We've all had a conversation with that mom at one time or another. The one who can't talk to you like a normal human being because she's so busy telling you how talented and smart and perfect her child is and "don't you think he's amazing?"
This is nothing new. In every culture in the history of motherhood, there has been this problem. If Eve had another woman to talk to she would have been over to her house for coffee so she could brag.
"Cain is the BEST farmer in the land. Have you seen how large his tomatoes were this season? And Abel, well...his sheep are just the fattest and sure to be the most delicious because he is the most talented shepherd that's ever lived!"
Look, I love the fact that you think your kid is awesome. You're his mother. I fully expect that you think he's the cat's meow. It's only natural and it's a beautiful thing.
But do you have to shove it down my throat so many times? Tell me he's doing great and I will say something like, "he is a wonderful young man. His future is so bright it burns my eyes and he's lucky to have you because you're an amazing mother." Because chances are, you probably are an amazing mother!
But lets leave it at that, shall we? You don't need to re-iterate because then you just start to sound desperate. And sad. The reason we moms do this is because we're proud of our children but also, lurking just beneath the surface, we do this because we have a desperate need to affirm ourselves and others, that we are doing a good job.
Lets move on and talk about other things. Like how Daniel Radcliffe has morphed into a complete hottie. You know...important stuff.
Don't worry if you've done this. You're not the only one. We've all done it at one time or another because it's sometimes really hard to gauge how well we're doing and we need someone to be all: "Really? Wow, that is unbelievable, you must be a supermom."
I get it. I need to hear this sometimes, too. I think we should all cut to the chase and just start our conversations with a secret super mom handshake and give each other a flair button that says: "you are the best mom I know."
Unfortunately, there is a myth out there about how our success as mothers is a reflection of how well (or not so well) our children are doing.
The bad news is that your kid knowing all his letters at 7 months or being able to spell his name at 18 months or being the most talented at soccer or the best artist in school doesn't make you a good mother.
The good news is that your kid being the slowest or the one who's struggling or the clumsiest or least popular doesn't make you a bad mother either.
John Lennon said it best: "All you need is love." If you want to impress me with your mothering prowess, don't tell me how great your kid is doing. Tell me how great you are doing at all those things that reflect your love for him and I will say to you what all of us should be saying to each other: "you are doing such a good job as a mom that you inspire me in my own motherhood and your kids are lucky to have you."
Then we can get to Daniel Radcliffe's rock-hard abs. I bet his mother's so proud!
Read more of Alicia's writing at: americasnexttopmommy.blogspot.com