|You don't have to be perfect to be an awesome parent.|
There are not many things I choose to bring to the table in a public fashion. I will rant about it at home and bend the husband's ear endlessly, but this site is not a forum for that sort of thing. Until today. I needed to get it off my chest.
There are many days I feel like I am being pulled in fifty different directions. I feel like I am completely falling apart in multiple facets of my life. I work harder at one thing, yet three others slip. I feel like I am doing a shitty job. I lay in bed at night feeling like a failure. I know that I am not alone in this feeling, because there are billions of other mommies in the world. It is our nature to feel like we are not good enough, even when we are perfectly adequate.
Middle child has therapy at our home twice a week. Now that it is summer, this is draining. It usually happens in early evening. This means an entire day of entertaining kids, cleaning house, mediating fights, spending time with the husband, dealing with an angst filled teen, and attempting to rationalize with middle and youngest.
Middle child repeats things. Not just once, but many, many times a day. To the point it would drive the sanest human mad in a matter of minutes. If I wasn't her mom, I don't think I could cope. Instead, I take a deep breath and I answer her same question for the fourteenth time by ten in the morning. I smile to myself, and I realize I am lucky to have such an amazing and intelligent little being in my life.
When the husband and I first got together, we knew things would be complicated. Not between us, but with the children. Since I had been married, and the children were cautious, we tiptoed lightly.
One of the things we pondered when becoming a family were traditions. During the decade I had been married, there were many things we had done year after year. Once we had parted ways, we knew it would be painful for the children to do those same things again.
We have three kiddos and each one is a beautiful, individual spirit. They each have their own unique traits and quirks. They each also have their own diagnoses.
Oldest child was the most loving and happy baby you could ever imagine. He would be patient and play with Lego blocks while I cleaned the house. As he grew, he would do crafts and read endlessly. Somewhere around his fourth grade year, many things changed. Oldest had been a straight A student, his grades began to plummet. His attitude took a negative turn. The little boy who had previously been so friendly and outgoing turned mean and angry. I assumed it was part of him growing up.
There are so many days I wake up and the first thought that enters my mind is, "how the hell did I get this lucky?". It hasn't always been this way. Much of my adult life has been a tremendous struggle. Then, I realized I needed to change things.
My early twenties was spent as a single mom to a beautiful little boy. I didn't know how to be a mom, so I winged it. I must have done a fair job, because he turned out fantastic. He is a young man now and is better than I ever could have hoped. I got married young and for the wrong reasons. My ex and I had another child. The children are the reason I stayed married for ten years.
I was a single mom for the first few years of oldest child's life. My son was my best friend, and he changed my life. I was both his mom and dad. After a few years, and against my better judgement, I married his father. We had middle child a few years into our marriage. It lasted ten years. I left for many reasons. In the end, I found my soulmate, and we have a beautiful family.
We live in a society where the courts attempt to force fathers to be to be in a child's life. My husband and I were awarded full custody of oldest and middle last month. This followed years of their bio father disappearing and having no contact with them. Before granting us custody, the court was still willing to give bio dad one last chance and allow visitation if he attended parenting classes. Luckily, he never showed to plead his case. He has never paid support. He has no idea who the kiddo's friends are. He has never called on their birthdays. He has no idea what they look like. He has caused them so many tears because they felt abandoned. Yet, the courts thought it necessary to give him another chance to be a dad. He may be a biological father, but he is not a dad.
We have three cats, the youngest one is having kittens. We believe in fixing our cats. However, two days before Little Kitty was to get fixed, she escaped the confines of our home. Now, she has a belly full of kittens.
We have been trying to tell our kiddos that Little Kitty needs her space and you need to be careful with her belly. The older children understand this and treat her gently. Youngest child, not so much. So, to get him to understand I used my nonperfect parenting skills to the max.
The husband travels, sometimes more than others. In the summer, we try to go with him but it isn't always possible. Today is one of those times.
I woke up at four this morning to watch him leave for the airport. It wasn't on the best of terms. We weren't really fighting, things were just off between us. I suppose it is because life has been so incredibly hectic lately. It has been difficult to find our time. I tend to be selfish in that respect, I see our time as a priority. When we go too long without it, I take personal offense. I'm not talking sex or anything like that. Just he and I being us. It has been really hard to find time to be us lately. Time where we don't discuss schedules, kids, work or the house. When we goof off and have fun.
It was a rough start making it out the door the day we were leaving to go to West Virginia. Really, really rough. To the point I cried. In the end, it was worth it. Our weekend was amazing. I never in a million years would have thought I would have said that, but I am. We survived camping an entire weekend with three children, and HAD FUN.