They Call Me Mom
Being a parent is hard. When you first become a parent they hand you this little tiny fragile body, and you think about not hurting them, about feeding them properly and sleeping schedules, about monitoring diaper changes, about talking to the pediatrician about all of your questions while not appearing to be as clueless as you really are and occasionally you check to make sure they haven’t stopped breathing in the middle of the night. It’s hard. You find yourself saying things like, “I wish they would sleep through the night.” “I wish that diapers actually held the contents they were intended to hold.”, “I wish bottles were self-cleaning.” and my favorite… “I wish they could just tell me what’s wrong!”
Eventually they sleep through the night (and occasionally the following day), the diapers never really work (but the cloth ones make great dusting rags), bottles can be put in the dishwasher (although I’m more interested in bottles that require a corkscrew), and my favorite…now they tell me what’s wrong. Now, I know that I am very blessed that my girls talk to me about everything. They talk to me about boys, love, the pros and cons of vegetarianism, school, dreams, fears, feelings of inadequacy, exercise, diet, struggles, their judgment and assessment of my life, spiritual searching, family, their hurt, the concept of packaging Lucky Charms in a bigger box…they now tell me what’s wrong. Sometimes, it’s exhausting.
When they were babies, I was physically exhausted all the time, but nothing compares to the emotional exhaustion of teenagers. I hear a constant ticking of a clock in my head. My time is limited to make them independent and strong. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Can they function in the adult world? Tick, tock, tick, tock. Can they remember to put gas in their cars when they are close to empty? Tick tock, tick tock. Can they juggle their schedules without me reminding them of their “to do” list? Tick tock, tick tock. I’m running out of time and there is still so much to be taught.
I can’t fix everything for my girls. Sometimes they are going to hurt and be hurt. Sometimes they are going to have to be uncomfortable and feel awkward. Sometimes they are going to make bad decisions and have to deal with the consequences. Sometimes, they are going to fall flat on their faces. I’m resigned to the fact that I can’t possibly prepare them for every scenario that they will encounter in their lives, but one thing I can do is prepare them with perseverance and coping skills. So it’s awkward and uncomfortable…go anyway. So he broke your heart…get out of bed anyway. So you are over run with emotional moments…go to bed and start over tomorrow. So someone made fun of you…hold your head up. So someone made fun of you…kill them with kindness.
It’s still hard. As I enter the home stretch of hands on every day, in my house parenting, my agenda is simple. Dream, pray, persevere, love, smile, aspire, thrive.