Feb 042013

The Mom of the Year @meredithspidelWhat does it mean to be a Mom of the Year?  Where does this name come from?  And how, on God’s green earth, did I earn this title?

I started honoring myself with this title pretty early on in my parenting journey, so it felt like a natural extension to make it the name of my blog when I started it.  Let me be abundantly clear, though–this has always been and always will be a self-appointed title.  And the super-neat thing is that it’s limitlessly open to everyone.  Any gal worth her salt can stick this title on her day and strut the label with pride.  It’s a universal badge of honor, as far as I’m concerned.

For me, there are two roads to becoming a Mom of the Year. It can be taken seriously.  You know–those rare days when you actually ace out an impossible schedule and get everyone where they need to be on time?  Or maybe it’s a day when you manage to just really connect with your kids.  Everyone is laughing.  Everyone is happy, and you’re just having fun being a mom, sort of like in one of those happy skippy movie montages.  Being a Mom of the Year might be That Moment when you pick your kids up from daycare or the nursery, they see you and beam, ear to ear, as they run into your arms, just because you are Mommy.  For one moment, even if a fleeting moment, you were somebody’s rockstar.  Maybe you only got one small thing right, or things just fell briefly into place, but for that time, being a mom just felt really good.  It was something to be proud of, and a strong pat on the back, along with a sizeable trophy, was very much in order.

The Mom of the Year title is also earned, well earned, spoofily.  This happens on the days when you get everything wrong, it’s a sequence of one parenting fail after another and nothing is working.  Or maybe just one event went epically awry.  My go-to example of this is the day I locked my 8 mo. old son in the car in a parking lot.  In the middle of February.  When it was cold.  Very cold.  I panicked, I cried, I called AAA, and then the police.  And probably the National Disaster Hotline too.  The local Amish fire department arrived–with all 3 of their trucks and all 20-some of their men.  Somewhere within all their whirling lights and screeching sirens and my prolific and dramatic tears, AAA arrived and casually popped the lock with a coat hanger.  My son was fine.  And I was officially a prize idiot.  When telling my best friend about it that night, it was then that I first described myself as The Mom of the Year, and it just stuck.  Believe me when I say I  have managed to live up to the title every darn day since.

And you know what?  I’m proud of that.  I’m very proud of it, actually.  It’s sad when we can’t be real as parents and moms.  When we can’t applaud our successes, small or large, and laugh about our faults, whatever their variety.  If I had a mission in this world it would be to be real and to encourage other people to be more real about themselves as we walk through this life together.

If you’re a Mom of the Year, declare it!   Loud and proud!  However you earn your title, please know that I’m behind you.  This button below is up for grabs if you want an official badge to display, share, pin or print out and tape to your forehead.  I’d be honored to have you claim the title with me.

I'm a Mom of the Year badge @meredithspidel

If you’re interested in having a post featured here about why you are a Mom of the Year, let me know through e-mail, meredith@themomoftheyear.net.  I’d love to share some!

Here’s the thing–we all rock, and we’re all in this together, so give yourself an award, and call it day.  Whatever kind of day it was, you are a Mom of the Year.


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Meredith blogs at The Mom of the Year, dedicatedly earning her title one epic parenting fail at a time. When her kids aren't busy pummeling each other with Legos or requiring their 16th sippy cup refill of the day, she tries to offer quick, relatable laughs for fellow parents of the world and all their empathizers. She remains entirely terrified by crafts, promises to never share any useful household tips, and is fully committed to a less serious look at the world of parenting.

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  62 Responses to “Are YOU a Mom of the Year?”


    Yay!! Can’t wait for this series! GREAT idea, Meredith, Mom of the Year :)


    Awesome post Meredith and you already know how I feel about this, but I am looking forward to Dani’s take, too next week!! :)


    LOVE IT. I’m a total Mom of the Year. But mostly only in the way I get everything wrong but we still manage to get everyone through the day alive and pretty much happy.


    I love this! I too am a mom of the year!!!!


    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this idea! At first, I was thinking of all the times when I joke, “No mom of the year award here” but I think I want to think of a time when I did actually feel like I was rocking it. It’s going to be tough to find one but what a fantastic way to focus on the positive! Great idea!


