In my entire life, I have had only two paying jobs.
The first was teaching, in which I have a degree. The second was working in my dad’s office. I don’t know what it’s like to work late hours in an office, or have pressing deadlines. I do not know what it’s like to climb the corporate ladder. I can barely make a spreadsheet.
I now only know what its like to be a full time mother.
I know what it’s like to work 24 hours a day, not allowing yourself to sleep deeply enough to drown out noises or movements.
I know what it’s like to sit in the quiet of a dark house with a key lime pie in your lap and not feel a bit of shame because that’s YOUR pie and YOUR hour of quiet.
At this very moment I’m sitting, huddled in the bathroom, hearing my name screamed by one toddler while the other one opens the door and asks what I’m doing.
“Trying to disappear,” I think to myself.
All I ever wanted to be was a wife and a mother. I had a difficult time settling on a major at Auburn. I knew the only thing I wanted to be when I graduated was a mother. I’m reminding myself of this constantly. “You wanted this. THIS is your calling.”
I love what I do and the little people I do it with.
But y’all, it’s exhausting, it’s frustrating and it’s confusing. It can also be wonderful, hilarious, and on good days, fulfilling.
Mothering, as we all know, is not for the weak or faint of heart. Who knows if you’re doing the right thing or not? It’s like an episode of the reality show Survivor. We are all just trying to make it through the day. Eating whatever is available and hoping to successfully pass the day’s challenges. No one is perfect or has it all figured out. And whether you’re with them all day long, or you’re working outside the home to support them, motherhood is full of battles and challenges. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Every child is different, as any mom will tell you:
Little Tommy, age 5: Enjoys tofu, broccoli, balancing the checkbook, and Bikram yoga. He isn’t potty trained and wakes five times during the night. Sweet Suzy, age 3: Has been potty trained since she was 9 months old. She reads on a first grade level and sleeps 15 hours a night. She only eats foods that are pink and must be wearing her pink tutu when doing so. Tommy’s mom and Suzy’s mom both do their level best to stay sane every day. And that is enough.
As long as our little ones are safe and loved, we can rock on with what works for us and our family. We do not need to worry about what’s going on down the street at the Jones’ house.
As I have shared before, my first marriage was not a healthy relationship. I had become bitter and hyper critical of others. I was judgmental and wasn’t a good friend. I even lost dear friends because of the hollow person I had become. I see everything and everyone so differently now.
We can’t judge one another’s parenting decisions. What works for me might not work for you. We are all just trying to survive and make it through the day. All children are out-of-control-little-terrors sometimes. We’ve all been humiliated in public while our little darlings scream and hit the ground flailing. No one has a perfect life with perfect children. Let’s just let the judgements go and continue doing the best we can.
Love your children with everything you have in you.
I have seen a meme floating around for a while and I’ll leave you with it. You do you, Boo. And I’ll do me and together we will do our best to raise the adults of the future.