this parenting thing is a wild ride.
i spend a lot of my day being frustrated & exasperated.
i could really use that second set of eyes in the back of my head.
i feel suffocated when trying to listen to two stories at the same time and i mostly feel outnumbered.
there’s the diaper changes, the middle of the night throwing up (the worst), the bickering and the tattling. i wish i could tell you that once those things subside, it gets easier. but it doesn’t. because even when a crummy phase disappears, you can be assured that another one will quickly rear its ugly head. being a parent means carrying around extra stuff. stuff that no one really needs, but you just can’t seem to get rid of. one thing you’ll always have on hand is guilt. it’s of no use to anyone, it’s heavier than you’d expect & there’s a seemingly endless supply. it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
i feel bad when i yell – even after i’ve given 7000 warnings. i feel bad when i say no – even though no sane adult would vilify me for not wanting to play one more rousing round of barbies in the tub. i feel bad for not being a fun mom – even though it’s completely justifiable to not allow them to do gymnastics in the living room or use every single one of my lotions and potions to make new lotions and potions.
i just feel bad. like, always.
sometimes i search for excuses. like, why do i feel this way? i’m allowed to have boundaries. i’m allowed to have a life. aren’t i?
when i get home from work, all i want to do is sit in silence for a few minutes. or better yet, just sit. i would totally take just sitting. and that makes me feel bad. shouldn’t i want to run and jump and play? (for the record, i NEVER get home and just sit. but we all have our dreams.)
i am trying to keep up with the other fun and amazing moms on social media who seem to give their kids everything they want and still get their laundry done. shouldn’t i want to be that kind of mom? hey fun and amazing moms… stop making me feel bad! oh wait, it’s not you. it’s me.
i only recently starting handing out real chores around the house. as a single parent, i sometimes break my back trying to prove to them that i can do both jobs. i don’t want them to feel the loss of a second parent in the house so i’ll go overboard trying to manage all the things. then i realized how ridiculous that was, so i assigned some duties. i felt pretty good about it. until i felt totally crap about it! watching lola drag the giant recycling bin to the road gave me major pangs of guilt. why???
the guilt will kill ya’. and the reality is, we’ll never be able to give our kids every single thing they want, or even need. there’s just no way. so we can spend our days feeling bad about it or we can decide to just get on with it.
because chances are, we’re all gonna’ be ok. choosing not to be clocked in the ankles by a wooden-handled skipping rope because you don’t want to play ‘helicopter’, will not make or break you as a parent. i’m pretty sure it doesn’t even register.
so let the guilt go. nudge it out the door and try to leave it there. the days will feel long but the years are so short and we are all just doing the best we can. so keep doing that.
let them be the reason you get out of bed and that will most certainly be enough.