I'll Just Start Saving For My Children's Therapy Now
I’ll just start saving for my children’s therapy now.
“You’re being a really cranky, lazy mom today.” He said, as his big brown, four-year-old eyes glared at me disapprovingly. I was in the bathroom. It’s the furthest place in my house that I can get to when I am running from the chaos. I’m frustrated. I don’t understand how this little human can’t seem to follow a couple simple commands without getting distracted by everything. It drives me bonkers. Has anyone else ever noticed how children never walk in a straight line? The path to completion is straight and easy and they make it into an obstacle course.
I hate being cranky mom. It sucks so badly. Every day I wake up and think about all my best intentions: “Patience. Go with the flow. Find joy in the small things. Get on their level; explore. Put aside expectations. Teach through play. Give a lot of hugs and laugh as much as possible.”
How is it that I often find myself hiding away in my bathroom and it’s only 10:00 am? I know that I have well-behaved kids. People tell me this all the time, “Oh, your kids are so good!” and I know that they are. They are good kids. They aren’t unkind, violent or undisciplined. But they are still kids; still messy, slow, distracted kids. Shit, to make it worse, kid’s cry so easily. My lord! You ask them to get dressed 8 times in a sweet mom, understanding voice and then on the 9th time when you finally show frustration in your voice they melt like butter before you. Instant tears. It truly is Oscar worthy.
I’ve always been pretty thoughtful on how I raise my children when it comes to the Big Picture. I know my values; I can identify the qualities I want my children to have. It’s easy for me to imagine teaching them kindness, tolerance, and confidence. Hell, my children are ages 4 and 1 and I already consider how I will navigate the teen years. Healthy eating, yoga, reading; you name it, I’ve thought about how to inculcate it into the core of their lives.
The little things about parenting are what make me feel like I’m failing. Why do I get so completely uprooted over an untimely spilled bowl of food? How does a small child drive me to the point of absolute insanity over putting their shoes on? Why, WHY am I constantly just a wrecked, broken mom trying not to scream/swear over a child finishing their supper? A few weeks ago a friend shared a quote and it really grabbed me. It said:
"When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not to join their chaos." - l.r. knost
Actually, I cried when I read that. Share our calm. Our calm. To be honest, I don’t feel calm that often. I’m usually operating somewhere between happily caffeinated and defeated sloth. I know in my heart that calm is what I want to be for my children. The shelter in their storm, the quiet in the loud. Writing these words out sound so beautiful, and I’m crying as I type this. I truly yearn to not be Cranky Mom. Some days, I come close to this version of myself that I want to be. On those days I really saw my kids; like I SAW them. I was able to approach each situation through the lens of their eyes. They felt understood, accepted and free to be themselves. I could see the impact; we were all happy and all the important things were accomplished. Some days I’m the exact opposite and I’m frantically trying to hurry them, make them fit in, stop them, punish them. The day ends with sad children, a guilty mom and nothing important completed. These days are only redeemed by good friends, wine, conversations with my mom, my husband, and more wine.
This mom job is fucking hard, ya know? We never wake up thinking “Hmm, how can I really ruin my child’s life today?” We try our best. We do what we can with what we have. There is always room for more, more growth, more love. There are so many ways I am going to fall short, I know this. I just hope that when it is all said and done my children will know that I never stopped trying. And if they don’t, well, that is what the Therapy Fund is for.