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Reflections of a Bad Mom

A lot has happened in the past 16 months. I know I promised a story about the bat exclusion that followed the mouse escapade, and I will get to it, but suffice it to say that those two events plus an invasion of woodpeckers were pivotal to my decision at the end of the year to make the move and downsize. My stress levels trying to take care of the big house along with everything else had come to a head. For the first time in my life, I had asked my doctor for an anti-anxiety med.

We sold our 3000sf house and moved in April into a gated community and town house. Getting through the whole process was a lot like crossing through a hurricane, with settlement day being the eye of the storm. But even before going back into the storm and unpacking, once I got to settlement much of the stress lifted and I felt immediately liberated. It was so right for me, for us, but it has been hard on Bob. I wouldn’t say he went kicking and screaming, but he does not deal very well with change, and leaving the house where we had raised our family for 25 years was very difficult for him.

I have a lot to share about down sizing and how our new home has opened our world of possibilities, but right now it is the first Christmas in our new house and my late mother’s birthday. My mom, Betty, was born this day in 1923. She had a fun-loving personality and liked to have parties, but she did not entertain a lot. My Dad’s sister and I still love to recall the Thanksgiving when she and my mother were having so much fun hanging out with each other over martinis in the kitchen they forgot to put the turkey in the oven.

This morning I hosted my second Bad Moms Cookie Exchange (Forget the Cookies) brunch. This originated last year at a party where I tried to drum up interest in a holiday cookie exchange. The room got suddenly quiet to the point you could hear a pin drop. “So, forget the cookies. What if we just drank mimosas and ate some breakfast food?” I suggested. The room erupted with enthusiasm and a new tradition was born.

I thought about my Mom because I think she would have loved this Bad Mom cookie exchange. She would have liked that it was more about the friends and fellowship than it was about perfect holiday entertaining. Of course, there were some things that just had to be right, like fresh juice, good bagels and Italian sausage strata. But grocery store donut holes and mini muffins? Dollar Store Christmas plates and napkins? Plastic cups? Yes – the perfect Bad Mom additions to any party. And what is really Bad Mom is my plan to include the leftover strata on my Christmas morning breakfast table.

My mom would applaud the idea of keeping it simple and short so that we moms could take a short break during our holiday prep to just enjoy ourselves. She would like the idea that the preparation her introvert daughter put into the party was half the fun of and added no stress to the holiday.

From one bad mom to another, happy birthday Mom, and semper avanti.

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