Five and three quarters years of parenting, three children, and I’m FINALLY starting to understand some hard truths to this whole parenting gig. What can I say…I’ve been a little late to the game with everything having to do with this parenthood thing. Better late than never, right?
For one, I’m kinda a big deal to these people. Mom. Mama. Mommy. For a few years, I’m pretty much numero uno to them. It certainly doesn’t feel that way since they charge past me to Dad and nothing I ever say or do seems to resonate with them. But putting away my feelings, Moms are pretty important. And these three adorable, sweet beings call me that. That’s kinda huge. I think I get caught up in the enormity of it (like I’m totally screwing them up and the feelings of everything that they say or do being a reflection of my parenting skills or lack thereof) but I infrequently enjoy the benefits of it. I get to be Drew’s, Gabby’s and Noah’s Mom! Pretty amazing.
Secondly, my kids are pretty incredible. Putting temper tantrums, hang ups, annoyances, etc etc aside, they are awesome. Drew has this incredible sweetness that he infrequently exposes. He seems so hard at times and so tough, but then he’ll snuggle up next to me or come running with a big hug. If the negative feelings I have that my kids’ poor behavior is a reflection of me, I have to celebrate the positive behavior too. Somewhere along the way Drew picked up that tenderness from the affection I (the big kahuna – his MOM!!!) gave him. Gabby is imaginative. sweet and silly. Her smile can light up a room. Nothing makes her happier than an imaginary trip to the ball. Someday that’s gonna change and the things that effect her mood will be soooo out of my grasp. I need to celebrate the simplicity of her life now. And although Noah’s needs are pretty simple, he’s developing a personality and opinions. A game of “boo” can crack him up for minutes on end. I should tape that laughter and listen to it on a sad day.
The last realization makes me the saddest. As much as I rag on myself on a regular basis, I can be really fun, relaxed and care-free. Sadly, I realized that this is more likely to happen away from home (i.e. on vacation) and with Adam around. To step away from the burdens of keeping a straightened home, staying on top of laundry and preparing meals, I’m much more fun. I can play and be silly and not let the mounds of responsibilities get in the way. In addition the relief of having my partner in crime there to soften the temper tantrums, handle the heavy lifting and share the burden makes me twenty times more relaxed. I wish I could give my kids a mom with more of that on a regular basis.
To say that I’m going to memorize all this and change my focus permanently would be unrealistic, although I wish I could. The TRUTH of the matter, is that it’s hard work what I’m doing. It’s hard raising three kids. It’s even more hard doing it by myself a lot of the time. And I’m scared that being their mom, they have to be effected by my problems and my shortcomings. I’ve always known that they are incredible, even if they have a funny way of showing it sometimes and I a funny way of recognizing it sometimes. I’m grateful for all I have.