Being a mommy is certainly nothing like I expected it to be. But to be honest with you, I don't think I had any idea how being a mommy would go until I became one. And even then, somedays I have no idea what I'm doing.
With each day that passes, something new seems to come up. Nolan tests me by doing something worse than the day before, or Paislee takes a spill and gets herself a nice goose egg larger than her entire head. Just when I think I have it all figured out, the two little ones seem to plot against me and say "oh yeah mom, how about we do this now? Still got it?"
Some days I feel like Super Mom and other days I feel like Cruella De Vil. Somedays I'm on the ground launching toys across the room with Nolan and other days I'm yelling at him to pick them up. That might be the hardest thing about being a parent; the struggle to find the balance between parent and friend.
|Don't be fooled by this angelic photo, circa 1990|
Looking back, I feel bad for my parents. I was a little shit head most of the time and probably gave them a run for their money. My mom always jokes that I'm going to get it back from my kids tenfold and if I do, Lord am I in trouble. But for real, being a parent isn't always fun and games and being the disciplinary sucks.
I've seen so many news stories recently about people judging other people and the way they parent. And I won't lie to you, before I had kids, I would think things like:
"Ugh, why would you fly with a baby that little?"
"That kid is terrible. His parents are just going to give in and buy him that candy bar."
"She must not be disciplined very well if that's how she's acting."
And then you have kids, and you know that people are thinking (or sometimes saying) those things about your kid. Because he fell asleep on the way to the grocery store and you had no choice but to wake him up to go in. And because of that, he's now crying and kicking down every aisle. Or because he's getting his molars and the only thing that eases his pain is that milkshake he's screaming for. Or because she won't take a bottle, you have no choice but to nurse her in the middle of the restaurant.
There are so many things I've done as a mom that I never thought I would do. I've wiped weird bodily fluids off the floor, sent my son to timeout for things I can't believe I've had to, or been forced to skip out on trips with friends because I was pregnant or toting around two kids under 3. But at the end of the day, I reevaluate the lessons I've learned and do just that, I learn from them.
I can't be perfect everyday and I can't raise my child to be perfect. And in a world where media makes us feel like failures unless we are perfect, I don't want to do that. I want to show my son and daughter that I'm going to fail, but then use it as a lesson to learn from it. I want them to know it's okay to make mistakes and it's okay to fail sometimes. But it's the lessons you take away from them that make you a success or a failure. There's a lesson in every single thing we do.
My kid may not listen all the time or have the best sense of discipline but you know what, he's been through hell and back. He's 2.5 years old and lived in 3 states, 3 houses, and said goodbye to his dad multiple times. He's been in different rooms, beds, and social settings, and the kicker? Added a little sister to the mix. But at the end of the day, he's a good kid. And I'm trying to be a good mom. I would bend over backwards for my kids and do everything in my will to make sure they're safe, happy, and cared for.
Being a mom has opened my eyes to the bigger picture. It's made me care about my self less and care about my kids more. Being a mom has made me look at everything differently; I stop to think before I judge someone because I don't know their full story, just like they don't know mine.
Parenting here alone for the next year is going to be a challenge. And as I've already seen, it's not going to be easy for my little ones either. I think we sometimes underestimate their ability to pick up on social cues or the environment around them. I think they can sense change and stress and it affects their little minds in it's own way.
My goal over the next year? Work on being a better parent; I want to be more understanding. I want to be present. I want to be supportive. And I want to listen. I want to be there for my kids and provide them with the support they need and deserve. And although I'm outnumbered now, I want to give them every ounce of attention I can, when I can.
Having kids changed me; it forced to grow up in ways I never imagined. Things that used to excite me, don't. Things I used to need, pointless. And things I never knew I needed, I do. And it's these two little people right here.
Little do they know, but I need them more than they need me right now. They're my reason for getting out of bed in the morning and the reason there's an ounce of pep in my step. God gave me these littles to prepare me for the challenges ahead and for that, I'm forever grateful. I never knew how much I was meant to be a mommy until I became one. And now, I can't imagine my life any other way.