Things I Have Given Up On

I can remember thinking about my life, once Olivia would be born, and thinking being confident that I knew it all.  I knew what kind of mother I wanted to be and felt sure that I would be that person for all 18-years, and beyond.  My life would change, but only in wonderful, magical ways as my heart was swelling like my belly (and feet).  All of the good things that I loved before children would stay the same, and all the drama that I didn't care for would be washed away with the love of this little person.

I'd seen the kind of parent I didn't want to be.  I knew what worked and what didn't in my own life.  I read books on parenting.  I was ready.


As the parent of an infant, your life flips 75 times a day.  You ride real high, making is easy to fall really low, and fast.  But those babies, they grow.  You learn a little and life goes on.  Then, maybe you add a second or third kid because apparently humans are intelligent enough to make fire, but so dumb they can't remember how much teething and potty-training sucks.

But life goes on.  Your best intensions with #1 shifts with #2, and God help if there's anymore beyond that.  {remember this one, a personal favorite of mine}

Liv is now 6 (and a half, thank you very much) and Avery is 4.  I have learned to be way more flexible, not only day to day, but moment to moment.  And please don't confuse my "flexibility" with ability to control my tendency to scream like a lunatic to get another to listen to me.  But I have learned to let some of those glowing pre-baby thoughts and accept more reasonable, and still lovely ones.

{bedtime routine}
Bath, book, bed.  Plus lotion, gently massaged into their soft skin, cooing over their sweet post-bath smell.  Now I'm lucky if I get them in the shower to hose them off, and chase their legs around to smear some lotion on before they pull on jammies.  TV is also part of their bedtime routine.  And even though we try to get them in bed at the same time, when they actually fall asleep remains a mystery.  They can be in bed at 8 PM, but I can still be shouting "GO TO SLEEP" well past 9.  Mama wants to watch Game of Thrones in peace, show some respect!

{clean countertops}
If I really try, I can get things cleared off and all the papers in their proper home.  Then, just as quickly, the school day is done and backpacks are dumped and math worksheets, spelling tests and those darling art projects (that will soon find a garbage can because I cannot possible keep everything they create).  I can't keep up.  I try, but I really only make an effort if A.  We have company, or B.  I get mad over the clutter, blow-up and then quietly start throwing everything away.

{a private bedroom}
Your room is your sanctuary.  No doubt, bed always made with lovely, soft, white, down comforter, and even matching night stands.  Lucky you, Mr. Rockefeller.  In my house, my room is just another room for the girls stuff to trickle in to.  We find books, headbands, and even half-eaten snacks in there constantly.   Our only saving grace is one day the girls will be too embarrassed that they might see their father naked to actually stay out.  Fingers crossed.

Just kidding.  I hated doing this before I had kids.  I just use them as an excuse now.  It's my right as a parent to be able to play the "kid fault" card when I see fit.

{having the best/smartest/cutest kid}
Having my girls at the same time as some of my girl friends, I couldn't help but compare.  Is she rolling yet?  Cutting teeth?  Oh, she hasn't tried that solid food yet, do you think she should?  Entering school and sports is awesome.  I see the my kids are really awesome at some things, and really pretty crappy at others.  And that's OK.  Not everyone can be perfect at everything.  I hate to watch them struggle (I can be a good mom if I want to be) but I do recognize that struggles build character and prepare for the reality of life. 

1 comment:

Shannon Dew said...

amen mama!!! As Kendall is getting older (and the days are longer) I'm finding myself being more lenient with bed time and it's actually made life so much easier! No more fighting, negotiating, crying, coming out of the room 5804358279823549027589475 times. And yeah...the clean house will happen when we're empty nesters. It'll be here before we know it.

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