Why The Ordinary Mother is Not So Ordinary After All


Woman in front hallway fixing young girl's dress and smilingI’ve had an up and down kind of week. It wasn’t the week I was prepared for that’s for sure, but then again as a Mum it seems I never am. It started with a terrible argument with my best friend. She questioned a parenting choice I had made, I took it personally, I became defensive and so did she. It doesn’t matter who it’s come from, question one’s parenting and the teeth come out.

Early in the week I booked myself in for a spa treatment. 2 hours of total relaxation and complete pampering where the lights are dimmed, soft smelling candles are flickering in the corner, the beautician’s hands are soft as a baby’s bottom and even the bed is warmed so that while you are being treated like the princess you forgot you were you are being cocooned in warmth and luxury. Well that’s what I thought I made clear to reception when I made the apointment. On the back of said argument with the besty I sure needed it!!! The new beautician sadly had other ideas. She extracted, microdermabrased (no that’s not a word), lasered and applied a peel that ended up with heavy breathing and tears, mine. This is NOT how I had planned to spend the 2 hours of limited ME time but I didn’t know what to say. The girl was new, and I wasn’t in a “communicate” kind of mood…

Just as a reference point in the story here. I’m not a crier. In fact I have a tendency to be too unemotional, inappropriately so but when I do let a tear or two escape…well, where’s Noah when you need him.

So I’m in the darkened room, I’ve undressed, I’ve redressed, I’ve moved rooms for laser, I’ve not had the treatment I needed and it’s not taken the 2 hours I had set aside. And we’re done. I don’t even  make it to reception. I catch one of the regular beauticians I know (who was unavailable when I booked my treatment) and try to kind of explain what my expectations were vs what my experience was. Aaaaaand it all comes out. “Sob sob. I’ve had a crap day. Sob sob. Best friend. Needed to relax. Sob. Just not what I expected. Blow nose. The treatment hurt. Sob.” Seriously…out of control. The poor girl. Not her fault. It ended with me getting undressed AGAIN, climbing into the warmed bed AGAIN, lights dimmed AGAIN all the while telling myself to pull it together. For goodness sake girlfriend, PULL IT TOGETHER. The next facial was absolutely divine. The paraffin hand treatment was supposed to come with a hand massage but honestly all in all she pretty much made up for the previous experience and statement “well we sure beat you up today. Ha!” Yeah…haha. I felt relaxed and prepared to meet the roofing guy, prepared to pick up the kids and prepared for the psychiatrist appointment I had later that day for my youngest child. Big day! Not to mention I had been up since 4:20am as I’ve recently taken to cross fit and this is literally the only time I have available for myself that won’t affect the children’s schedules. So I’m good to go.

I repeat my 4:20am wake up the following day and prepare for yet another marathon of cross fit, lunches, children, tutors, dr’s and I’m still sensitive re the best friend. In fact, I spat out some long winded email presenting my case in the form of a metaphor about avocados and not getting the right change from the check out chick. It made PERFECT sense to me. I still haven’t heard from her. Days later I am possibly conceding I over reacted. A girlfiend called me that evening. I could hear her baby screaming blue murder in the background. She sounded rough. No sleep. Not enough help. Sick baby. No answers. She apologised for keeping such a low profile, bless her! And then I came across a post on School Mum Facebook page. “Please take a second to encourage this School Mum (and the rest of us) who might be feeling ORDINARY today: …Hello I need some support…” The School Mum reaching out went on to say how ordinary she was. How her parenting is ordinary, her job is ordinary, how everyone else is amazing but she is just plain ordinary. And I started writing. I had my best friend in mind; she’s really been struggling with feeling “ordinary.” I had my Mum in mind; she raised 4 kids through some pretty challenging times, didn’t have a degree or a career. I had my friend and her screaming baby in mind; she really was doing the very best she could and I had this “ordinary” School Mum in mind. In hindsight I think I was telling myself that I too was good enough; that the decision to stay at home for 6 months to be with the children was the right decision. That just because I have to remind the children to say thank you when I take them for a special after school treat doesn’t mean they don’t appreciate it. That not hearing them say “I love you Mum” when I need to hear it doesn’t mean they don’t. And I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. I wrote the following:

Dear Ordinary Mum,

You aren’t JUST ordinary…you are EXTRA ordinary. When you gave up the single no kid life you added the EXTRA to the ordinary. When you stayed up all night with your sick child you put the EXTRA in ordinary. When you breast fed with bleeding nipples or heated that bottle for the umpteenth sleepless time you put the EXTRA in ordinary. When you cried silently into your pillow because enough is enough you put the EXTRA in ordinary. When you went UN-thanked AGAIN for dinner, laundry, mummying, working, cleaning, cake decorating &/or simply staying awake, you put the EXTRA in ordinary. You ordinary Mum are EXTRAORDINARY in every way. CS Lewis wrote “Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an EXTRAORDINARY destiny.” Such is being a Mum. What a blessed destiny indeed. Xx

My comment was one of hundreds of comments posted to this beautiful ordinary Mum. The encouragement seemed never ending. Pages and pages of other ordinary Mums reaching out in support with outstretched arms that was sure to make any ordinary mum feel very EXTRAordinary. Of those comments mine was liked over 174 times in the first 16 minutes and over 700 times by the time I went to bed. I was overwhelmed. People I didn’t know were reaching out to ME telling ME I had made a different to them. I didn’t just hit a chord with one ordinary mum; here I was an ordinary Mum myself making hundreds of ordinary Mums feel extraordinary…all by accident. I thought I was extending a hug to ONE and in return hundreds of Mums hugged me back. There was even a husband who commented tagging his wife to ensure she knew she was extraordinary to him. It was a beautiful moment. A moment that had a ripple that will just keep on going as long as people keep telling their friends, their Mothers, their Aunties, their colleagues and even strangers as soon as the opportunity arises that if they are women, if they are Mums then that’s all they need to be to be extraordinary in their own right. I have the EXTRA in ordinary, just by being me. I don’t need anything else.

To all of you Mums who needed to read this today…Please don’t forget the EXTRA in your ordinary 🙂

Written by School Mum Carla



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