Finding the Magic in Mommyhood by Sara Sadik (Book Excerpt)


Future You?

And now, onto a “future-you” quiz as my final quiz, mama. This one tells you what kind of mama you will be for your toddler. Even if you’re already sure, go ahead and double check. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, remember? Isn’t that why we always pack extra packets of raisins? This one doesn’t have multiple choice questions, you’ll just know which mama you are by that sinking feeling in your gut when you read it.

Let’s imagine you’re at the playground and your baby is a little older. You’re a little older. You’re into that negotiating phase of parenting. If you’re anything like me, the playground is wonderful—for all of five minutes for me, and forever for her. I’m always immediately looking for ways to get mine to go home. I’ve looked around for moms to model off of, and this is what I see:

  1. The Lifestyle Mommy: This mommy likes to leave with her dignity (and her daughter’s) dignity intact. No empty threats here, as she believes in keeping the peace and life being all about peace, love, and happiness. She’s composing her next beautiful Insta-post, anyway. She will let her child play an extra forty-five minutes because she’s barely watching and who cares if she has to reschedule her doctor’s appointment again. Not a biggie. She knows that she has bigger battles ahead when she dishes up zucchini soup for dinner or gets sued by her kid in fifteen years for breach of privacy. Key mantra: Don’t look now, I’m expanding my platform and featuring you in my next blog.
  2. The Negotiator: “If you leave I’ll shower you in gifts and cold hard cash. Promise.” The negotiator has a schedule to stick to and is vocal about her strategy and distraction tactics in the hopes that their child’s advanced (she would never use the word “limited”) sense of reason kicks in and they realize that a bigger win is around the corner. She has tricks up her sleeves, snacks in her pockets, and dangles educational Apps to lure. “Guess who has your favorite pasta dish with melted cheese . . . yeah . . . it’s in the car . . . and there’s an ice cream in my purse IF you come NOW!” Key mantra: Help me, help you. (flashback to Jerry Maguire)
  3. The Victim: Can be overheard saying, “Don’t you think Mommy is tired?” She voices why and how her back, head and (insert any body part here) hurts or feels as if her toddler is actually her osteopath. She is prone to floods of tears and eventually her kid stares at her with, “I wish mommy would just pop an Advil or six and get her s@#! together,” in their eyes. Key mantra: What about meeee?
  4. The Truster in the Universe: She is wise. And just. And calmer than the lifestyle mommy who is really only cool as a cucumber for the credit of being labeled an “amazing parent.” She knows (somehow . . . either because she believes in God or because this is her fourth or fifth child) that THIS, whatever THIS is, in the moment is really not a big deal. So what if they want to swing for another ten minutes or fifty? It is not the end of the world. She has freezer meals at the ready back home, anyway. But not saying grace/bedtime affirmations/kiddie meditation, though, that’s another story. Key mantra: This too shall pass.
  5. The Dictator: “I’m leaving with or without you. Good-bye!” No negotiations or five more minutes here. Usually hyped up from too much caffeine and too little sleep (my husband strangely seems to think I fall into this category) she is skilled in the nonchalant grab-and-go technique. Key mantra: I’m the boss, get into the car or I will lose it completely.

 

Whichever of these archetypes rings a bell, don’t judge yourself too harshly, the truth is, getting your child to leave is FRUSTRATING and sometimes it’s better to let them swing a few more minutes, you know, to save yourself a therapy bill later on. Some may call me a pushover but I consider myself a truster in the universe. And a negotiator and, yes, a dictator when I haven’t slept enough.

*Please note that the personas depicted in this piece are in no way exaggerated and if you come to my park you will see a display of every single one. When are you coming? No, seriously, when’s your flight arriving?

 

Sara Sadik is the creator of sarasadik.com, a blog dedicated to making you laugh, breathe, and know you’re not alone in this magical mess known as motherhood. She currently resides in Dubai with her overly pragmatic Syrian-American husband and three kids that are learning to take turns having tantrums.  Visit https://www.skyhorsepublishing.com/9781510735989/finding-the-magic-in-mommyhood/

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