The Mom I Want to Be

I just read Bossypants and loved it. I know that’s just the kind of well written, entertaining hook that’s going to keep you reading this blog. “Wow! She enjoyed a wildly popular book that seems exactly like something she’d like!” Anyway, for some reason I ended up thinking about Tina Fey: She’s probably one of those awesome moms who just cherishes the crap out of every minute she spends with her kids and is just nothing but enthusiastic about mothering.

I regularly swear I’m going to be that awesome mom. And I do cherish the crap out of my kids. But I can never achieve that state of spending all of my time with them just adoring being with them.

I sit at work and I think about how awesome they are and how much I love and miss them. But sometimes I also think about how much I miss being able to sleep like a normal person, or go see a movie with my husband. And sometimes I’m with them, and I think “ugh, I wish these kids would just go away from me for a while.” And then I think, “YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO THINK THOSE THINGS!!”

I really want to always be kind and encouraging. I never want to lose my temper or be indifferent to their hurts. But alas, I’m just not always the best mom. I think part of the problem is that I allow myself to think too fondly of my Life Before Children. And also, total selflessness is just something that I don’t seem to have the capacity for. I want to be able to sit on the couch and surf the net when I’m sick, dammit!

To be honest, I do a similar thing when it comes to my husband. Away from him, I think about all the great stuff he does, and the sacrifices he makes, and how much I love him. And then I walk in the door to a messy house and crying, hungry kids who watched TV all day and I just feel frustrated and annoyed. I’m not proud of these things. I want to be a better mom/wife. But this is the way it is.

So every so often, I make a commitment to enjoy all of it. To have endless, boundless energy and patience so that I can be delighted and delightful. And every time I fail. But I have my moments, too.

On Monday (Christmas Eve), I worked all morning. In my dressy skirt and sweater because I was feeling festive. And then I came home and had to bake and take care of the kids while Brian ran some errands. And when I pulled the cake out of the oven, I realized the kids really needed a bath. In which Corbin splashed and splashed like a maniac while I tried to keep my hair/makeup/clothes looking nice for the party that evening. Until I couldn’t take it and pulled him out of the tub. Where he ran around while I tried to get a diaper on him, constantly worrying whether the little puddles were from his splashing or from him peeing while still naked. He then was DETERMINED to play in the toilet no matter how much yelling and redirecting I did. Until I wound up standing in my bathroom in my dress clothes and apron, a wet little Corbin running around whining beneath me, balancing on one leg with one foot holding the toilet shut while I bent over and tried to rinse the shampoo out of a squirmy Lola the Mermaid’s hair.

And you know what? I laughed and enjoyed myself. I was stressed and exhausted (I OFTEN find myself thinking “I just really can’t keep doing this!” Only to discover that, in fact, I do keep doing it. Always.) But also delighted at these fun little people.

But by tonight or tomorrow I guarantee there are going to be at least a few minutes where I think “Jesus just stop being so difficult! If you whine one more time I’m going to lose it!” And fantasize about not being responsible for anyone but myself. So if any of you awesome moms out there have some super advice for how to stick to just the cherishing and the encouraging, send it this way. I REALLY want to be that mom!

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Bittersweet

So, I realize this is sort of a common theme in my posts. But I can’t help it, it’s on my mind a lot. I’m pretty sure the word bittersweet was invented for parents. I can’t think of anything that more perfectly illustrates that word than raising little ones.

I just added a new quote to my quotes page. (P.S. I also added one from Benjamin Button a while back, which I love and you should all read and love too, then watch the movie cuz it’s my fave.) Anyway, one of my favorite authors is Barbara Kingsolver, and I stumbled on this on the Internet last night:

“A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world. But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after–oh, that’ s love by a different name.”
― Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible

And it is perfect.

Corbin is getting older every day (duh!), and sometimes I feel like I just truly can’t bear it. It’s going to be like any minute now that I don’t really have a baby anymore. And we’re quite firm in our decision that there won’t be any more on the way. And then what? I don’t want to not have a baby. Corbin just started giving sloppy, open mouthed kisses. This is too good to give up!

I didn’t feel this way with Lola. I guess because I knew we’d be having another. But now? Now I rock him and I see us here at the precipice, where he’s still baby-like in many ways, but he’s losing it FAST. And I feel almost panicky, like I have to HURRY and figure out how to stop this from happening and it’s all rushing through my fingers and I can’t keep any of it.

He got his first haircut this weekend.

How do so many women do this? And even claim that it is BETTER as they get older? I mean, I can see the things that are fantastic about the older kids. But how do you not feel your heart crying inside your body when there are no more warm fuzzy little heads to rest upon your chest and nuzzle under your chin?

And more importantly, how do you stunt their development just enough? So that they’re relatively well adjusted, but never want to move too far away from you.

One man’s trash

Corbin was just working his little hinder off to retrieve something from under the coffee table. I wondered briefly what he was so obsessed with. But with Corbin, if he’s not whining or fussing, I’ve learned not to rock the boat. I figured it was some diaper cream or other object he’s not supposed to play with and therefore must have.

So he works and works at it, and makes his little struggling grunt noises, and finally pops back up. With an old, broken Fruit Loop. He smiles and pops it in his mouth and does his little happy bounce like he just found twenty bucks in the street. And I just love it.

The cute stuff like that is so needed when he’s had a double ear infection and two emerging teeth and I’ve basically wanted to throw him out a window for a week now.

But then I notice what a cute little personality he’s developing, and I can’t wait to see more. 🙂

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