You know what really grinds my (parental) gears?
The unknowns. I wish I could say “the unknowns, plain and simple.” But it’s not plain and simple, not at all. There are so many fears, questions, and concerns that come with parenting. None of it is easy, and none of it is perfect.
Before I had kids, everyone made parenting out to be the most awesome, easy, natural thing they’d ever done… it sounded PERFECT! I made up in my head what an awesome, calm, relaxed, fun mom I was going to be. I knew I wanted to be strict (not horribly, but I wanted to be respected). I always imagined my children to be perfect sweethearts with perfect manners, never to throw tantrums, children that were fun yet calm.
Come 2010, I was freaking out that this made up “family” story was actually happening. I was pregnant with Quinn. It was an awesome pregnancy…PERFECT! I felt like no one had let me down. I felt great, I loved being pregnant. It felt natural. It was, well, PERFECT!
Once our beautiful Quinn had arrived, all these parents that once had me convinced of how easy and awesome parenting was, they started coming out of the wood work with horror stories and advice on how to deal with certain situations and a lot of, “oh just wait til they start doing…” “WHAT?! WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE TELLING ME THIS NOW?!” But I still had my perfect sense of the mom and child we would grow into…
Well, that perfect family story soon vanished. I am NOT that calm, fun, relaxed (yet a little strict) mom I thought I was going to be. I AM A MESS… I am emotional, protective (maybe even over protective), confused (ALL THE TIME), and always stressed. The only thing that stayed the same from my dream to my reality is I am strict. But now I wonder, am I too strict?! Am I trying to make my innocent children grow up too fast? How do I know? How do I know whats best for my children? I don’t. It’s scary, really scary. I can act like I know what is right for them, but it really is a guessing game, the whole time.
Sure I made up the perfect family in my head. Sure, I was convinced I KNEW how I was going to raise them and I KNEW how they would behave…pfft. Yeah right! I know and have always known how different each child is. But when it comes to your own, you don’t want to believe anything other than your made up fairy tale family.
The only thing I can honestly say about parenting and all of the unknowns, I LOVE MY CHILDREN. I have since the second I peed on that stick and knew in my heart I was pregnant. I have NEVER doubted my love for my children. Yes, they push me to my limits and we all have our melt downs, but at the end of the day, they are and forever will be my babies. The easiest, most natural feeling of love I could ever have for another human being… But is love enough if I am doing everything else wrong? Am I even doing it wrong, or am I just freaking out?! These are the unknowns I will never know. All I want is a happy family FULL of LOVE and RESPECT.
Maybe I am doing something right. Tonight at dinner Quinn said, “All I want for Christmas is my whole (insert adorable arms spreading out) family together.” That has to be the sweetest thing I have ever heard out of a 3 (almost 4) year olds mouth, and we all cried… THAT is love, and at the moment, everything was PERFECT…
Fast forward to 20 minutes after dinner~~ resume chaos and resume fears of the unknowns and the “am I doing this right?”