As a little girl, some of my favorite childhood memories were made being in Camp Fire. I loved the arts and crafts, campouts, and selling boxes of candy. We wore red vests and earned badges through activities, service and meeting various milestones. I remember when I was little seeing older girls with their vests completely covered in patches. I looked up to them and couldn’t wait to fill up my own. My daughter and I recently came across my old vest when visiting my parents house, and it got me thinking…what if moms earned merit badges? No one’s vest would look exactly the same, but there are some badges I think most of us would be able to relate to as we raise our kids.
I present to you, my list of Mommy Merit Badges:
- Life Giver Badge: For the mom who has given birth (in any conceivable way), or for the mom who has given new life to a child you didn’t give birth to.
- Sobriety Badge: For the mom who went 9 months without alcohol for the sake of someone she hasn’t even met yet.
- Diplomacy Badge: For the mom who takes the unsolicited advice of strangers, friends and family with a smile on her face.
- Bursting Heart Badge: For the mom who looks at her child with more love than she ever knew imaginable- painfully fierce and beautiful- her heart overflowing with truly unconditional love.
- Incontinence Badge: For the mom who pees a little when she sneezes. (Kegel on, my friend.)
- Mombie Badge: For the sleep deprived mom zombies of babies without a circadian rhythm.
- Conservationist Badge: For the Mom who successfully changed her baby’s poopy diaper using only the very last wipe in the pack.
- Culinary Arts Badge: For the mom who is able to get their toddler to eat something other than crackers or puffs.
- Performance Badge: For the mom with the rocking celebratory potty song and dance.
- Sharing Heart Badge: For the mom who wanted the last bite of dessert but gave it to her kid anyway.
- Linguistics Badge: For the mom who can change any four letter word into something totally appropriate the moment it comes flying out of her mouth. (Shiitake mushrooms, anyone?)
- Doctor Mom Badge: For every mom who has ever inserted a thermometer into a baby butt, cleaned up vomit, served up chicken soup, or prayed healing over a sick child.
- Celebrations Badge: For the mom making birthdays magical, Christmas meaningful, creating holiday traditions, and making memories.
- HazMat Badge: For the mom who has been peed on, pooped on, bled on and vomited on- maybe even all in the same day. Or the mom who found last month’s sippy cup under the car seat- and washed it!
- Wounded Warrior Badge: For the mom who stepped on a Lego. (And you thought childbirth was painful…)
- Domestic Diva Badge: For the mom who can see her floors, whose children have clean(ish) clothes, and whose family is fed.
- Cheerleader Badge: For the mom who enthusiastically attends every football game, dance recital or band concert.
- First Moon Badge: For moms who tackle topics such as periods, puberty and the birds and the bees openly and head on.
- Mom Goggles Badge: For the mom who helps her child to see themselves through her eyes- beautiful and strong, intelligent and kind- no matter what the world tells them.
- Study Buddy Badge: For the mom who stays up late quizzing her child the night before a big test.
- Chauffeur Badge: For the mom who drives to practices, lessons, the mall with friends and the movies for first dates.
- Mending Hearts Badge: For the mom who has helped her child through her first broken heart.
- World Changer Badge: For the mom who has helped her baby pack for college and waved, smiling through the tears, as he drove out of sight knowing the world will be a little bit kinder because he exists in it.
- Friendship Badge: For the mom who has passed the age of needing to be a disciplinarian and has settled in to the role of a most trusted, wise and precious friend.
As a kid, getting my merit badges sewn onto my vest was exciting. I wore them proudly as a reminder of the tasks I had accomplished and enjoyed filling up the blank space almost as much as I enjoyed getting to do the activities they represented. So, just in case Motherhood Merit Badges don’t become a thing, I hope you know you’re amazing. Your hard work, love and selflessness means the world to your kids- even the ones having meltdowns on aisle 6 or slamming the door to their bedroom. You’re doing a good job, Mama.
What are some of your hard earned Mommy Merit Badges? Are there others you would add to the list?