Parenting is hard.
I'm sure a lot of you are thinking, "Well duh!" But the reason I say this is because parenting is also like a rollercoaster, with its ups and downs, its easy smooth rides, and rough bumpy jolts. Some days I am so wrapped up in my children, so in awe of everything they do, that I forget how hard this job really is. And then...then there are days like the past few that smack you in the face with the absurdity of how absolutely difficult it is to be responsible for not just one, but three other lives. Three lives that you have been charged with. Three futures you have some control over. Three tiny children who depend on you to show them how to handle this old world. Three humans who model their behavior on yours. And folks...that is terrifying.
I have to admit to you all, you faces behind the screen, that I have been a less than stellar mom this week. I've lost my head more than a few times per day. I've cussed loudly for reasons such as a glass of milk hitting the floor, or stepping on a stray lego. I've sat down on the couch, with my head in my hands and wished that someone would pull me out of this mess, this SAHM hell, I'm stuck in. Only to immediately apologize for making such a wish because the good Lord knows I would be in a far worse hell did I not have these three lives to care for.
Before the Monster was born, I was an unkind person. A person who didn't think twice about drink or drugs, and consumed as much as possible. I was irresponsible, unreliable, and disrespectful to most everyone. My mother and I would go months without speaking, due to my attitude and actions and in hindsight, it was all my fault. She had every right to be disappointed and angry with the person I was. Motherhood softened me some and cleaned me right up. I was never one of those people who could carry my addictions over to my children and expose them to everything I did. I was clean and sober throughout my first pregnancy. The Monster was a joy, a gift, a tiny being who needed me to be a better person, so that's what I was.
Then came divorce. It wasn't very traumatic, just much expected and necessary. After the split I fell back into my partying ways for a few months, until I met my husband. He was my kind of guy though, and that meant he wasn't a stand up guy at the time and definitely not father material. But he was fond of the Monster, very fond. Slowly we both came to realize that we were going nowhere and getting there fast. The time had come to grow up. So we did.
The rest is history and quite a happy history it is. We married, had two children, blended a family beautifully, and never looked back or dwelled on the people we once were. So when I sit on the couch and wonder how I got myself into this situation, how this life came about, it is with great fondness that I remember. It all started with the Monster. How he changed me for the better, and how I have a responsibility to be a great person for him and his siblings. I remember that losing my temper is not the end of the world and certainly not the end all example for my kids. Parents are human, parents make mistakes, parents stumble and fall and get back up. Resilience and patience are learned and realizing you were wrong and apologizing for it, even to your kids, does not make you weak. It in fact, makes you seem strong, maybe stronger than you really are.
The Monster left today to spend two weeks at his Dad's house. His yearly summer foray with the other half of his family. I spent some extra time hugging and hanging with him this morning before he departed. It says a lot about how he's been raised and his character that when asked what he wants to do before he goes, his answer is, "Give you luvins!" So that is what I did. I loved on him until he left, and then I breathed a sigh of relief.
I am doing this right. My children will be okay despite the crazy life we live. I can make it through another day alive. This is not hell, this is the best kind of Heaven on earth one could design. It just so happens that Heaven is littered with toys, diapers, cracker crumbs, and kids.