Normal is as normal does

Eat an Oreo and be quiet

A recent and perfectly honest Facebook status of mine read: This morning errands were purchasing a healthy cookbook for athletes, then a trip to a natural health food store where I purchased whole grains, organic produce, and other such items.  Then we went to McDonald’s.

The comments followed, with the standard “haha” or “too funny!” or even “awesome!”  But one very comment made me really think about the burger and fries I downed.  One mom said “I love that you are normal.”

She doesn’t know me very well…or does she?

It got me thinking that when you are a mom, especially a new mom, your life as you know it completely disappears.  What was normal no longer is, and instead you are living at the mercy of these tiny people who have invaded your home.  And so many of us turn to advice to figure out just how in the world we’re supposed to be living our lives; advice from our own mom, our friends, the Internet, and the granddaddy of them all, parenting books.

After all of this advice is so lovingly pressed upon us, we are stuck there, wondering what ‘normal’ really is.  We have been told what we think we should be doing, but chances are it’s not anything that we’re used to.  So there’s this giant adjustment period when we try to figure out what our new normal is.

Do you give your infant juice?

Where does the baby sleep?

How much TV does your child watch?

And time goes on and there’s another adjustment period where we realize that all of those things we should have been doing are just too hard so we start to let things slide.  We toss fruit snacks at our kids to shut them up and we set the Baby Einstein DVD’s on “repeat play” just so we can fold the laundry in peace.

But we’ll never let us our friends see us like that.  What would they think?!?

More time passes and eventually we find happiness and content in our motherly skin, and we don’t give a flying fig who knows it.  Those parenting book we thought so highly of?  We use them to prop up decorations on top of our cupboards.  We throw fries at our kids without even glancing in the rear view mirror and plan our entire days around their favorite TV shows because we know that for 30 minutes, those 30 wonderful, blissful minutes, we might actually be able to talk on the phone without someone asking to paint.

We’ve ditched the classical music CD’s and think it’s perfectly fine that the kids know all the words to “Sweet Caroline” (complete with the bam, bam, baaaam) and are aware that should say “beep” instead of the swear words in the songs that you’ve been waiting to listen to for so many years while you’ve been torturing yourself with the Wiggles.  And finally, finally, normal isn’t so bad anymore.

Normal is finally, well, normal.

The rest of those people? Eating the whole grains and only watching TV with no commercials?  They’re just weird.

~Karrie McAllister
www.karriemcallister.com

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