I know some people that, if you ask them what their biggest dream is, they’d answer “having children.”
I really wish I could connect with that desire; I had exactly one maternal pull and that was while bowling with my then-boyfriend when I was probably around 23 years old. We were next to a family who were playing, as well, and they had this little boy who kept toddling over to my then-boyfriend Pat and Pat talked to him with this big smile on his face, as if he were truly enjoying the moment… Well. A flash of “YES! Let’s get crackin’ on making one of those!” went cursing through my body like a lightning bolt that stopped at my heart, making it all warm and gushy. Okay, maybe I do remember the feeling better than I first thought. Or maybe I’m just stoned. Irrelevant.
Kids, man. Kids use up a lot of brain power. Between the corralling them into doing the daily routines they should be well accustomed to by now (I mean, their 100th day of school is soon and some mornings it’s like we’ve never done this get up and ready thing a single day of their lives), letting the bickering continue between siblings until someone’s voice escalates enough to pull the pin out of one’s carefully constructed patience-grenade, to ensuring their well-being by actually giving a shit about their nutrition – balancing healthy meals and snacks with homemade chocolate chip cookies, and being rigid with sleep schedules so that they can feel and be their bests…
No wonder when a parent gets a free second to themselves they want to nap.
As I’ve stated previously, I went from child-free to childed. Some days I feel I’m in a frustrating time-loop where the same conversations, arguments, and actions just repeat until I am about to go completely mad…and then the kids are off to bed and I have a second to breathe and put things into perspective. I’m a big stickler about getting at least 8 hours of sleep myself (don’t judge – it’s how I try to be my best self for the world) so in the morning I am ready to do basically the same day all over again, but hopefully better?
I have my days where the slightest bickering between the kids makes me want to toss a suitcase into the car and peace out of everything in my life. Start over on the beach somewhere; start going by some hipster name like Lotus. Then I have my days where I am like a hippy new-age very chill mom ~ where I can create a safe space to talk about feelings and foster the experience of adolescent personal growth ~ where the closing credits Fuller House are just seconds away from playing…
It’s all a lot. I have to hand it to good parents that exhibit self-control and patience of steel. I’m trying to be like you but I’m growing like me and at my own pace and, at times, it isn’t graceful. Sometimes I feel too young to be partially responsible for the mental and physical growth of other humans. I’m 35…coincidentally like the meme. People I graduated high school with are taking selfies with their 16 year old kids who’ve just obtained their learner’s permits. Big orthodontia-perfected smiles with their colored-rubberbanded orthodontiaed children who will someday share their parent’s perfect smile. They can do it! They’ve been doing it and they started a lot younger than me. There’s hope! And who knows, maybe they sometimes share the same feelings of frustration as I do at the difficulty it is to keep things that are meant to be buck-wild on the straight and narrow into a hopefully successful future.
I hope I come out of this all alive. The kids teach me a lot about myself every day because I do think a lot about them and a lot about the person I want to be for them. Maybe it isn’t about what I can teach them, but what they can teach me.
::Cue Closing Credits::
Everywhere you look (everywhere you look)….