The Not So Perfect Mom and her Baby

I've been telling this story on stage lately. Last week, upon reaching our room at the Holiday Inn Express in Nashville Annie let out a great big ole,


Ryan started dying laughing but my stomach dropped and I immediately started to cry tears of embarrassment.

I am the most ghetto fabulous mom in the world.

My baby thinks Holiday Inn Express is her home.

With tears streaming down my face I asked an all too familiar question...

What kind of mom am I???

It all became very clear to me last night...


Annie is getting her molars in. All four of them at once. That, or she has been possessed by a Tickle Me Elmo gone terribly wrong. She has been screaming bloody murder every night this week and last night I yelled back at her. Well, ok, I didn't yell but it was mean and loud and completely uncalled for.

"Annie PLEASE stop crying Mommy cannot take it anymore baby. Please. You HAVE to stop CRYING."

She started crying louder and scratching herself in frustration.

Awesome.  My kid scratches herself. That cannot be a good reflection of her anger management skills.

Then I started crying partly because my kid has anger issues and she's only 18 months and party because my horrible response only made her feel more scared and frustrated and hurt and partly because I was so freaking tired and defeated that I actually considered drawing a bath in the Clarion Inn bathtub.

And y'all. That's desperation.

She cried louder. I cried louder. She cried louder. I cried louder.

And in that moment I realized... she beat me.

She beat my spirit and my will into defeated smithereens and I am pretty sure I gave up on life for a brief moment. After she cried inconsolably for two hours straight at the hotel- and I had no idea what else to do- I opted for the only thing I had to make life more bearable.

A rice krispy treat, pintos and cheese from Taco Bell, and Jimmy Fallon.

Not for me.

For her.

At 11:30 last night Annie sat on the hotel bed happy as a lark eating her refried beans, rice krispy treat, and laughing with Jimmy Fallon.

And once again, there was that voice,"Oh my gosh, what sort of mother does this???"

To which I replied, the sort of mother who was about to take a bath in the skank-nasty Clarion Inn bathtub. No offense to Clarion. But come on, can you imagine how many hairy feet have been on that bathtub floor? I already offer penance every time I put Annie in those things to bathe her... so to voluntarily give myself up to one... well, that is the kind of thing only a desperate woman does.

It all became very clear to me last night...


Yesterday a girl saw me and Annie in the lobby of the church we were performing at and she invited me to come to their MOPS meeting. "There's homemade food and a speaker and free childcare...

(Can you just see the angels dancing around those words?  ~*Free Childcare *~)

Say no more.

I would not have cared if I had to sit through a lizard convention or Star Trek memorial service.

Free childcare will get me to do crazy, crazy things.

So I went to my first MOPS meeting. And it all became very clear to me...


I have finally discovered my calling in life. Not a professional whistler or friend or even singer lady. Nope. It has all become quite clear. I will be a professional speaker to MOPS conventions and other mother events and I will be billed,

Jenny Simmons, in comparison, she WILL make you feel like a better mom!

If those ladies had any idea what kind of company they were keeping yesterday at MOPS. What kind of mother was in their midst. What kind of things I have done to my poor baby this week... I would have been in the corner.

The "example corner."

And it would have said, "Look at this mom! She WILL make you feel better about yourself as a mom!"


Awe. The joys and deep guilt of motherhood. The joys and deep guilt of life. How else would we be humble if we didn't end up giving our kids fake pinto beans, pure sugar, and late night television? If I didn't let my kid sleep on the floor of a bus on top of a vibrating engine? If I didn't bathe her at the Clarion Inn? I might think I was a totally awesome mom who had conquered and perfected the art of being an awesome mom if it weren't for the many, many things that keep me very humble.

And there's something to living in humility. Isn't there?

Thank God there is grace in our shortcomings. I haven't lost too much sleep over the Jimmy Fallon and I have asked Annie several times if she remembers mommy yelling at her and she puts her nose on my little face and in the most perfect voice I have ever heard she says, "NUUU-OH" and then kisses me.

All of a sudden I forget that I'm not a perfect mom and remember that my little girl gives me kisses so it can't be all that bad.


I say all of that today because I am launching a brand new website that is SO CUTE!  And I thought it would be the perfect time to show the CUTEST pictures of Annie and I from our fall fun day at Northwestern College in St.Paul this past Sunday! And it would be so easy to put all this new flashy stuff up and lead you to believe that we are the cutest, most perfect, happy little family in the world.

So I thought I'd remind you first...

we are not.

If you've ever thought, "That mom is so cute," her kids will "save the world" and my little girl might not "make it to second grade" because she has "severe anger issues" and if I have to see another cute mom walk into MOPS that "looks like a skinny 16 year old" I will puke because for once I just want everyone else "to suffer four molars coming in and a bad hair day" the way I am.

Well, we might be able to be best friends.

So enjoy these perfect pictures from a not so perfect family and if you feel the need to compare yourself to me, just remember...

I gave her a rice krispy treat at 11:30 p.m. last night...

And I yelled at her and then cried like a nut-job...

And she scratches herself...

And she's so dang cute...

but most babies are cute when they are sitting in the leaves, aren't they?

Love you friends! Have a perfect weekend and welcome to our new blog!