Because I do both jobs on most days…Day Job and Freaky Mom Job…I need to wear both shirts. I have come up with a simple solution. On any given day, I wear one of my long sleeve Freaky Mom shirts under one of my short sleeve work shirts. This allows me to remove and replace the top shirt whenever necessary depending on which capacity I am in at the moment.
At work, I wear my work shirt.
At my coffee shop offices, where I go to write blog posts, send emails, work on improving this website, I wear my Freaky Mom Shirts. At basketball games, I wear my Freaky Mom Shirts. At the grocery store, I wear my Freaky Mom Shirts. Basically, anywhere other than work, I wear my Freaky Mom Shirts.
Which is why, upon arriving at Diego’s high school today for some housekeeping duties, I would normally have taken off my work shirt in the car and marched in with my TAKE THE PHONE shirt screaming its message, but due to the voices in my head, I did not.
The voices said something like this:
“He’s just a freshman, give him a break. He’s used to you wearing your Freaky Mom shirts at games, but keep TAKE THE PHONE and Freakymomclub.com covered up so you don’t embarrass him TODAY. You have to meet him in the office and sign some paperwork. Don’t embarrass him! Let them get to know him (and you) a little better before you show them your true colors.”
I felt like it was my gut telling me to give the poor kid a break.
And the proverbial scarlet letter was burning a hole in my chest the entire time (except they are white letters that say TAKE THE PHONE and they are not meant to shame but to empower!)
But, at least, my shirt didn’t embarrass Diego.
Not to worry, however, he…and the teacher next to me…did that for himself.
When he arrived to the office, the secretary kindly explained the paperwork he had to fill out in preparation for absences due to our upcoming trip to El Salvador. I handed him the sandwich I (so graciously) brought for him (since he was STARVING according to an urgent message). He took it and the paper, grunted, spun on his heel and cool-kid walked his way right out of the office.
After nearly choking on my saliva at his lack of manners and one split second before I could call him out, the teacher yelled after him…“Thanks For Bringing Me Lunch Mom!” “I Love You Mom!” “You’re The Best Mom!” (I added that last one). Turns out there are Freaky Moms everywhere and they often come in the form of Teachers!
Her not-so-subtle-and-very-much-appreciated nudge prompted me to stride out the door, summon his immediate return and request a re-do of the previous scenario. I made him thank me for the sandwich and thank the office secretary for her help.
After he left, no doubt beaming (puking) with pride that he has me for his mother, I thanked the teacher and the secretary for calling him out on his lack of manners.
And, as happens in community Freaky Mom moments: Now I Know That He Knows That I Know That Someone Is Always Watching.
Stick with me here…I’m going to get a little deep for a second:
On the walk back to the car, I felt a weird sense of T-Shirt failure. Like I had given up an opportunity to speak my truth. Like my gut had failed me. I felt like I had let myself down for not proudly spreading the “Good Job Mom!” message printed across my back and for failing to inspire other Moms to TAKE THE PHONE by simply reading the front of my shirt. Even worse, I felt like I let down the whole circle of Freaky Moms who I strive to inspire!
And all over a wardrobe decision. I know. I’m thinking it myself. Seriously? You spent this much time stewing over and writing about which shirt you wore into the office?
Well, yes and here’s why: I want all the Moms to know that we all make decisions we would like to change.
We yell at our kids when we shouldn’t have. We avoid hugging them in public when we should have. We honk and wave while the marching band is warming up when we shouldn’t have. We don’t wear the Freaky Mom shirt when we should have. We disguise our true selves when we shouldn’t have.
It is really No Big Deal which shirt I wore into the office, but the point is, I want you to know you’re doing a good job.
Did you make a mothering decision today you wish you had made differently? It’s OK! If you promise yourself you will not get stuck in parenting “fails” but continue to learn from your experiences to become a better Mom your kids will turn out to be Awesome Adults.
Follow your gut. If your gut isn’t right, it’s ok. Some other Freaky Mom (or Teacher) will have your back. It takes a village to raise our kids. Embrace it!
Adios from Freaky Mom Numero Uno and if they talk back Take The Phone,
Good Job Mom!