On Being a B

by Lindy on August 29, 2011

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The best parenting advice I ever received came from a failed job fair.

This was about seven years ago. The company I was working for was in dire need of new talent that the typical classified ads weren’t bringing in. So the powers that be rented a resort conference room for a day, ran some radio announcements, and opened the doors for an official company job fair.

They asked me and two other women to be there to represent, and we were prepared to do on the spot interviews for the floods of potential employees.

Only, no one came to our job fair that day. Well, one person did, but that was it.

As a result, two coworkers and I got to sit in a quiet room all day, eating resort food on the company dime and chatting it up. Eventually, the topic of conversation turned to my bulging belly.

Yep, I was pregnant with my first child.

Both of my coworkers were in their forties, and neither one had (nor wanted) any kids. Together we tried to fathom what working parenthood would be like.

“You have to accept that in some areas of your life, you’re going to be a B.”

My coworker stated, passing on the motto she’d heard from one of her friends.

At the time, this phrase resonated deeply with me.  And now that I’m seven years into this parenting thing, I see how really true it is.

I’d love to be more fashionably adventurous. Every time I go clothes shopping, I feel like a cute-minded person trapped in a working mom’s wardrobe. My fashion proficiency is not innate, but I’d like to think if I had time to read fashion blogs, or time to…you know…browse establishments that sell clothing, I could probably do okay.

But say I go to Anthropologie and consider buying a patterned skirt.

Well, that patterned skirt would probably require a certain kind of top to go with it, one that I don’t already own, and most likely a pair of ballet flats (don’t have any of those). Hence, buying this skirt would mean more shopping to complete the outfit, and I don’t have time for that either.

So I often pick the charcoal grey pencil skirt that goes with every top I already own for the sake of efficiency.

I’m not going to win any fashion awards, but for the most part (I think) I’m put together and clean, or at least as clean as a mom with gooey children can manage.

B-

I’d love to make beautiful gourmet dinners every night. Or perhaps have a meal plan with some sort of variety, rather than the same old convenient meals that have been gracing our table for the past few years.

There was a short period of time when EeeBee was three, before Baby Rock was born, that I was obsessed with eating only whole ingredients. As a result, I made a lot of food from scratch. It was the first time in my life that I dove head first into culinary adventure, and I loved every minute of it.

But it was time consuming. Several hours were spent examining cook books, making stops at multiple stores for specialty ingredients, standing in the kitchen with my cutting board and food processor.

Then my second child came along, and with him my parental efforts doubled, restricting dinners to anything that could be prepared in 30 minutes or less, with mundane ingredients available from one grocery store.

But I do make an effort to get quasi tasty meals onto the table at least three or four nights of the week.

This one’s a solid B.

I’m brimming with ideas for this blog. Ways to promote it, topics to write about, features to add, guest posts to compose, even brand new websites to build. If my thoughts were accurately depicted in a Venn diagram, it would look something like this.

Blog & Time Venn Diagram

So many times I have to step back and remind myself I can only do so much. I won’t be a super-blogger as a working mom. It’s just not gonna happen. But I do manage to publish at least three posts a week that are of a quality I’m proud of, with the exception of the occasional spelling error of course. ;)

Don’t get me started on the other areas of my life – the cleanliness of my house, being an attentive friend who sends birthday cards, my ability to make homemade gifts, my ability to make homemade anything.

B+, B-, B-, B

Now, I’m not saying any of this to be discouraging or negative. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Accepting a B grade in so many areas has freed me to be a mom, a wife, a friend, a blogger, and a provider, all at the same time, without the pressure to be perfect in every category of my life. That’s not to say I can’t try to improve my grades in food, fashion or blogging if I want to. But I don’t have to.

Whenever I get frustrated at all the things I’m not doing, or all the things I’d like to be and don’t have the time for, I take a breath and remind myself that I’m a working mom.

All I need is a B.

 

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  • http://dailymoneyshot.blogspot.com jana

    I couldn’t love this post anymore if I tried. And you know what? I give you an A for passing this on to moms like me.

  • http://dailymoneyshot.blogspot.com jana

    That should read any more, as two words. I think I get an F in spelling!

    • Lindy

      We don’t grade on spelling around here.

  • http://www.halfdozendaily.blog.com Carla

    Sometimes a “C” will cut it too… Working mom, stay ay home mom. Etc…we can only do the best that we can do! :) Great post!

