I was asked the other day about whether I felt like I was being a good mom. I appreciate my friend asking me this, because I realize I'm really not. I know it's all been done before and there are mothers doing this with far more children than me, but being mom to four is work. I feel like most days I'm trying to get through one more meal, one more piano practice, one more session of stupid third-grade math homework, one more bath/toothbrushing ritual. One more bedtime.
|Another day with twin goofballs...|
I feel guilty because honestly most days I'm counting down til 5 p.m. when it's ok to have a drink. I'm listening for the garage door to open at 6 p.m. when my husband comes home as my reinforcement for the night (at which time one of the kids may say, "ask dad because mommy's off duty.") I'm waiting for one of the other moms around here to declare a moms night out for (any milestone) which gives me an excuse to tell my husband I'm needed for $5 martini night at Bonefish.
Right now I'm finding my kudos in little things -- things most good mothers know automatically. Like we don't leave the house without wet wipes or Kleenex, because that would be stupid. We usually have a few crayons in our purse if we are out somewhere and our little people get restless. We carry snacks with us or in the car because you never know when you need to avert a noon-time hunger meltdown. We know that sometimes having a spare pair of kids socks in the glovebox is not bizarre, but an essential item that no doubt will be needed unexpectedly. We know that it doesn't hurt to bring our kids' teachers donuts on a random school day or bake them brownies (they don't call them brownie points for nothing, right?) We are able to make mental notes of things our kids freak out about - like how badly they want crap they see in a drugstore (Beanie boos) and we know to come back later to buy it as a birthday or Christmas gift to hide away.
One day last week when I was so exhausted and unmotivated to cook or do anything, I threw the kids in the car and took them out for chili hot dogs and frozen yogurt after. One of the twins grinned with ice cream covering her mouth and said, "this is the best night ever, mom!" Wow. My idea of a FAIL was a score for them. People tell me, enjoy the little moments. I know instead of trying to rush through my moments each day I should be smiling, laughing and cherishing them like those f-ing Pinterest moms. It's just hard when you're in it, when each moment demands all your energy. Especially when you're running on pbj crusts and a leftover Capri Sun.
I know we all have moments where the days run together and they are long and exhausting, but I'm realizing my reward is in the little things - someone telling me how polite my son is or how helpful the twins are to other children at school, or even how my little 3-year-old grabs my cheeks in church and says, "I just wuv you momma!"
So kudos to all you moms keeping those precious people alive for one more day! Now go fix a drink for yourself. It's 5 o'clock on Mother's Day.