Sunday, November 9, 2008

sunday confessional 11/9/08

confession: i was a really good mom before i had kids

before i had kids i wasn't sleep deprived. i didn't feel like i was being pulled in a hundred different directions every single minute of every single day. i was patient. i did nice things for other people on a regular basis. i did nice things for myself on a regular basis. i had an entire list of all the things my kids would NEVER do. i had an even bigger list of the mom i would NEVER be.

i grew up as one of the oldest in a large extended family. there were always babies around. i started babysitting when i was 11. the kids i sat for were 9 and 7. (yeah, that sounds safe, doesn't it) also, i am a registered nurse. i mean, what could else could i possibly need to know?
then we had our first child and reality hit. real quick like.

i knew absolutely nothing. in fact, i knew less than nothing. if you put my husband and i together and added up everything we knew, we still knew less than nothing. sadly, we found this out after we'd been home for approximately 72 hours with our newborn baby girl. that day has been burned into my brain. she cried. the. whole. entire. day. by mid-afternoon i was crying and i think my husband was only minutes away from cracking up. i remember calling my mom and in between the sobs saying, "what were we thinking? we're complete idiots. we don't know what to do with a baby."

i always thought i'd breastfeed (which i did) exclusively (which i didn't). i was sure that our children would never have pacifiers (which they did). they would also never: pick and eat their own boogers, use a sassy mouth, throw themselves into a heap on the floor of walmart, , stomp like a dinosaur in the middle of a crowded restaurant (they have done all of these). i would never spank (which i have on occasion). i would host arts and crafts hour on a regular basis (occasionally is more like it). i would cook healthy at least semi-homemade meals daily and would involve our kids in cooking (we're working on this one). we would NEVER go out in public wearing our pajamas (oh. yes. we. have.)

i could go on for hours. days, even. but, here's the thing - none of it matters. what matters is that i love our kids. i do my very best to be present. sometimes this is easier said than done. i'm working on this with our
simplification plan. and the truth is that maybe i was a really good mom before i had kids. but that mom was a figment of my imagination. she wasn't real. but i am. i'm human. i make mistakes. and i can live with that knowing that every day i am trying to do my very best.


Debbie Yost said...

If you would have told me that my entire life would not revolve around my children, I would have laughed at you. If you would have told me I'd be happy to put my children in daycare so I could work in an office, I would have laughed at you. Like you, we don't always turn out to be the moms we think we will be, but we love our children and do the best we can. We are human and make mistakes, but only those that don't learn from their mistakes and try to do better next time are doing a lousy job. We may not always do better next time, but at least we try!