    • Lindy

      I definitely get a C in car cleanliness.

  • http://anotherhousewife.wordpress.com anotherhousewife

    I love it! It is such an important truth I wish I learned earlier in life!

    • Lindy

      I couldn’t be more thankful that I received this motto when I did.

  • http://www.themrs.ca The Mrs

    Lindy! This is THE encouragement I needed today (and yesterday, and very likely tomorrow). If I aimed at A in one thing I’d end up with Ds in everything else.

    Thank you.

    • Lindy

      Glad it’s helpful!

  • http://monetalkscoaching.com/blog-2 Ashley @ Money Talks

    I love that venn diagram. It’s great.

    A long time ago I worked in a franchise that was inspected by “corporate” and received the grade of B. I thought the owner was going to be mad but he just said, “That’s fine. I’m a B kind of guy.” haha.

    • Lindy

      B stands for “best,” you know.

  • http://yearofshoppingdetox.blogspot.com Ann

    I feel compelled to mention that skirt would look cute with a white button-down shirt, which I think most people probably already own, and that Gap sells really cheap ballet flats that roll up to carry around in a handbag, also that the skirt would look cute with sandals. I mean, for the record. If you wanted to bump it up to an A- ;)

    • Lindy

      So Ann, if you ever feel the need to escape that cold weather in Canada, I know a brilliantly warm place with lots of shopping malls and one fashionably clueless mom who would love your company. ;)

  • http://nicoleandmaggie.wordpress.com/ Nicoleandmaggie

    I think you’re down on yourself with all those B-. The professor would probably give you a higher grade. My sister always sailed through life doing the lowest possible work to get an A, and she generally succeeded… it takes a lot less work to get an A than to get 100%.

    I’d wear the skirt with a black top… I have 2 black sweaters that I wear with everything. (One is an Ann Taylor sweater set, the other is just a 3/4 sleeve black sweater.) That I think gives me an A- or B+ for that portion of my wardrobe. I don’t like wearing white tops because I cannot keep them clean. Ever.

    Nothing wrong with grey pencil skirts. :)

    • Lindy

      White tops and I are not on the friendliest of terms either.

      It’s quite true what you say about skating by to get an A. Let’s just say, in the course of life I get an A, but for some assignments, B all the way.

  • http://retireby40.org retirebyforty

    You are one of those supermom, aren’t you? Bs are quite good. ;)

    • Lindy

      Yes, my superhero outfit has a B on the chest, and I champion mediocrity. ;)

      PS: I think all moms are supermoms.

  • http://bettermebetterworld.blogspot.com/ Dmarie

    an A+ post, Lindy, well done! (had to sigh on the clothes part…I often think “if only” when I’m buying yet another classic piece that goes without everything else I own.)

    • Lindy

      Maybe we should make a pact to buy some statement pieces on our next shopping trips.

  • http://squirrelers.com Squirrelers

    I like the message in this post. It’s absolutely OK to have balance in life and do things to the best of your ability within the bounds of reason.

    For most of us, it’s not possible to truly to be the very best in everything we do. Nobody has the time to do that. It’s just that many people either don’t realize that our don’t want to admit it. It’s healthy to have balance, actually!

    • Lindy

      B also stands for balance!

  • http://www.taxsettlementoptions.org/ sophie

    There is nothing wrong with being a B. And you can be more adventurious with your outfits and cooking gourmet dinners. Do it before you get too old! There are a lot of chic moms out there. You just have to have the right attitude to pull it off.

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  • http://beantownhappyhomeowner.blogspot.com/ The Happy Homeowner

    This is a fantastic post. After reading it, I thought about the alphabet and how there are 26 letters. Some days, it’s an A day and others it’s may be a Z day. What’s most important is that you enjoy the day/what you do/who you are, regardless of the grade or letter that could be assigned to it.

  • http://www.neverniche.com Clare – Never Niche

    I love everything about this post, especially the circles overlapping and words like “paint toenails” and “wash lettuce.” Adorable.

    • Lindy

      I was trying to think of all the little things that add up to take time out of my day. Unfortunately, painting the toenails often takes a back seat to some of the others. Thankfully winter, and closed toed shoes, will be here soon!

      Thanks Clare. :)

  • http://www.totallymoney.com/blogs TotallyMoney

    Great post! I’m sure in your kids’ eyes you are an A+ mother.

    With updating fashion- invest the little time you have in accessories. They update a tired looking outfit in no time!

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