    Can’t wait to give you my spiel!! I’m sure I have a lot of ‘amazing stories’ for this title!! 😛


    Oh what an EMPOWERING post Meredith!!! LOVE this!! You are SO right… we are ALL “Mom of the Year”!!!! Both in our mishaps…

    And those times when you did something right…

    Just a few examples from me!!!

    YOU ROCK!!! :)


    Ha I often call myself mom of the year when things go wrong or i just let my son do something a little unhealthy like eat fast food (my mother judges me for this all the time). Can’t wait to read Dani’s post next week.


      Oh gosh, I would be so screwed. Bribing my kids with the drive-through is a way of life around here! You are always a Mom of the Year in my book–let me know if you’ve got a post on this!


    We’re ALL moms of the year…whether it be on an “up” day or “down” day!


    I am so excited to be part of this awesome series of yours!!!! Thanks for including me and helping me see that even a nightmare as big as myself can be a Mom of the Year!!! xoxoxo


    Love it Meredith…can’t wait to claim my badge. Moms of the year unite!


    Great! Would love to share why I am the mommest mom of the year.


    Yes, we can all be Mom of the Year, can’t we? Or maybe take turns being Mom of the Day like the kids get to be super-helper or whatever they call it for the day at school. See, I don’t know what they call it, and that is just one of the many reasons I am forever both always and never Mom of the Year!


    So, I definitely earned the title today with this one: Love is…sharing your last bite of Reese peanut butter heart with your toddler who caught you sneaking it behind the closet door. 😉


    Mine would most likely be the latter definition. 😉


    Haha! I had one of those moments last week but mistakenly gave myself the “Bad Mommy of the Day Award”. I guess I could’ve used your badge. The weather said a high of 55 degrees so I sent my kids to school with just fleece jackets. I didn’t realize that the high of 55 happened in the wee hours of the morning and the temps were falling the rest of the day! Ooops! The school was nice when I dropped off their winter coats. : )


    I usually reserve “Mom of the Year” for mommy failures, but there are times I feel like a great mom. Most often, those times are when the kids and I are enjoying something simple, like reading a great book, riding bikes, or chopping vegetables. Times when I can see them learning a life skill and having fun at the same time.


    I’m shooting for more happy, skippy montage moments this year …those are pretty great.


    LOVE this post. You are so right Meredith- we are all moms of the year!! We work hard on it!


    Awesome! I love the double meaning. Those days when you rock at being a mom and those days when things all fall to pieces. It happens to all of us. Great post. And clearly, you are a great mom!


    Great idea. Fun concept!


    Haha. I can almost relate to locking the baby in the car. Thankfully, Husband had a set of keys. You’re so much fun to read, Meredith.


    Love it Meredith. I’ll be emailing you!


    Fantastic, Meredith! I’m sure I’ve got a post somewhere where I list my qualifications. I’ll have to look it up, lol.
    Thanks for linking this up with the TALU!


    Since I’m not actually a Mom, it wouldn’t quite do for me to refer to myself as Mom of the Year, but at the same time, I can think back and smile at the times when I was so close with other people’s kids that they inadvertently referred to me as Mom on occasion and we would all giggle. I miss being around little ones, so my nephews better hurry up and do something about that!! 😉 [#TALU]


    Ha! We’ve all had those moments…on both sides of the Mom of the Year coin! I just chalk it up to the fact that we are all just doing the best we can on any given day. TALU


    Great post. I’ve given myself that title sarcastically before when I’ve messed up, but it’s nice to celebrate all the things we get right too. :) TALU


    I so agree with your post. So many moms are too hard on themselves, striving for perfection, and don’t even get me started on “judgy” moms who try to make others feel inferior (the ones who say things like, “Oh, we never allow THAT in our home.” Blecchh.) If you are there for your kids, you are Mom of the Year in my book.


    I don’t know why its hard to come right out and say, “WHY” I should be mom of the year but I love it when it just comes out on it’s own. I wanted to share this post with your readers: http://kenyagjohnson.com/blog/2013/2/6/boogie-shoes

    I loved Dani’s 10 reasons and thought well when you put it like that! So in the future I might be asking you, can I play – I wrote one!


    Kenya, thanks for sharing this! I loved this post and shared it on FB and Twitter this morning–the perfect Mom of the Year Valentine’s post. Put on those boogie shoes!

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