I’m sure most of you would join my overwhelming relief that Spring has finally Sprung. I have been eagerly awaiting this lovely weather for a multitude of reasons, but not least of all so I can leave the sliding door open so the kids can run in and out at will.
In the last two weeks of budding leaves and growing grass, I have been the recipient of many dozens of dandelions from the yard. The kitchen sink windowsill is now adorned with tissue paper flowers, construction paper hearts, and the once yellow shriveled-up dandelions. Not the classiest decor, but it all makes me smile and it makes my little ones proud to see the display of their work and affection.
With these moments happening at home I have also been the recipient of, what I feel, are judgey comments on my mothering. In the grand scheme of things these comments are literally nothing. Like when we were all new moms and our in-laws questioned why the dog is not gated or why the baby isn’t wearing socks. These comments make you question everything. Everything! We already feel like we don’t know what we’re doing, so why are we being picked at for the decisions we made? Is that supposed to be helpful? Probably. But it does not make you feel that way. It makes you feel stupid and like you’re doing something wrong. At least that’s how I felt.
Luckily having 5 newborns in less than 5 years rocketed me to expert-level and I snobbishly used that as a retort to any one who questioned me. Did you birth, feed and raise 5 babies? No? Then move along lady. Seriously the most judgey crowds of all, a few generations ahead of us in my experience, did not have the last word.
At a new age, “school age,” I am starting all over again. The problems are so different and carry more weight. I can feel the kids’ future being impacted and their values being formed. So much pressure.
Last week I picked up my 4 year old from school and he was beyond excited to show me something he made that day. I crouched down and while waiting for him to open his bag and get it out, I started talking to my 2 year old nearby. Then come the comments from the teacher standing there….he worked so hard on this today; he’s been waiting to give it to you all day; look, he’s so excited; can’t you see how excited he is to give this to you?
Similar incident happened not too long after. I get home home from work and my son comes running up to me with an armful of dandelions. I thank him, hug him. I say hello to my other daughter who just got off the bus. The nanny points out, he picked those for you hours ago; he’s been carrying them around all day; he’s been waiting to give those to you.
Am I not excited enough when I receive these precious tokens? Am I doing it wrong?! Good grief. I carried a ball of guilt in my gut which rose into anger. Why am I seriously being called out on these moments? I have a list of guesses, some of which are probably accurate. But after a while I decided it does not matter.
We are all human and all full of opinions. We are all only able to observe from the outside when we look upon others, we do not know the full story of what is going on in the background.
I may have to spread myself among a lot of children, but they are each loved with my whole heart, and then some. They know that. I know that. The ways in which I give my attention and affection is between me and each of them. The ways in which I get things done are not to be effected by someone else’s opinion.
Needless to say, dandelions are my new favorite flower. On the outside it looks like my husband and I do not care for our yard, or maybe that we don’t have time to. In reality, it’s perfect and full of happy moments and fills my windowsill with love.