My children are able to sense when I have things to do. Those turn into the worst days I have as a parent. For instance, tonight we are having company. I got up this morning with a to-do list that was three miles long. I stayed up too late and we all got up at 8:30. If I were smarter, I would know that to accomplish anything, I should get up at 2 am. Or maybe I should never go to bed at all. Imagine the productivity. I’ve tried to reason with God and tell her that it is ridiculous for mothers to need sleep. We certainly don’t get any. However, God, in her infinite wisdom, (to be clear, I believe that God is without gender, I am just hoping to piss someone off), must know something that I don’t. She did invent coffee so I’ll stop bothering her.
We also had zero food in the house. So we started out by going to Hardees for biscuits. I have convinced myself (no need for rebuttals, I won’t listen) that Hardees breakfast is the same as if I made breakfast from scratch. In order to not feel guilty about things, I lie to myself. I also believe that I can get away with eating kit-kats for lunch with no adverse effects.
My son was the sort of baby that could be put down. Don’t get me wrong, he was held all the time. But he would tolerate being put down so I could do something. He preferred if I were in his line of vision but if I weren’t, it wasn’t the greatest tragedy in the world.
My daughter is the opposite. She flips her shit if I’m not holding her and she is not nursing. We practice attachment parenting and usually I’m fine with not getting anything done. We moved when Miri was 7 weeks old and I was fine with sitting while my family and extended family worked themselves to the bone to get us moved. But today, I have no family present except for my kids and they are the problem. So far today we have: broken the rules and eaten fast food, watched tv, and I yelled at everyone. Oops. The truth is: I screw up every day, super hard. I want badly to be the parent that has a perfect house, a healthy discipline relationship with my children (I speak softly, acknowledge their feelings or redirect them and they stop whatever totally obnoxious behavior they are engaging in), a perfect relationship with my husband, homemade food all day every day , and a craft room that is beautiful and I use, oh and I would like to write every day. Ask me which of these things I am accomplishing? None. Not even one. If someone has the secret to parenting and organization I’d like to hear it. I have a feeling it involves lots of money and a minimum of five assistants, a day nanny, and a night nanny.
What am I doing right? Well unlike J-Lo, my kids cry for me and not their nanny. When baby is crying, I can fix it. When toddler is crying, I can fix it. The house is full to brimming over with loud, messy, disorganized LOVE. And my awful disorganized house means I am not spending time cleaning while my children cry. Am I always fully present? No. Do I check facebook on my iphone five times a day? Yes. Do I lose it and yell? Yes. Do I cry about how great my kids are and how much I love them? YES YES YES! Every day. My family means more to me than anything in the entire world. Every day I try. I try to find the balance between what they need, what I need, and what needs to be done. I get 10% of it done. But when my kids are grown and have moved away to live glamorous lives, what do I want them to remember? Do I want them to think: “Oh our mother had it together always but secretly drank at night,” or “Our mom was a mess but by GOD she loved us and we had fun.” I’ll take the latter.
So I guess it doesn’t matter what the house looks like when my husband comes home with the company tonight. I have held babies, rocked them, kissed about 100 booboos, nursed a baby for 20 hours, read books, sang songs, danced, and loved everyone really hard.