So, parenting is hard. And it is rewarding. And it is sad. And it is joyous. And it is scary. And it is fulfilling. And it is frustrating. And it is horrifying. And it is wonderful. And…it is not what most of us expected. I guess parenting can get right on in line with not meeting the expectations we felt should be, you know, the ones we set for marriage, work/career, relationships in general – all that adulting, but that is for another post. This one, all about parenting.
I had a friend tell me one time that parenting was like having your heart walk around outside of your body for the remainder of your life. That is certainly the truth. What they failed to tell me was that I possibly would also somedays want to kill someone for stepping on my heart but also equally have the desire to kick it myself. LOL…gently, but kick it nonetheless. Some days are just harder than others. HA!
In having discussions with my friends, I am pretty sure that most of us feel like we are failing at being a mom. No matter what we do, it feels wrong. No matter what our decision is, we feel like we made the wrong one. It is a life of questioning, and I don’t think it will ever change…no matter our children’s age.
When you are a new mother, no one sends you home from the hospital with an instruction manual. You find out really quickly that this is a super hard job. Some moms say that they knew a hungry cry from a tired cry from a hurt cry…and when you get right down to the truth of parenting, a cry is a cry is a cry and we all go from one thing to the next until we figure it out. And eventually, we feel like we are doing the parenting thing pretty well – in a routine, everyone getting along pretty well – and then someone starts crawling or walking or eating solids. And then, the huge majority of us go off and have another baby! How many of you came home from the hospital the second or third or fourth (and after 2, I think you all lost your minds!:) and felt like you didn’t really need that instruction manual on this go round, but questioned what in the world you were thinking! You actually had a pretty good thing going and rocked the boat with baby number 2!
As our children grow, we have to learn and adapt and grow with them. I am positive at this moment with a 10 and 7 year old that I will never stop learning, adapting and growing. I will also never stop questioning…why time is flying by so quickly – how a decade has gone by in what seems like a second. I also don’t think we will ever stop questioning our decisions.
Regrets within parenting have been the worst for me personally. I am sure I am not alone, but I question every decision I ever make. Did I do this right? Did I make the right decision? Will this land my kids in therapy for the rest of their lives? LOL The truth is though, every decision I make is for my girls and I am sure that most moms do the same for their children. I want to model a life that they can emulate – one in which they know how to love and be loved, know that they are worthy for everything their heart desires – they are good enough – that being perfect is not a real life thing, but being perfectly yourself is what is important and achievable. I want them to know that life is not easy but it is rewarding and beautiful, but fragile so live each day to the fullest. I want them to have amazing memories of me – not the crazy person who yelled all the time, but the person who did fun things with them and gave them shelter, love, confidence, character – the person who was present in their life and lived each and every day for them.
I think that one of the toughest life lessons is that people are in your life for reasons or seasons. There are very few that are around for the long haul…if you have a handful, you are lucky. As people come in and out of your life, they do the same with your children. I have said before and will continue to say that I will never limit the love my children receive, but it certainly is sad when you realize someone you thought was a forever was a season and your kids get caught up in that loss and sadness. This happens with divorce, breakups, illness, death – so many things out of your control proving that life tends to be a beautiful disaster. That this loss and change is a promise or really just a guarantee with life. No need to shelter my littles from what will inevitably catch up to them anyway…maybe this will help them adult with less disappointment and pain?
I was talking to a friend the other day about a book she was reading – one which talked about failure and parenting on a pendulum. There is not much of a happy medium and we over compensate when we feel like we have done one thing wrong. Possibly this is how we have ended up with a whole lot of entitled crazies running around who can barely tie their shoes at 15? I joke up above about landing my kids in therapy and my friend tells me that my following comment is what they will talk about often from the counselors chair: “I in fact had you to be my best friends when they are in their mid twenties and beyond and to take care of me when I am elderly (God willing!) but I certainly did not have either of you to give myself more busy work or to be at your beck and call. I do not want entitled brats…and I often question if any of us can get out of jail free with that one nowadays?
So, I think this long winded run on thought about parenting is to high five myself for doing a pretty damn good job even when I question that at least a few hundred times a day and to tell all of you that you are doing a pretty damn good job too…even when you think that isn’t the case. You are not alone in your thoughts!
I will leave you with this urban dictionary definition of a Unicorn Mom – she is a mother who’s not perfect, has a great sense of humor and couldn’t care less what you think. See also: Beautiful, Boss, Bitch and Zero fucks given. LOL If we all supported each other a little more with a little less judgement or got on board with being the beautiful, boss bitches we are maybe, just maybe parenting would seem 1% easier.