I’m not a great mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love my kid. He is fed, he is clean, he is happy, but I’m not a great mom. I am impatient. I am selfish. I’m temperamental. I don’t like being woken up at night and I lose my cool quickly when I am tired or hungry (and I am usually one or the other.) I often feel as though I am not doing ‘enough’. He often watches a TV show once I pick him up from the babysitters because I can’t muster up the energy to run around the backyard and play with him. But we carry on. You can’t give up or take a day ‘off’ of being a parent. 1 year olds aren’t very good at waiting around for you to get your act together to parent. It’s hands on. It’s in the trenches. It’s pb&j in your hair, yogurt on your shirt, drool on your pants and I think I just stepped on a fruit-snack.
Sometimes it hits me that , holy cow, GUYS, THEY LET ME HAVE A KID. (I’m not sure who “they” are, though) I thought a few times right after Sam was born, especially after my mom left and Paul went back to work and I was home alone for the first time. “Um… they trust me enough to leave me on my own with a newborn?” WHAT. And then suddenly that new baby is 18 months old and talking and communicating and being hilarious and awesome. And I still don’t know how to be a ‘mom’. Some of it comes naturally, when he cries, check his diaper, make sure he’s fed, etc. Baby was easy. But now that he’s got more personality and I need to be doing things like teaching him manners, teaching him to not throw fits, how to obey, to listen to his mama, etc I’m finding it increasingly difficult. I thought it would come naturally to me, I’ve always thought I was cut out to be a mom, but man, this is hard work. You know, at least attempt to help them grow up to be a functioning member of society, but no pressure, right? And then there’s the thousands of different ways you can parent, do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that, and most of all don’t do this one particular thing because then your kid will grow up to be a psychopath, all because you let him cry in his crib? Whaaaaaaa?
Though we have crappy days and I am overwhelmed at the thought that I am in charge of taking care of a real-live human being, I am constantly humbled and blessed by so many women (in my family and in my community) who show me in very real ways what it’s like to be a parent. How to be selfless and how to be kind and gentle, even when you don’t feel like it. To be constant and consistent with discipline and love. And that’s not an easy job. Though I may not be a ‘great mom’ yet, I am working on it- working on patience and humility, love and kindness, and trying to remember that Sam is a person, too. Not just a ‘baby’, but a person with real emotions and real needs and needs real love. He needs my attention more than Facebook or blogging. He needs me to show him how to respect and love and care for others and how to be nice. And we’re both a work in progress.
Sheesh. Who put me in charge anyway?