I’ve felt a weight lifted from me. After four years of struggling, I no longer have an infant and I can sleep through the night. Sleeplessness is a heavy rock to handle.
I’ve discovered that I enjoy my children. I always knew I loved them, but now I really, really like hanging out with them (most days). They’re hilarious.
I started my journey through motherhood with a long list of expectations and a very expensive diaper bag. I still have the diaper bag. I don’t regret it, it’s lovely. The list of expectations has nearly killed me though, and if it rears it’s ugly head again I’m going to burn it. WITH FIRE.
There are times I mess up. Usually at least once a day. I lose my temper, or run out of diapers, or accidentally teach my two year old to say, “WHAT THE HECK!”
It’s easy feel guilty.
But my motto is love.
School starts this week, and it’s easy for me to fall into the pit of trying to keep up with the other moms, the moms who wear makeup. I could write another list, one with nutritional lunches with sandwiches cut into exotic shapes and origami napkins. That might work for some people, but for me it’s the path to the cliffs of insanity. One regular shaped peanut butter and jelly, and I’ll fall apart. I’m very competitive.
The only way for me to enjoy this time of dirt and plastic swords is to relax.
Some days I completely forget to read them books, often we can’t find the couch for the laundry. I bring store bought cookies for special occasions at school. Right now, today, there is a can of chicken on my bedside table and I don’t know why.
The worst is when I put my expectations on my boys. If they burped at the table I shot daggers at them with my eyeballs. If they threw a fit in public I wanted to disown them. If they dragged 45 pounds of dirt into the house, I felt my brain crumble under the strain of keeping it together. Heaven forbid they hit someone in the face (every other day).
My children may turn out to be hooligans, but they’re just children right now. They’re going to act crazy. They are, after all, MY children. I’m going to expect great things from them, even if they spend an entire day in time out.
I may not remember to put the token vegetable out for dinner, but everyone ignores that anyway. The thing that makes everyone grow best is love, and thankfully LOVE isn’t usually green or the boys wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. Plus, God has invented gummy vitamins for such a time as this.
What I’m saying is, LOVE. Even if it means you are a less nutritional, less educational, less fabulous looking mother. NO one cares if you’ve had a pedicure if you’re mean.
Love covers a multitude of sins. Not just your children’s, but YOUR sins too. Always. So let it abound.