How can we make this whole momma life a little less overwhelming and maybe even enjoy more of it? Embrace being a medium mom.
What is a medium mom?
One of my friends, Emylie, introduced this idea of being a medium mom to my small but amazing group of tight-knit mommas. The rest of us immediately took ownership of it and it has quickly become our mantra.
A medium mom is not the overachieving, perfect mom, and owns that fact. Of course, we don’t consider ourselves underachieving (all the time), either. But momma life is hard work! We are in the middle, y’all, and happy to be - well - medium.
Medium means everyone is fed, healthy, and basically happy - give or take a tantrum or two.
Medium means the house is mostly clean, laundry is usually done, and mealtimes happen (with varying success).
Medium means everyone is probably not bathed daily, including us, but it will get done eventually.
Medium means mom isn’t too overworked or overwhelmed to stop (for a minute) and enjoy time with the family.
Medium gives us permission to relax a little bit.
Medium is real.
What medium looks like
Gosh, it takes some pressure off to just go for middle-of-the-road sometimes instead of the glossy, impossible perfection touted on too many social media feeds. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:
Instead of making all of our little ones’ food from scratch (baby food, too) and endlessly fretting over what we are packing for lunches or snacks when we go out, find something store-bought you still feel fine about giving your children and be done. Stop baking something special for a school potluck and just grab something yummy from the bakery. No one is judging but you. It’s ok to just say yes and give the kids some fruit snacks and pre-packaged crackers. That’s what they want anyway. You’re welcome. Medium.
Instead of attempting to get the kids (and yourself) all gussied up to leave the house, just go as you all are, assuming no one is naked. No one at the park or grocery store or school cares if your four-year-old’s hair isn’t brushed and shoes are on the wrong feet. No one will gasp if your hair is pulled back and your contact lenses aren’t in your eyeballs. Every moment of life is not a catalog shoot. Medium.
Instead of an outright ban on screen time, or certain toys, allow some flexibility in your moral code in order to maintain your sanity. The world doesn’t end if your child gets a little game time while you tend to the baby or just sit by yourself for a few minutes with some wine. Medium.
Stop feeling guilty about not going to the gym, yoga, or some sort of other exercise-related time commitment. Guess what? Walking with your baby or playing with your kiddos may be the only exercise that happens. Perfectly fine. Medium.
Instead of hovering over every activity the kids are doing and standing right next to them always, sit down, watch from afar, and chat with your partner or other parents. Hand the baby to someone else. Make going to the park, playdates, or backyard time enjoyable for you, too. Win, win. Medium.
Seeing is believing
Soon after I realized that I am a proud medium mom, I noticed that every single one of my best momma friends totally rocked this philosophy, too. They just called it something different: survival.
There’s a reason I gravitate to these amazing and realistic women; it’s a sisterhood of sorts. We really see each other. We can look at a mom face and know the struggle, joy, frustration, overwhelm.
I see you in the store handing the baby a snack you just pulled off the shelf and standing patiently in the toy aisle scrolling Instagram so their whiny sibling can look at trinkets. Fist bump! Great work! Survival.
I see you calmly attempting to talk down a screaming, mid-tantrum toddler and then pick them up and take them straight back to the car. Medium mom high five! Survival.
I see you without make-up or a fresh hair color or manicure doing all the things necessary to keep a home running while hanging out with small people. Let’s have a glass of wine and watch the kids play! Survival.
I see that you are getting things done. I see you are making right now work. I see your ingenuity, your love, your patience, your stamina.
I can see you smile when your kiddo says something adorable, tear up when they are growing up too fast, and rock that serious mom face when they are testing boundaries.
I want to give you a nod, high five, hug as I notice you and walk by - some unspoken acknowledgement of our common experience and ideals. But I don’t, since that may come off as creepy, and I file this memory away with so many others that reinforce the reality of a modern mom. A medium mom. A this-works-for-me-right-now mom. A mom surviving in this crazy world we have created for ourselves full of expectations.
Medium moms unite!
We really need to get our stuff together and create some sort of logo, pin, or badge to wear, some hand gesture to adopt, some symbol of our sisterhood. We won’t be bullied into the perception of perfection. Stand together! Join the resistance!
Until we find our own version of the Mockingjay pin, we need to step up and hand out support to our fellow Medium Moms whenever we see them, wherever we are, whatever they may be doing.
So, next time you see me in the produce section waiting for my slow-poke girl to belt out “Let it Go” in a princess dress and sneakers before we can continue shopping, give me a pat on the back, a touch on the arm, a story of your own kiddo - some sort of understanding connection with an outside human being. Even if you are worried I might think you’re creepy. We need to let each other know we are here. All of us. Together. Surviving. Medium.