Friday, April 19, 2013

Mother of the Year

My very sweet, very supportive and somewhat insane husband nominated me for a local mother of the year contest.  He was very complimentary in his entry but I thought he missed the deadline.  When I received the call that I was chosen by the staff as one of the finalists (top 10) I was quite stunned.  Yesterday we had to go to the news paper office and do a short on camera interview to be posted on the website for family, friends and general public to vote.  I was so nervous and flustered, I feel like I did such a horrible job during the interview.  All last night I just kept thinking how terrible (such a tool) I would seem to anyone watching these clips and felt so disgusted with myself for not saying all the things I really wanted to say.  To all my family and friends, here are the responses I really wanted to say.

The first question the interviewer asked was how I felt when I found out that not only was I nominated by Kevin but that I was chosen as a finalist.  Of course I did not think before opening by big mouth and just blurted out the first thing that I was thinking...that I was embarrassed.  Gee.  Great answer.  Instead of expounding on why I felt that way I clumsily stumbled through a weird explanation.  What I meant was that I was embarrassed because I do not feel that I do anything more extraordinary than any other mom.  I think every mom should be mother of the year and I feel that I personally know so many great moms that deserve this honor so much more than me.  All moms have issues, struggles and doubts. I do not feel mine are any more difficult than the single mom working multiple jobs and busting her butt to keep her kids on the straight and narrow or the mom diagnosed with cancer who wakes up every morning feeling horrific due to all the nasty chemo drugs but still smiles, loves her kids and makes their day good or the mother of a child with severe special needs like cerebral palsy or autism or the mother who has had to bury a child but pick herself up and keep living for the other children she still has or even the mother who has a child with colic or a baby who never sleeps.  As well meaning as I know these people are, I really do not like when other moms compare themselves to me and say, gee, my day is not so bad when I think of yours.  You know, honestly, I feel the exact same way as you.  There will always be someone, somewhere struggling more than me.

The second question was to describe my family.  I was not too sure what she meant as to me the question seemed pretty vague and broad.  I ended up mentioning the kids but then got sidetracked into taking about C and the upcoming Race for Baby C.  While I am all about free publicity, holy wow, what a complete tool I am to be talking about a fundraiser to benefit us.  Ugh.  Total face plant.  I would much prefer my answer to be how much I adore all three of my kids.  How grateful I am to be the mom to two such incredible boys who are funny, sweet, adaptable and love me no matter how much I fail them.  I wanted to say how Kevin and I both try so hard to make a normal family life for everyone as we never want the boys to feel like they are coming in second to C and her issues.  I wanted to express how we try and do one on one outings with the boys so they feel special and important and can have the day just by themselves with just one of us.  I wanted to shout how much I love them for also being upbeat and positive when the visit C in the hospital and how they never complain with how much I am gone or never think that I love C more because I have to be gone with her so much and how much they love and adore their sister.  I wanted to say I am and will be eternally humbled to know these are my wild and crazy boys and I am beyond blessed to be their mom.

And finally the third question that I totally flubbed...the one everyone asks and the one everyone wants the answer too, how do I do it all?  My totally unoriginal answer...we have a very strict, tight schedule that we follow.  Really, that is all I have to say.  How about I talk about how I cannot do this alone.  How about I say that I have a great husband who works his ass off at his job, does all he can to support me and still loves me no matter how much I yell, nitpick or blowup because he has not done something to my OCD way of liking.  How about my amazing, incredible support group of family, friends and coworkers who support, encourage and help me out without ever expecting anything in return.  Oh man.  Of all the questions I wanted to answer differently this is the one I feel the worst about.  I am not a supermom.  I do not and cannot do all that I do without help.  I get down and pray a huge thank you to God everyday for each of you that is in my life.  My coworkers who take over my office when I am gone and make sure everything is handled.  My boss who picks up the slack all on his own.  Everyone I work with who has embraced C and is okay with her still coming to work with me.  All the Judges who constantly ask how C is doing or bring her little gifts.  When someone tells me how lucky I am to have a boss like mine and coworkers like mine, I smile, nod and agree all the while thinking that the person has no idea just how much I understand how fortunate I am to work with all of these truly amazing people.  All of my friends who have supported us, encouraged us and done the little things that mean so much like letting my boys stay with them when we need to be out of town with C, make us dinner, attend our fundraisers and come and hang out with us (have a beer or two) and make sure we feel like we are a normal family.  All of my family who I would not have made it through the last 4 years without them.  I cannot even fully express my gratitude to all of my family (local and distant...mine and Kevin's) for all of things they have done for me.  And of course I cannot forget the wonderful ladies who formed Team Baby C.  Outside of the huge help of taking some of the financial burden off of me by having fundraisers, these women have welcomed me into their circle, inspired me to take up and continue running and have generally made me get off my ass and do something.  I will be forever grateful to all of these girls who make me want to be a better person.

One of the things that I did not get a direct question about but I feel is so important that I would have liked to address is who inspires me to be the mom I am.  Well, this is easy.  The list is long but please bear with me as each of these ladies have shaped me into the mother I am.  I will be forever grateful to my "second moms" Laura V., Carrie B., and Katie D. who have shown me how to be gracious, grateful, strong and to love with all I have.  All of my aunts, Ellen, Sherrie, Laura and yes, even you Janet :0...for giving me the best example of true family, faith and hope.  All of my cousins who I think are pretty great moms themselves.  I learn so much from my cousins who are all raising kids of various ages.  For all my super mom friends...how I try and be like you :)  I am grateful for my sister.  Even though I was a mom before her, she has shown me ways to relax, chill out and let my kids be kids.  She is the kick in the butt I needed to being healthier and making sure my family eats the foods we should be eating.  For my grandmother and great grandmother...I have never seen a more perfect example of a true lady and I only hope that I am half the lady you are.  And of course my own mother.  She is by far my best example of the type of mother I would like to be someday.

So, hopefully all the people I really care about will read this and better understand my answers to the questions.  I wish I could have done a print interview instead of an on camera one.  I am much better when I have an opportunity to think about what I am saying and can go back an correct my answers when I feel like I have totally made an ass of myself. 

3 comments:

Laura McCann said...

You are my hero, Ashley. I know you don't like hearing that, but you are. The fact that you don't realize how amazing you are, just makes you more a hero in my eyes. I love you and your little family more than words can express.

Laura McCann said...

Hey, do we get to vote???

karen said...

Congratulations! You are Mother of the Year, whether or not the votes agree.

P.S. This doesn't bode well for your WME status... :)