|You don't have to be perfect to be an awesome parent.|
You know, it wasn't that long ago that I was a teenager. I remember how it was, even though you may not think I do. I remember how endless the school days were, which is why I am excited to hear about what you did, when you walk in the door. I know how annoying parents can be, so I realize why you roll your eyes behind my back. I even remember making that same semi-growling noise, when I didn't want to be bothered. Believe it or not, I remember exactly what it was like to be a teenager. It really wasn't so long ago, even though you may think we are so different and I don't understand you at all.
For a month now, I have been in search for the perfect underwear. I wanted minions, but they were nowhere to be found. I settled on Spiderman and Batman. Not for me of course, but because youngest is ditching diapers. Well, that was my plan. He had other thoughts on the subject.
I can't be the only one. I know I can't. Most moms have to feel the same way I do. Holy shit, can't I just get two minutes for myself.
Why is it so hard to find any time at all where little voices aren't yelling "mommy" or the husband isn't asking where something is. In truth, I believe I deal with it pretty well. I take it all in stride, and go with it...most of the time. But then, there are those moments. The ones where I am making the mental list of everything that I still have left to do that day, dinner is burning, someone is tattling on another, and the husband feels the need to have some in depth discussion about something right at that very moment. I feel like my brain is going to bleed and all I want is quiet.
The first time I saw her I fell in love all over again. I knew the feeling because of oldest child, and I didn't think my heart could possibly hold anymore love. It could, and it did. When I met her she was absolutely beautiful and she still is.
Middle child is the exact opposite of me. I am a tomboy and she is the epitome of a girly girl. She loves nail polish and makeup. Her favorite color is pink and she adores anything with glitter. I like understated beauty and glitter makes me itch. Raising middle child is a challenge.
Each time we go to grocery store, middle child stares at the covers of the tabloids that are in the check out line. It is my fault also, I get distracted with putting the groceries up on the belt, so I don't stop her. But, she is just fascinated with the covers and what stars are getting fat or who has cellulite or who is the skinniest currently. These magazines sit at a nine year old's level and shout out, "This is what you need to be in order to be perfect."
I never really had confidence when I was growing up. Actually, I didn't really have it when I was an adult either. In my head, I would try to act like that sultry, sexy vixen you see in movies. But in reality, I'm a goof. I'm clumsy, silly and I can't be sexy to save my life. In my twenties, I was so awkward. Completely uncomfortable with myself and my body. I would attempt to wear heels and dress up like other girls, but could never quite pull it off. I always looked like I was trying too hard, and I was. I was wired to believe that girls had to wear certain things to be pretty, or be a particular something in order to be attractive. Then, I grew up.
There are days that I feel like I am always on the losing end of a constant battle with the kiddos. It started with time outs and escalated to taking toys now we take electronics. Then, oldest grew up. Now, we discuss consequences. However, since he is a teenager, he is never wrong...and since I am the parent I am always at fault.
When I became I parent, I always said I would never spank my children. I would never use phrases like "because I said so" or lie to them. I was so full of shit. My young, naive self had no idea that you do whatever it is that you need to, in order to make it through the day. There are three of them and one of me. They wear me down and then spring when they smell weakness.
I remember when I first had oldest child, I was a helicopter mom. The child couldn't sneeze without me running him to the doctor. He had to have the best toys, the cutest outfits, and the most adorable everything. I read books on the best way to burp him, the safest way to potty train, and how not to screw him up too bad. I don't believe I finished that book, come to think of it. I would talk to him endlessly, and he learned at a very early age to roll his eyes at me. I admit, I annoyed myself, I was one of those parents.
There are many days I feel like I am being pulled in fifty different directions. I feel like I am completely falling apart in multiple facets of my life. I work harder at one thing, yet three others slip. I feel like I am doing a shitty job. I lay in bed at night feeling like a failure. I know that I am not alone in this feeling, because there are billions of other mommies in the world. It is our nature to feel like we are not good enough, even when we are perfectly adequate.
Middle child has therapy at our home twice a week. Now that it is summer, this is draining. It usually happens in early evening. This means an entire day of entertaining kids, cleaning house, mediating fights, spending time with the husband, dealing with an angst filled teen, and attempting to rationalize with middle and youngest.
It is road trip season again. This means, if you have more than one child and you are driving more than ten feet down the road, you will hear fighting in the car. Siblings tend to find anything to pick on each other about. The husband and I can vouch for this first hand. We have also found an amazing way to combat it.