There are many variations of the Mom Badge. Some we wear proudly, others grudgingly, maybe even a few with resentment.
Yesterday was a day of wearing the Mom Badge with reluctance and then finally acceptance. Butterfly was having an off day from the beginning. She slept in (glorious!) but that was where the good stopped. We had wailing and gnashing of teeth because of things like not being able to reach a book (the horror!). Food was a major player in the day too. Butterfly might be little, but she can pack away the food like nobody’s business. So at home, I wore the “here to serve” Mom Badge (do we ever take that one off?).
We headed to Mass in the afternoon, leaving the house half an hour early to arrive at the church that is less than a mile away (I don’t like being late). I realize that my obsession with being early means the kids have to sit quietly for an extra thirty minutes every week. And maybe I need to relax on that, at least for Butterfly’s sake. Anyway, she made it clear from the beginning that she did not dig the whole “be quiet and stay by Mommy” plan I had hoped to implement. She screeched a screech that will surely lead to hearing aids in my future if it keeps up. We couldn’t even stay in the foyer of the church. We had to head all the way outside (where it was a pleasant 100 degrees) so as to not disturb the worshiping congregation. So I wore the “trying hard to be patient” Mom Badge.
After Mass we joined some friends for dinner at a restaurant. I was already wearing my “kid fell and scraped a knee and bled on me” Mom Badge. We really should have gone straight home. Butterfly’s behavior at Mass was enough to make me want to wear a “who is this Mom person?” NOT-a-Mom Badge, but we soldiered on.
We chose a restaurant that is really kind of small and not conducive to our large group. Mistake. While we waited for our server to bring us drinks, Butterfly let her frustration and immense hunger pains be known. Finally we get some chips and salsa. Butterfly likes to eat salsa. But she doesn’t know when she’s had enough, which leads to spitting and screaming. Soon enough she was dipping chips in ranch dressing and then in ketchup. She likes to dip. We indulge her. Time for the “I’ll do anything to stop the screaming” Mom Badge. We plowed through our meal with varying levels of screaming/eating/happiness. Finally we got our dessert to go and left the restaurant, when all the other patrons promptly let out a whoop and a holler. Okay, maybe not, but I bet they were glad to see us go. At this point, I was covered in various dipping substances and Butterfly was in full-on meltdown mode. I was wearing the “Oh dear Lord just get me out of here now” Mom Badge.
Once we were home and Butterfly was cleaned up and sleeping contentedly in her bed, I donned my “What was I thinking?” Mom Badge. Butterfly had a bad day before we ever left the house. I knew that she was not feeling like herself. What made me think she would magically transform into a sweet and saintly child at church or the restaurant? The truth is, the badge we wear all the time is the “I’m the adult, I have to make the hard choices” Mom Badge. And I left that one at home yesterday. And we all paid for it. I want to wear a badge that proclaims the joy in my life. A badge that tells people “Yes, I’m blessed! God is Good!”
So what can I do to wear that one more often? I’ll be thinking about that and get back to you.