I had an odd experience yesterday: I had a moment of feeling… oh… what’s the word? I’ve felt it before, but it is rare and fleeting. Ah, yes. That’s it… accomplished! And what brought me to this strange state of affairs? It was nothing more than what I read about other people doing every day. Taking advantage of the strange yellow thing in the sky, I hung the year’s first load of laundry. I got the carseats reinstalled in a vehicle that has been used by a friend for the last couple of weeks. I cleared out all the things under the seats and found the floors of both cars at the same time. Got the three kids into the van in under an hour without any tears. I picked up a friend in my newly-tidied van, and we took the kids to the wildlife park. We petted deer, saw moose and heard the wolves howling. We went on a ride on a horse-drawn carriage and decided that the horse-drawn carriage is a deeply civilized form of transportation. We came home to a quaff of home brew, and I experimented briefly with making chocolates. The kids had cocoa that we made at home with fair-trade organic sugar and cocoa powder. Then we ordered pizza for supper and did NOT mess up the kitchen any more than it already was. Hung with friends, played with kids, got very little done.
It was profoundly mundane, but it hung together in a way that my days rarely do. In the middle of it all, I read this piece by Sierra Black in which she identifies herself as having Maternal Imposter Syndrome, and I thought, “Yes! That! I have no idea what I’m doing!” Despite the fact that I’ve been at this nearly 12 years, and despite the fact that I write about it occasionally at the Natural Parents Network, I just don’t feel like this is something I can lay claim to. I don’t do ‘activities’ with my kids, I don’t do crafts, I don’t draw them into my baking escapades, I don’t have a well-kept house ready for visitors, our play dates are few, far-between, and long-delayed. I don’t homeschool because I can’t imagine bearing the weight of that responsibility. I don’t think of myself as a SAHM. I’m just not good enough at it. I don’t get paid for my writing, don’t know how to find appropriate contract work, and make no money at my extremely part time spice-and-farm stand, so I don’t think of myself as a WAHM. Actually, I don’t think of myself as much of anything at all. I’m just here, muddling along, trying to figure this all out without doing too much damage along the way.
So I must revel in those moments. Hey, look! I got something done. I had a moment of being The Good Mother. Or at least, the Good Enough Mother. Which is going to have to be… good enough.