now?
Nah! I don’t think that’s it at all. That I’m willing to guzzle a cup of suspiciously-meaty coffee is not an act of surrender. I prefer to think of it as acceptance: my life has changed, and that my priorities are different now than they were before children. A perfect cup of coffee isn’t the most important thing, although there needs to be coffee, make no mistake.
But now, my life is bigger than just me. It’s about nurturing little people, and cuddles, and love, and wiping away hot tears after a spill off a bike, goofy dance contests during breakfast, bedtime reassurances, answering those middle-of-the night calls over monster fears, and questions about whether you have to have ears to wear glasses.
All the joy and meaning of being a mom keep me so busy, yes, you’ll be seeing me in yoga pants most days, sporting a sweaty ponytail, and drinking a reheated cup of coffee. It may or may not have dog food in it. I’m happy, though. To have “lowered my standards.” I’m happy to have a small person tugging on my pant leg and asking for help on the potty, while I simultaneously refill another child’s Cheerio bowl. I’m thankful for the rush, and the frenzy of mornings with kids. Overall, I like my life.
I mean, at least the dog food was organic.
Have you lowered your standards since becoming a parent?
The post That time I drank dog food blend coffee: Have our standards slipped as moms? appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.