On our way home the other day, my daughter and I had a small talk like we always had. We discussed this and that and she excitedly told me about the unit she’s currently doing: “Human Body” and how she did a research on skeleton as part of the unit. That day she said that an adult has 206 bones while a new born baby has 300+ bones which eventually fuse to form the adult bones and that’s why the number is decreased. My comment was: “Wow, I didn’t know about that. Well done.”
Later she asked: “Do you think Ayah knows?”
“I don’t know. You can ask him when we’ve arrived at home,”
“But Ayah is very smart. He’s so intellectual and knowledgeable. Maybe he knows already,” she replied reluctantly.
“Yes, you’re right. He’s super smart. But it doesn’t mean that he knows everything. You can still tell him that information. I’m sure he will be very happy to hear it.”
And that very moment, a sudden curiosity hit me. If my daughter had that kind of perception of her dad, I was wondering what kind of perception she has of me, so I asked her: “You said Ayah is a smart dad, right? What about me? What kind of mother am I?”
Without a single pause she said confidently: “You’re a CRAZY mom.”
I laughed and asked again: “What do you mean by that?”
“You’re fantastic. You always have stories that make me laugh.”
I was slightly defensive at first. There’s a tiny part of me that wanted to argue. I wanted to be perceived as a smart mom too. Not (just) a crazy mom with bunch of jokes. I also felt kind of guilty, knowing that maybe I’m not smart enough for her. Not as intelligence as her dad. And that I’m not perfect as a mother.
But then I realised, I was really stupid to have such a thought. I should be grateful for her genuine perception of me. In fact, I couldn’t think of something better. She had just said that I always make her laugh. Make her happy. Isn’t that one of the biggest achievements as a mother, ever?
After all, I would prefer to be a fantastic mom than mrs know-it-all kind of mom. I want to be someone she can laugh (and cry) with. I want to be the one she runs to whenever she has something to tell. I don’t mind if she thought I don’t always have the answers for her never ending questions. As long as she knows that I’ll always be there to help her, accompany her, support her, on whatever quests she might have in the future.
Life as a mother is never easy indeed. We (or at least I) constantly (and unconsciously) set a certain set of standard about how to be a perfect mom. Creating this idea of role model for our own kid(s). We want to be kind, smart, knowledgable, beautiful, crazy, fun, fantastic, etc, all in one package, until we forget that a mother is also a human. We’re not perfect. We will never be.
So why would I bother if she thought I’m a crazy mom? I AM crazy indeed.
Besides, in the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what kind of mom your kids THINK of you. What matters most is their FEELING for you. Because the next moment when she said: “I love you, Bunda. I’m always happy when you’re around,” was the very same moment when I believe, I am forever grateful to be her Mrs Fantastic.