Confession: Being a Mom never came naturally to me. Nor to many of my friends. We were not organic moms who could burp a baby while whipping up a soufflé, running the vacuum cleaner, and making party favors all at the same time.
Nearly a decade out from having kids in my house, this is what I recall:
Days on end of rising unshiny to whiny kids hell-bent on making me late for work as they shuffled from bedroom to bathroom to kitchen table to closet to begin the fruitless search for the right coat and that one missing shoe, then into the car and on to fighting over radio stations for the longest eight and a half minutes ever drive to daycare/school that made me thankful, grateful I tell you, for my day job, only to pick up where we left off after school once I’d figured out which ball field/gymnasium/ice rink at which I’m to revel in my kids’ respective and relative athletic prowess, then drive them home to dinner made by Dad, then help with homework (how long are we supposed to retain stuff like the square roots and pi?), argue over what to watch for an hour, followed by the death march upstairs to bed for a story and a glass of water and oh I have to pee again, kiss kiss, hug hug, g’night, out goes the light, and I’m right behind you, and thank God the weekend is almost here.
Make no mistake – I’d lay down my life for either of my kids; and my friends, theirs. We loved our kids passionately, completely, messily, and sometimes frustratedly, tiredly, and even angrily. And we were lost, overwhelmed, scared.
We’d try to explain this to our partners who didn’t get it. We’d look to our own mothers who would tell us how they would handle it – which often bore little resemblance to how they dealt with us 😉 We consulted the latest tomes by experts on how to grow perfect children, but found them to be a confusing blend of condescension and contradiction. How could we ever figure out if we should let them cry it out or never let them cry in an environment that felt like Survivor?
So I counted the hours to the weekend because that’s when I would see my girlfriends – one of them, three of them, who knows, who cares – hugging me with big girl arms before downloading our weeks, a race to the bottom until we were all laughing and sharing insights about how smart, cute, funny, and precious our babies were. With each other’s help, we fell in love with our kids again.
Thus fortified, we were ready for the coming week and whatever those little precious buggers would throw at us.
Oh, I miss those days. And the kids being kids, though I love, love, love having adult children. If they only knew that my girlfriends quite possibly saved my sanity.
Who helps you stay in love with your kids?
Happy Mother’s Day. You’ve earned it. You deserve it.