I've been known to come on here a time or two (or a dozen) and talk about my struggles with motherhood, balance, and sanity. So much of the time it feels like I'm doing it wrong, going to lose my mind, or that I'm not measuring up and you ladies are always right there with exactly the right words, solidarity, and some humor so I don't feel like I'm the only one with a kid who threw a full bag of goldfish at a cashier.
Yesterday, though, I nailed it. Ok, so nailed is a strong word, but I had one of those days where the balance was right. It just worked. I don't think it's that I did much different, but my attitude was in a much better place. I found this article the other day about being ok just doing doing "ok" as a parent and it resonated with me.
Yes, yes we all want to be great parents. No one gets pregnant and says "I really hope to be a mediocre caregiver to this fragile new life". Everyone wants to knock it out the park, have every day be a parenting slam dunk, and once I realized that just wasn't realistic, things got better and it clicked for me.
Yesterday I had a ton of work to do. I was staring down the barrel of over 100 pieces that needed to be made, and two hours of nap time wasn't going to be enough. So I camped Olivia out in the playroom with Daniel Tiger on the tv, a cup of blueberries and cheerios in her lap, and worked.
Enter the mom guilt.
Screen time! Learning disabilities! iPad parenting! Bad mom! I know, I know.
I got some work done and after her nap I was present. I took her to the playground for well over an hour, we stacked blocks, we read books, and she even ate a whole apple slice AND a smoothie. Healthy food? Check. Fresh air? Check. Work done? Check.
That's a win for me.
It has to be. Because my kid hates fruits and vegetables and loves the damn iPad, so a screen time free, all organic food day is never going to happen for us. So when an entire smoothie makes it past her sassy little lips and I get my butt outside to play with her, I give myself a big 'ol high five.
If I gave up WC and had unlimited time to dedicate to her, I still don't think I'd do a "better" job. She'd still hate vegetables so I'd still be sneaking them into smoothies, I'd still be tired/exasperated/desperate for a few quiet minutes and want to turn on PBS Kids. Maybe then I'd feel even guiltier because I have all kinds of time to make our days Pinterest perfect and they still wouldn't be. Who knows.
I'm going to be the mom who occasionally stuffs a cake pop from Starbucks in her sticky little hand so I can pick up toilet paper (and every gosh darn seasonal item) from Target in peace. I'm going to be the mom who turns on the tv at 7 because her 8:00 bedtime is an eternity of an hour away. I'll also keep trying with the healthy foods, try to put the stupid phone away and be present, and recognize that every day is a chance to do it better and that if it's not better, that's ok too.
I will continue to whisper yell in the grocery store. I will continue to bribe, negotiate, and ultimately pin her with both elbows to change a diaper. I will continue to call her daily fiber supplement "candy" and tell her that she can have what she wants in "one minute" an infinite number of times. I will probably continue to wish I could burrow a hole in the floor when I finally toughen up and tell her "no" and she goes postal at the crowded playground .
I'll also cut myself some slack. I'm a total novice at this. It will get easier and harder and better and worse each day. I'll get tougher, I'll find more ways to make veggies taste good and get better at making my work time more efficient. There aren't enough hours to sleep as it is, let alone losing sleep to mom guilt. I'm also trying really hard not to pass my neuroses and stressful tendencies on to her, so this seems like a good place to start.
So there's a little bit of my heart and soul early on a Tuesday morning. Light reading, right?