I’m not an awesome mom.

Well, sometimes I’m an awesome mom. That’s when I have the right things to say and respond with the appropriate temperament. It’s when I’m at my older daughter’s Principal’s Pride assembly, giving her a thumbs up every time she looks back to verify that I’m still there. It’s when I chaperone my younger daughter’s farm field trip, helping buckle up 16 preschoolers in their bus seats, decorating gingerbread cookies, and cleaning up their messes, all while giving Emmeline a little extra love. It’s when I surprise them with an overnight trip to the water park, just because. That’s when I’m mommin’ pretty hard.

Other times I’m a passable mom. Those are the times I volunteer to chair a PTO event months in advance, then conveniently melt into the background when it rolls around. It’s when I’m a little too harsh in the middle of the night, cleaning up a wet bed and little person who had an accident. It’s when I get mad at my kids collectively, when Edie is behaving but her little sister is not.

And then there are times when I’m a shit mom. It’s when I yell  – really yell – at the girls for not listening. It’s when I’m running late and blame them for my tardiness. It’s when I let them hang in the shower too long, because it buys me a little space and sanity. It’s when our morning wheels fly off, everyone leaves the house flustered and annoyed, and I mutter fuck under my breath as a I load them into their respective rides to school. My shitty-mom points rack up as fat tears roll down my daughter’s cheeks, completely disappointed in me, and not afraid to call me on it.

Okay, maybe I’m not a shit mom. My instincts to protect and nurture them are true. But man, it was never my calling to be an early childhood educator. I love my children, but struggle to make the right choice every step of the way.

Some days I feel well qualified for this job. Other times I question my behavior, and hate myself after handling an incident poorly. I look at my friends, both moms and dads, who are more patient or kind or silly than me, and admire these traits. I wish I could be more like them. I guess that’s the paradox of parenting….if you stop to question whether you are a good parent, it’s likely that you are.

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