We are a work in progress.

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.

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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?

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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?

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7 thoughts on “We are a work in progress.

  1. Parenting comes without a handbook! Not a real one, anyway. There are theories and ideas and you have to do what you think is best. You are a great mom, you are the greatest mom Sam could have. You may be a work in progress but so are the rest of us. No matter what age our kids are, we are still learning how to be the right kind of parent for that time in their life. Do I offer advice? Do I let them muddle through? Do I wait until they ask? Sometimes that is very difficult, watching your kid struggle (even when they are adults). My mom made it look easy, I’ll bet yours did, too. The truth is, they had/have the same thoughts that you do. You are doing a great job, keep it up and remember to nap!

  2. You have a handsome little boy. My 23-year-old loves playing with our cell phones so much that I ended up giving him one of my old ones.
    I’m a stay-at-home dad and I can relate. It is a lot of work, time and loss of sleep.
    But boy is it worth it! d:~)

    Chris Hall
    The Adventures of Jaydon and Daddy
    http://JaydonAndDaddy.com

  3. I’m pretty sure the second we start thinking we are good moms is the second the proverbial excrement hits the fan. The trick seems to be in finding a balance between humbly striving to do a better job and driving ourselves insane trying to achieve the unachievable.

    I’ve been a mom for over 7 years now and I’m still learning new things on a daily basis. I am shocked how happy-go-lucky my oldest is turning out given that she has me for her mother (and recognizing the mistakes I make…YIKES!).

    But as it turns out, God doesn’t make mistakes. He gave you Sam and it was no accident. You are doing a good job with him. Children are a lot of fun and a lot work and no parent is perfect. Every mother makes mistakes and what is really important is how she handles her mistakes.

    Love you, lady! ((hugs))

  4. I’m realizing anew that babies are a piece of cake compared to toddlers. (But I do prefer toddlers? Why?!?!)

    I like when you blog so transparently.

  5. Hey kiddo – your’e doing fine. When you are not concerned about your parenting skills, then worry. All good parents run the gauntlet of doubt regarding whether or not they are doing the right thing(s) with the kids. As your dad can tell you all too well, sometimes you blow it, and sometimes you hit a home run. You have a great role model with your mom, love and sincerity cover a multitude of shortcomings. In reflecting in my older years, I would change one thing more than any other – and that would be to think of my children more as little souls to be nourished than little persons to be fed and clothed. We love you guys. Give my little guy some Pappa smooches.

  6. Don’t you worry, from outside I bet you look like you have it all put together, because I can feel the love you have for your kid all the way through the internet!

  7. Ali, welcome to the world of MOTHERHOOD, you are very normal. Just know that we always feel like we haven’t done enough, said the right thing or are just plain tired. Motherhood is a learning experience for both of you, do what you can and can the rest by giving it up to God. He will get you through.

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