Level Up

My Mother's Nature by Reese Darko <=== Let’s do something a little bit different and start this post with some poetry from Spoken Word Artist of the Year, Jammy award winner, Reese Darko.

Hello Ladies, welcome back to yet another Mom Monday. Today I want to talk about moms. “Duh Juleen, all we ever do is talk about moms and being a mom. Today I want to talk about the most important mom in your life, the only mom that matters, you guessed it, I want to talk about your moms and my mom. Have you ever noticed that every time we get a handle on this whole mom thing, our moms swoop in and remind us that we don’t know jack? Is motherhood what you thought it would be? I will say what I thought being a mom would be like circa 1990’s-2000 B.C. (that’s B.C.; before children) vs. what it actually is, is entirely different. I give my mom a lot of credit, if my teen pulled half the stuff I did as a teen, I am pretty sure I would have strangled him. I’m lucky to be alive. My mom set the bar pretty high for me. Some days I am a homework crushing, lunch making, freelance writing superhero. Some days my coffee smells like failure, broken dreams, and loser hood. Yes, I am being facetious, but seriously, these days, I have to remind myself that I am doing just fine. This last week was a problematic mom week. I have been struggling with the new homeschooling system. My children’s school has some work going back and forth in packets. Some of it is online, on Google Classroom. The children’s class meets on zoom. Sometimes they can’t get zoom to work, or no one is muting their mics so the teacher can’t talk. The teacher can’t hear the students, or the students can’t understand the teacher. The most frustrating thing has been keeping track of who has turned in what. What was turned in with the packets and what was turned into google classroom. Also, keeping track of which kid is supposed to go on what site, and at what time, has been nightmare fuel for me. I thought it was going to be an embarrassing unbearable mess for which my children would pay the price. My mom stepped in and started reminding me of when my children had classes. She would tell me what was going in the packets, I was losing it, and she was keeping track and making it look easy! I felt like a member of the Pen and Teller audience trying to unravel a magic trick.

A Beautiful Dream

I remember when I was younger, 20th century B.C. (Before children.) I always had this idea of what kind of mom I would be. My mom was tough, she kept her girls close. I never understood why. I just thought that it was unfair. I said I would not be that way. I told myself that I would be the best mom. My children would always behave themselves, get good grades. They would never have temper tantrums in the stores and in restaurants. My fantasy children would be Yale graduates and never give me an ounce of heartache. They would take care of me when I was too old to care for myself. It was a beautiful dream. Then I actually had children, and suddenly reality was laughing at my beautiful dream.


I like to think I am a good mother, but no matter how awesome I think I am, my mother is always the next level. Being her daughter and a mom is like being Michael Jordan’s daughter and playing basketball. Even if I leveled up I could never live up to the legacy. I am the type of mom that will stay up late packing lunches and checking bookbags, only to forget the lunches on the table, and hand my children five dollars for hot lunch instead. My mom will not only remember the lunches but leave little notes in the lunches and buy the hot lunch, too, just in case they are still hungry. I am the type of mom that will tell my teen that if he forgets his bookbag at home, it is staying at home. Furthermore, I will ground him for any work that he is unable to accomplish as a result of not having his book bag. My mom is the type of mom that will bring the book bag, fuss at him endlessly about it, and make sure he has a snack before she leaves. I want to believe that she is only like that with my children because they are her grandchildren. However, looking back, she was tough on my brother, sisters, and me, but no matter what, she was always there when we got ourselves into something we could not get ourselves out of. It did not matter what it was. In the poker game of life, we never had to fold. We always had the mom card to play and that card beats everything. She was our last lifeline.

True North

I am an adult now. I do not need that lifeline the same way I did when I was a kid. Instead, I want to forge my own path as a mother. I want to be my children’s lifeline. Or, in the case of my children, swim instructor. If they jump into the perilous ocean of life, I want them to know how to swim. I find myself mentally comparing myself to my mom all the time. I feel like I am forever trying to live up to this larger than life woman, who was the one constant in my ever-changing life. I’ve been married, divorced, deployed, arrested (to be clear it was nothing crazy, and I begged the police NOT to call my mother because I knew that if she got ahold of me, I was in trouble with a capital ‘T’ and I didn’t want those problems. They called her anyway, and as soon as she saw the marks that the police left on me, she bailed me out and hired a lawyer. Yes, she was endlessly fussing as she did it.) I have seen the world and been on every adventure that an empty wallet and poor choices could take me on, and when it was all over, I regretted nothing. Still, she was, is, and always will be my north star. Because of her, I know that home is not a place. It is a person. It is the warm feeling that no matter how far you have strayed from your morals, your true north, your fundamental ethical truths, you are never so far away that you cannot go home.

This post is for you.

Thank you ladies for joining once again for a Marvelous Mom Monday. Subscribe to join me every Monday and be updated on the latest news. As always ladies you are doing fine.

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