I quickly lose sight of the fact that she is only 4 and a half. I’ll be the first to admit that I have become complacent. I leave her to her own devices at times. Especially when I am trying to run a house by myself. She is also painfully independent (see aforementioned slamming of bedroom door). I trust her not to put peas up her nose or to eat crayons. I am far too trusting.
Looking back I wish I could have been kinder to myself. I wish I could have just said to myself that it’s okay to lay down all the time, it’s okay to take a break, and to have actually believed it. But self-care is hard for me. I think it comes down to being a perfectionist and also living in a society that so strongly values productivity and busyness.
These days, most of my time is divided between wishing my toddler would talk more, and silently willing nearly everyone else to shut the f*ck up. You see, my beautiful, bright, sweet little boy has a speech delay – which, while both common and curable, is not without its own set of trials and tribulations.
Every morning, I wake up in bed with 3 guys, a girl, one turtle and several rabbits. Far from a sordid arrangement, the reality is closer to a cramped and sometimes stinky circus that includes me, my husband, our toddler and dogs, along with a few of my son’s current favorite stuffed animals. We never planned
I don’t want a party, gifts, or even a gluten-free cake. I want to do the giving, because what I’ll receive in return I’ll keep forever. And I’m bringing my kids along for the ride.
Even if you’re not a power couple collaborating on a book, you’re still embarking on an amazing journey together. It may sound cliche, but every moment of your life as a parent is an adventure. And any parent who has the privilege of raising children together with a loving, devoted partner has an even sweeter excursion ahead.
So, this parenting thing. It’s a learning process for sure. For her and for me. I have to step up the teaching. And not take it personally when she points out my missteps. Because I’ll continue to make them.
Four years ago today, a tiny baby boy with an incongruously long name made me a mommy.
Every mother is convinced her child is exceptional. The difference between me and other mothers, however, is that I have supporting data to back it up.
Some of us don’t have the luxury of being able to take a break, some don’t feel worthy of a break, some may have forgotten how to take a break, and some just don’t make the effort. But one thing’s for sure – we all deserve it, and we all need it.