Life as a parent is a lot of things -- busy, messy, rewarding -- but it is not easy. It's difficult to raise a child up to be a responsible, intelligent adult. Add in the character traits that children need to develop to be successful (persistence and tenacity and analytical thinking, to name a few) and it gets even tougher. Then imagine all of the times when a parent has to relinquish control to someone else's supervision and influence, and it gets even harder.
I've written this to encourage the Mom that needs encouraging, but really, it can apply to either parent or both parents or ALL parents. How many of these things can you identify with?
- You wait in the carpool line for an hour to pick up your child from school. Never mind that you could spend this valuable time each day doing something for yourself - being there to pick up your child each day is important to you.
- You miss out on social occasions - like spur of the moment barbeques, pool parties, girls' night, and so on - because baby Arlo has a fever and Ramona has dance class and you've got to help your tween with his science fair project (due tomorrow, of course).
- You take dozens of pictures of your kids on any given day and for any mundane reason. Even if you don't print them out and paste into that expensive baby book, your child still feels important and valued and loved. And hey -- you should be in some of those pictures, too!
- You buy most of your clothes from Target or Goodwill, but your children are dressed in Gymboree or Hanna Andersson. Those clothes hold up better during play, and they certainly look nicer than their less-expensive counterparts -- and doesn't your child deserve the best?!
- Sometimes you have a hard time falling asleep at night because you feel a twinge of guilt over some small moment of the day where you completely failed at life. Maybe you made a snappy remark or prepared the same thing for dinner three days in a row or let your children spend an extra half hour playing Minecraft while you took a small break. I've been there, too. Often.
- You don't always keep every single scribble that your child makes, and even less gets placed on the side of the fridge, but you still encourage her to draw more potato people because one day, they will start to sprout real arms and legs and eyes, right?
- You can't always prevent accidents from happening or keep germs out of the house, but you are always there to kiss every boo-boo, place each colorful Band-Aid, and hug your babies tight when they need it the most. And chances are, when they need it most, so do you, Mama.
You are supportive, encouraging, patient, beautiful, creative, and best of all: Present. Just keep doing what you are doing. You've got this, Mama!
p.s. I like yoga pants and wine, too. Let's be BFFs!