Now that my daughter is right around the corner from two years old, I’m pretty sure I’ve got this mommy thing worked out.
Hahahahahahaha that’s a lie because no one ever figures this stuff out. But I can say, I think I’ve hit something of a stride – a certain comfort level, at least a certain confidence – in my mothering.
I realized I may have hit my mommy stride just this past week while out with my daughter. On Monday, I had hopes of attending the monthly meeting of a local nonprofit I want to get involved in. But the meeting was two hours long. How in the world would Nora ever sit through that? I knew the meeting would be kid-friendly, but with her terrible twos starting to show, Nora’s behavior can be so unpredictable.
Still, I knew I had to go for it. How would she ever learn how to behave and what’s appropriate in certain situations if I never have an opportunity to model it and for her to figure it out? And you know what – she did fantastic. I may have sacrificed every page in my brand new notebook to her doodles and scribbles, but we did it. I got to do something I wanted to do and Nora wasn’t completely miserable. It felt good. I felt on a roll.
A few days later I was at the library for a play-and-story hour, helping the little girl sitting next to Nora at the computers to adjust her headphones so she could hear Mickey Mouse teach her letters. That same afternoon I found myself pushing both Nora and the girl next to her on the swings, because the other mom had her hands full chasing around her other kids. Neither parent in either situation asked me to help their kids; I simply saw a chance to pitch in, and did.
I have to say, a few months ago, I wouldn’t have been able to manage something as simple as even these things seem. I was too frazzled. Too uncertain in my parenting. I hadn’t yet hit my stride. I think a lot of this comfort has to do with her age; now that Nora is older she can be more independent – freeing up a hand or allowing me to take my eyes off her for a minute.
But there’s more confidence there as well. In my daughter, that I can challenge her with more, and push her, and trust her. And in myself, that maybe I’m getting the hang of this mommy thing.
I don’t doubt that I will have many…many…stumbles and trips. But for now – I’m going to take this mommy stride and run with it.