I never really thought I wanted to be a mom.
Growing up, I was the sporty one in my family. I had big dreams of being on the US women’s soccer team. I rode horses, played softball, and even thought of going trying to play football…none of the things I wanted to do included having a family.
And then I met my husband. I remember the moment he walked into the room. I told myself I would marry that boy someday.
16 years, 3 kids, and 12 married years later here we are. Everything I never knew I wanted. Our life hasn’t been easy and is far from glamorous. Being a spouse is hard. Being a parent, even harder. I love my little family with a fierceness I never knew I had. Most days.
I remember when I got pregnant with our first. I was going to do all the things different from my parents. All the wrongs my parents did to me (Lord, bless my heart) I would NEVER do to my child. I daydreamed all the ways I would be different. My husband’s job was and still is fast paced and unpredictable, so it was easiest for us for me to stay home. And I thought it was going to be glorious.
That was 11 years and 3 kids ago. Now, I can honestly tell you that not only have I committed every injustice done to me by my parents (or what I considered to be injustices that were really just my parents being good parents) but I have committed so many more.
I yell, I hide, I let them watch hours of tv and play on tablets and computers. We don’t always eat at the table, I clean their messes for them and tell my husband they cleaned up. I give them sugar and processed foods (oh the horror) and tell them life is unfair (didn’t you just HATE when your parents said that?!) I don’t go to all their school functions and I say “maybe”approximately 50o times a day knowing full well that the answer is no but saying maybe is much easier than listening to a temper tantrum.
And wine. For the love of wine. I don’t know if I’d survive without it.
Most days I feel like a complete failure. I look at my life and roll my eyes at myself. I can do better, be better. My kids yell at each other, have told me they hate me, push, hit, and none of them keep their room clean. And every once in awhile, my sweet baby (who’s 5 but will by my baby forever) runs in the backyard to pee. And yes, we have 2 fully functional bathrooms.
But the honest truth is I’m doing pretty well. My kids are pretty functional, they act like respectable children when we go out, and they mostly keep their clothes on (my youngest has a fascination with running around the house with no pants). And I can say with 100% confidence that I truly am doing the best I can. We all are.
Parenting is hard. Every parent out there has days they wish they could redo. Days they wish would go away. But the important thing to remember is on those bad days, those days that never seem to end, those kids of yours, love you. Even when they say they hate you, they love you. They look at you and see the world. To them, you are the sun, everything revolves around you.
No parent can do it all. Everyone out there has struggles and days they chug wine. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of extras. Vacations didn’t exist. We were a one income family. But I can tell you this…all my memories are good. We played outside, ran around with friends. My parents went to every game, recital, and band concert. They supported us and still do.
My point is this. Even on the bad days, your kids know they are loved. They will remember the good and the laughter and they will be fine. We aren’t screwing them up as much as we think we are. Savor the good days and know those are the days your kids will always remember.
As for the bad days….there’s always wine.