|You don't have to be perfect to be an awesome parent.|
Have you ever just had one of those days where no matter what you tried to do, it just wasn't right? Those sorts of days always start off with the best of intentions, but somewhere throughout the day you just say screw it. Today was that day for me. It started off really great, I kissed the husband goodbye when he left our portable hotel home and went to work, from there it was all down hill.
Yesterday I was sitting on our front patio talking to middle child. A group of kids walked by and she got very sad and quiet. It took her a bit, but finally she told me what the problem was. "I want a group of friends like that, but everyone just leaves me out of everything," she told me, "my cats are my only friends, but they can't talk."
I told her, "That isn't true at all, I am your best friend and I always will be."
She replied, "It isn't the same, mom. You have to be my mom, not my friend." She is right, and I didn't have a response. I wanted to cry, as my heart broke for her.
As a parent, I want to fix everything. I want to make everything better by putting a band -aid on it and giving it a quick kiss. Unfortunately, middle child is reaching the age that her problems won't be fixed so easily.
Daily, I struggle with balancing my duties as a mother and everything else in my life. It is a horrible feeling, the desire to fulfill yourself as a person but knowing that it is at the detriment of your children. Years ago, I made the decision to give up a career to stay at home with my kiddos. There is no more difficult, yet more rewarding job than being a stay at home parent. Even though I am content with my position as my kid's mommy, I felt like I needed more. I had a drive to use some of the brain cells that were dying off daily from the lack of adult conversation. I wanted to contribute to our family in more ways than I was.
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.
It is road trip season again. This means, if you have more than one child and you are driving more than ten feet down the road, you will hear fighting in the car. Siblings tend to find anything to pick on each other about. The husband and I can vouch for this first hand. We have also found an amazing way to combat it.
There are just some days I can't wait until they are over so I can wallow in annoyance with myself and everyone I came into contact with that day. More often than not it just turns into me feeling like a really bad person and a horrible mom. Today was one of those days.
It wasn't one specific thing or even many things that made today so absolutely awful when I look back. In the end, it is how I feel about myself as a mom and a wife.
I couldn't keep it together long enough to listen to middle child rant about me being wrong. I should have calmly told her that she needed to use a lower tone and nicer words. Instead, I ignored her and dismissed her point of view. I am usually so good at it, and today I just couldn't. In the end, I made middle child feel bad and I feel like a failure.