I’ve been seeing some…faltering shall we say, in the ways of my existence in general motherhood. Maybe some of you can relate. Or maybe you are all PPIEW (practically perfect in every way), in which case please teach me your secrets. Here are areas in my life that are below average at the moment:
1. Mealtime. I honestly can’t remember the last time I prepared a full-fledged home cooked meal. Mealtime sneaks up on me so often. Crap it’s time to eat again?! I’ve been through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru for lunch more often than I’d care to admit lately, but I can chock that up to driving to Baton Rouge everyday for swimming lessons for the past six weeks (and we live way outside the city limits). I could and should pack a lunch from time to time, but that would be planning ahead and what can I say, I’m kinda terrible at that. And dinner is too often chicken tenders and a bag of veggies popped into the microwave for the win.
But you know what? My child is well fed everyday. It may not always be the healthiest, organic deliciousness that I envision, but her nutritional needs are indeed met. And a multi-vitamin never hurt anyone.
2. Sleeping. So my toddler still does not “sleep through the night,” as the saying goes. Some of you may balk at this fact. We don’t practice the cry it out method in any form, and I also believe that sleeping is a milestone just like anything else. That being said, I am tired. So tired.
But you know what? Though my baby isn’t the best sleeper, she has MANY other wonderful character traits that I deeply appreciate. She is kind, loving and engaged, just to name a few. She amazes me with her intelligence on an hourly basis. And at 25 months, the kid was completely potty-trained (Hallelujah!). I’m not saying that a child can’t be a good sleeper AND have all these qualities, but would I give up any sliver of who she is if it meant she would sleep through the night? Absolutely not. And, I know she will get there on her own time.
3. Time with my husband. I feel like this is often the plight of all parents with young children. There just isn’t enough time during the day. And, oh the exhaustion when the day is done.
But you know what? The hubs is in graduate school full-time while working full-time. I stay at home, but when our child is asleep, I’m often working from home as a freelancer. This is a temporary season. We both know that we love one another deeply. We’re also both trying to keep our head above water. I’ll see ya on the flip side, Hon.
4. Time for myself. I know this is so important, but I so often feel like there is no time to do so. I have mom friends who wake up before their children in the morning so they can have their quiet time or exercise. While this is a lovely idea, see #2 in my list of failings. I do make an effort to spend time with friends via lunch dates or (usually) play dates to have that much needed quasi-adult time, but it’s a rarity to see me sans child.
But you know what? I love being home with my girl. I am blessed to be able to have the amount of time with her that I do. Even though it is the hardest job I’ve ever had and I certainly complain at times, many moms do not have the choice that I am blessed to have. It’s true that if you want to hang out with me, you’re probably going to hang out with my daughter too, but I actually prefer it that way. And, I can be better about asking for help when I need some time alone.
5. Laundry. I don’t feel like I need to go in any more detail here. It is an endless pile of shame. I hate it.
But you know what? You suck, laundry. You suck hard.
6. Bath time. Either we’re outside way too late because it stays light out for so long and it’s everything I can do to get some dinner in her (see #1…) and in bed at a decent time (I won’t tell you what we consider to be decent around here) or she just downright refuses to get in the bath or shower (yes, she is a two-year old who prefers the shower).
But you know what? Thank goodness some research has come out lately on why it’s better to NOT bathe kids daily. Whew. And, she is in the pool everyday, so that has to count for something, right?!
So there you have it: my miserable failings. As I eventually get a hold on these, more challenges will inevitably arise. But you know what? Despite all my failings, I can say with confidence that I am a great mother. I fiercely love and take care of my child like no one else ever could. She is my most precious gift from God, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her. And I’m pretty sure she knows it.
My hope is that any mommas reading this whose current list is twice this long be encouraged and remember that you are great mothers. No one loves your children like you do, and they will never love anyone as they love you. Don’t forget that, even when you feel like nothing is going right.
Alternatively, you may have read this list and realized that compared to me you are WINNING at this motherhood thing. And that’s cool too. Keep rockin’ that PPIEW.