How my 80/20 mothering makes me a better mom


I am an 80/20 mom. I get "mothering" right about 80% of the time and slightly to horribly wrong the other 20% . I am not a natural mother. I have to work at it.

80% of the time I schedule playdates, have snacks and water on hand, bring the rain jacket, rain boots and umbrella, take my daughter to plays, sign her up for performance camps, take her on adventures, find a good spot in the shade where she can see at a parade, expose her to as many museums as I can and I have wipes and Kleenex in the car at all times.

20% of the time I forget to put bug spray on her in the evenings, knowing that she is allergic to mosquito bites, and we end up in urgent care. I take her to a playdate at the park to meet another mom and that mom has brought my daughter a snack and drink. Yikes, was I supposed to do that?! I misread birthday invitations and my daughter shows up to the party in clothes and all the other girls are in bathing suits running through the sprinkler. I forget to pack water bottles on adventures and then my daughter is "dying of thirst." Don't get me started on sunscreen. It's my nemesis.

I used to feel bad about myself and feel like a bad mom. I used to think, "I have a college degree, a successful career, an organized life...I should have known that I was supposed to bring the other kid fruit snacks on a playdate."

Then I realized that is how you "learn" to be a good mom.

You watch, make the mis-steps and then remember for the next time.

Now I laugh, embrace and talk about my 80/20 rule to my family, friends and even strangers! They know when I am off my game and in the 20%.

Celebrate the 100% moments

The beauty of the 80/20 rule is that when you get it all right, you notice! She is dressed in weather appropriate clothes. She is sunscreened. We have snacks and drinks in the car and a change of clothes if she gets wet. We even have extra hair ties for that impromptu ponytail. When I hit 100%, I make it a point to stop and savor it. I celebrate that this little mother moment went well.

Humor and self-acceptance

Humor, self-acceptance and sometimes self-forgiveness goes a long way in being a mom. No one is 100% together 100% of the time. This is common knowledge, but even as highly intelligent and educated women we forget that when we are in our moments of self-doubt. We are all in this together! Let's ban together and help each other out. Thank you to the many women out there who have let me borrow sunscreen. Celine Dion fist chest bump and much love!

When you are in that 20%, just smile and tuck that little knowledge nugget experience away for the next time. Embrace the mis-step moments and just chalk it off to 80/20 and know that if you love your kid, you are a 100% mom! Now get out there and adventure together...and for heaven's sake remember the sunscreen!