|You don't have to be perfect to be an awesome parent.|
I can feel that day looming on the horizon. Every day, it seems to inch closer and closer, and there is not a thing I can do about it. The other night, I was laying in bed doing my nails. The light was off, but I had the bedside lamp on, which is typically more than enough light. My husband and I began debating something that required me to read the back of the nail polish bottle. It was that moment I realized I had the eyes of someone who is middle aged. I blinked a few times, squinted a little, I even moved the bottle closer to my face. It was all in vain. I couldn't read the damn white print. I was convinced the issue was the bottle until I turned on the light and the words magically appeared on the bottle. Every day, I get one day closer to being thirty seven years old. It is happening and I can't change it.
So, the entire journey started last week when I was scrolling through Facebook. It actually probably goes back much further than that, but for time's sake, we can begin there. I don't spend much time trolling social media, even though it is probably a prerequisite for my job. I typically do what I need to do and then I am off to do mommy and wife sorts of things. Anyhow, last week I was bored and was checking out my Facebook feed. This is where things typically go downhill. Usually when I spend too much time on social media I find some craft to attempt that never turns out exactly right, or a recipe to recreate that ends up inedible. This time, I found a house.
Many nights, I wake up to reach for my husband in the middle of the night, and instead there is only his pillow beside me. For many women, they would love the break from the snoring or the enjoyment of having the entire bed to themselves. Instead, I dread when my best friend is gone for work. It is like a piece of me is missing. I want to curl up in a ball and just wait for him to get back home to complete me again. Instead, I have to keep going because I have three little people who count on me to make breakfast or to play board games. I knew exactly what I was getting into years ago when we met. At the time it didn't seem like it was a big deal, I figured it was a small price to pay for such an amazing guy. Then, reality hits.
When my husband married me, it was not because I am sexy. I am not the girl you find browsing makeup articles on how to get more seductive eyes, or how to make him want you in under five minutes. Instead, I am more than likely playing with my kids or reading about how to get a screaming toddler into bed in less than six hours. I don't have the time to fix my hair or do my makeup. When I am getting ready to start the day, the kids are typically fighting about who is better at catching popcorn in their mouth, so I don't get a ton of "me" time. My "look" is the mommy look, same as millions of other beautiful women. Clothed in whatever we happen to grab from the closet that morning, still half asleep, hair pulled back so the baby can't eat it, jacket covered in yesterday's lunch, and bags under our eyes because the kiddo woke up and had a nightmare last night. Still, I managed to snag a pretty amazing guy. Day after day, he tolerates me wearing yoga pants and his tee shirts, even when we go out to dinner. Occasionally, when we have some extra time, I might get to brush my hair before throwing it into a messy bun. Most days, I might be able to manage a shower. That is my mommy victory for the day. Not trying to look like a magazine cover, but just getting clean. Still, at the end of the day, I know my husband adores me and thinks I am the sexiest woman on the face of the earth. I never doubt it, even on the worst days. I like to be appreciated for my mind, my skills as a mom, my abilities as a wife, and everything else I bring to the table. Yet, I know there is something lacking when it comes to how he sees me. He doesn't know me as that super beautiful woman that I always wanted to be. I just don't have the time or patience to find that person in me.
Marriage is hard work, right? Most married people will tell you that, time and time again. The thing is, I don't think it is all that hard, when you are with the right person. It's sort of like having a job you love. When you love that job, it isn't work. It's something you love to do. So, when you are with someone you adore, and you want to be with forever, it isn't work. It isn't hard.
After three children, volumes of parenting books, and two mother in laws I could probably write my own book on raising children. Instead, I can make it pretty simple. Laugh.
In our tiny, crazy family of five, things are not always ideal. The kids bicker and fight. There are days the hubby and I barely talk even though we both work at home. We have bills and payments just like every other middle American family. There are days that it is actually really, really hard to keep it together. Even on those days, we laugh.
Each day I am so thankful that my children and husband have incredibly low standards. I really believe this is the only reason I am still around. I truly think that the reason my kids insist I am the best mom in this world is because they have nothing to really compare it to. If they ever watched The Brady Bunch, I would be screwed.
I see these other moms, with their homemade, pre-digested toddler snacks and biodegradable yoga pants. I feel like a failure. My kids drop an Oreo on the floor, I brush it off and hand it back to them so I don't have to listen to the whining because it is the last one. Why is it so easy for other parents? Why can they do it all and I am barely holding it together?
I can't be the only one. I know I can't. Most moms have to feel the same way I do. Holy shit, can't I just get two minutes for myself.
Why is it so hard to find any time at all where little voices aren't yelling "mommy" or the husband isn't asking where something is. In truth, I believe I deal with it pretty well. I take it all in stride, and go with it...most of the time. But then, there are those moments. The ones where I am making the mental list of everything that I still have left to do that day, dinner is burning, someone is tattling on another, and the husband feels the need to have some in depth discussion about something right at that very moment. I feel like my brain is going to bleed and all I want is quiet.
There has been much ado in the news over the Ray Rice scandal. The question at the forefront of everyone's mind is why his then girlfriend chose to stay in an an unhealthy and abusive relationship. The truth is, only women in that situation can truly understand why you choose to stay. Everyone has their own reasons and they are all different. My first marriage lasted ten years. It was riddled with abuse, both physical and mental. I chose to stay, until I didn't. There was no moment of enlightenment for me, I just couldn't do it anymore.
Every once in a while something clicks when you meet someone, and that something will alter the rest of your life...forever.
So, the husband and I met way back in high school. He was adorable and had dimples. I was incredibly shy and backward. He and I were friends, but he was actually dating one of my best friends. After they broke up, I took him to the prom because I felt sorry for him. Since I am the one penning this, I can put whatever spin on it I choose. Actually, we both decided to go together because it seemed like a lot of effort to find real dates. I was incredibly excited because I had the world's biggest crush on him. He just seemed ambivalent. We went to the prom, and I swear I am the only girl to have never gotten kissed on prom night. To this day, I still give the husband a hard time about it.