Before becoming “Mom” to my little Mr. and Miss, my pre-kid brain held thousands of “when I’m a mom…” ideals.
Just to name a few:
I was going to breast feed for one year. No more. No less.
I was NEVER going to yell… Curse? [GASP] Not me!!!!!
I would implement time-outs “by the book” and I would NOT give in. Mom is boss.
I would never, ever, ever skip pages of bedtime stories.
I would never ignore my child – I would listen whole-heartedly to every word spoken.
I would never be annoyed by them. Never.
Their father and I would never argue in front of them.
I would be a great mom!!!
Notice any trends? Yup – a whole lot of “I will never(s)”…
Truth be told:
I breast fed Rex for 10 weeks, gave up and bought formula. I nursed Sydney for 15 months and feared I would have to pump throughout her elementary years.
I yell… a lot… Sometimes I swear. It’s not easy to admit that.
Rex got time-outs in a consistent, systematic fashion… for awhile… Now I hardly follow through with them for either kid.
Bedtime stories? Every night :)… aaaaaand almost every night, I skip at least a few pages.
Sometimes I am convinced that if I hear the same question repeated ONE.MORE.TIME my head is going to spin and fall right off. It hasn’t yet, but I’m still not convinced that it won’t. I don’t “ignore” them per se, but sometimes I tune them out… that’s probably why my head hasn’t fallen off yet. Annoyed? Yeah, that happens a lot. I’m not proud of it.
Their Dad and I have arguments. You know why? Because marriage is hard and parenting is hard. Parenting+marriage sometimes seems impossible…
But, despite my failures, I do think I’m a good mom.
Let me explain…
I fed my babies when they needed to be fed. It didn’t matter whether it was formula or breast milk. They were nourished and they thrived.
I don’t yell all the time. Most of the time I speak calmly and quietly. When I do yell, I apologize. I take their little faces in my hands and I say, “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled. I love you.” Thankfully, their little hearts are very forgiving.
I am trying my best to be consistent because I know they need and want boundaries. It’s a work in progress. I’m not above admitting that.
I read to them ALMOST every night. Sure I skip pages, but they don’t know that. They just know I snuggle them close and tell them stories.
I’m human and I have very human moments in which I behave badly. I have ignored them and I have been annoyed by them… but I am their BIGGEST.FAN.IN.THE.WHOLE.WIDE.WORLD. Truly. I love them with every ounce of my being. Without them, I would cease to exist.
Their father and I don’t have a perfect marriage, but we’re a family and we are trying.
Pre-kid, I had ideals and opinions about everything, and I was convinced that there was distinct “right way” and “wrong way” to do everything.
If I could go back and tell my pre-kid self anything, I would say: There is no “right way” and the only “wrong way” is thinking you are doing it “right.” You are going to have good days and bad days, incredible highs, and frightening lows. It is going to be harder than you can even imagine, but it’s completely and totally worth it and you are going to love it (most of the time).
Oh, one more thing… It would be wise to eliminate the word “never” from your vocabulary… 😉