If you’re reading this, you’re an adult now. Hopefully a well-rounded, happy, successful and kind adult. One that still comes back to mom and dad’s because something about my pot roast and chocolate chip cookies just comforts you during those especially adulty days. Maybe you have kids of your own, maybe not. Maybe you want to, maybe you don’t. Married. Single. 3 dogs or possibly a bird. Being my children, you won’t be able to have a home without a pet.
Regardless of all of that, I want to tell you about today. Not TODAY, but a day that I guarantee happens to every single mother alive. One we all regret the second we close that door to your bedroom at night. One that even the best Instagram filter, can’t pretty up. The kind of day that makes us feel like we failed you somehow.
It started at 5:00 am because it’s taking you a loooong time to adjust to the stupid time change. Most days, that’s fine, but I didn’t sleep well at all. Then, instead of you both crawling in for those morning snuggles before we all start our crazy day, you whined incessantly about your sister touching a piece of fabric on your pajamas. Then, she gets annoyed and screams for yogurt. All the while your dad is checking work emails, not saying a word and I’m trying to tune it out just to maybe, possibly drift off for 5 more minutes hoping it would recharge my brain somehow.
No such luck.
This sets the ball in motion for a horse shit kind of day. I can’t seem to catch up, I can’t prepare the right breakfast or get you two to agree on the same show. I can’t finish the laundry or make time to play with your doll house. I am exhausted and frustrated and I take it out on you. No mother wants to admit that especially those of us who stay home, because don’t we just LOVE IT!!!!, but we all do it. It’s impossible not to. Even the best ones who have oodles of patience and the tenderness of a saint. And I want to be OK with that. I want to be able to say, this is normal… just pause, take a deep breath and do better. Because, as much as I want to think I’ve got this mom thing down and as much as I adore the very breath you breathe, I’m just not enough. I can’t quite make myself be the mom I want to be for you – at least that’s how I see it in those moments.
The beauty of it is, after I’ve beaten myself up, and lost yet another night’s sleep wondering if I’ve screwed you up permanently by putting you in time out for being a dick to your sister and refusing to eat your lunch (one that you looooved yesterday by the way)… you still wake up asking for me.… and I mean ALWAYS the second your eyes pop open. I especially love when it’s accompanied with “Did you have a good rest, mom?”. Which is kind of a miracle to me. No human being is perfect, however, I have learned that no matter how much I screw up, you love me as if there wasn’t any other option. You accept my incredible flaws and you so graciously forgive me. This alone, helps me to have a better grasp of that whole ‘bigger picture’ thing everyone rave’s about, and go a little easier on myself for the next time we have a day like this. My short fuse doesn’t run out too fast because I remind myself about the shitty mom I was the week before and tell myself to chill the fuck out and just answer the same question 800 times in a row because one day, I’ll miss those repetitive questions. At least that’s what your GG tells me.
Although she still yells at me about shit so, jury is still out on that.
No matter how rough the rough days are, there are good ones too. Creepy good if you ask me. Right out of Better Homes and Gardens, or whatever magazine talks about how there are perfect families out there to further humiliate us. So good, that I forget how tired and frustrated I was that day… which probably has something to do with my little friend Pinot Noir, but nevertheless, I completely forget how annoying you were. Or how whiny. Or how I just poured you a full cup of water you begged for, only for you to immediately dump it (accidentally) all over the table and floor. Soaking your lunch and the freshly cleaned rug.
I may not be enough some days, most days, in fact. And it’s a bitter pill to swallow thinking that I’m not the mother I dreamed I would be for you every day. I try – I try harder at this than I’ve ever tried ANYTHING in my life, I can promise you that and I will totally blame myself if you turn out to be a horrible human being or wind up with a horrible human being. Which you won’t, because you’re both such perfect tiny people I can’t imagine you taking that hard of a left turn as you get older.
But, I want this to be a reminder to you, that no matter where you are in life when you read this. Or whatever goals you may be working towards, whether it be for a job, a passion project, being a mother or wife… just because you don’t feel enough in the moment and although you may feel a load of regrets and “Why did/didn’t I’s” at the end of the day- there is always a point in which you will find a way to feel content with yourself in all that unenoughness.
I’m a writer. Therefore I can make up words when I want to.
Because, as I keep reminding myself… this is about the journey… and even though today sucked… tomorrow could be better. Cautiously optimistic.
Because even though you may see other people doing it all with ease, they’ll have a day where they aren’t enough too.
Because sometimes on those crappy days, I look up and my heart could burst with how much I love you both.
Because, I don’t need to be the best mom. I just need to be yours.