Say It Ain’t So

There are a lot of things that I think people need not feel bad about.

(Some of these people are moms.)

Liking Twinkies, for instance. Or taking their smart phone with them into the bathroom. Or feeling too lazy to get up from the sofa to get the Chapstick out of their purse.

OK, so all of those things are, incidentally, things that I am personally guilty of. But really, I can’t be the only one that enjoys a good Twinkie now and then. And I know that I’m not the only person who isn’t interested in getting up from the couch when The Walking Dead is on, chapped and burning lips be darned!!

The thought occurred to me that while there are plenty of frivolous things that I don’t really feel all that bad about, along with lots of other folks I’m sure, there are also some kind of big things that maybe I *am* a wee bit ashamed of. And a lot of them involve parenting my children. I have seen other blogs do the “motherhood confessional” posts. Where anonymous moms write in their darkest parenting secrets and then they are shared for all of the public to see. I think that is awesome. No shame in that.

But sometimes, it helps to see someone who you know, or feel like you know, share things that they might not normally share. Putting a face with a personal insecurity takes the edge off. Suddenly, you know someone else who has also let their children have cereal for dinner and you end up not feeling so bad. Because we have all been there. 

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Sometimes, when one of my children (either one) cry in the middle of the night, I lay awake in my bed…waiting it out. This is nearly insufferable at times, and it isn’t like I’m going to actually be able to fall back asleep while I’m listening to them fuss. I just have to wait it out first and hope that they can sort it out on their own. Sometimes, even after I am convinced that they aren’t going to go back to sleep without my assistance, I wait a bit longer. Because I like my sleep. And I don’t always like moving.

I let my children have more than one lollipop during a visit to the bank. I start off with good intentions and let them each pick just one. I might even stash an extra pop or two in my purse, knowing that I’m gonna need them at some point down the road and have every intention of actually using them in the future. But, more often than not, when we are running errands after visiting the bank, and the kids get noisy and rambunctious in the cart at the grocery store, the pops get opened up for 10 more minutes of silence and compliance. 3 out of 4 dentists be darned. They don’t have to take my children shopping.

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Sometimes, when my two-year old wants to read the same book five times in a row, I just have to say “no.” And even worse, I sometimes get frustrated when she asks questions about what’s going on on the pages. “Can’t you just wait for me to READ it all to you??”  I ask. Pass the crappy mom award this way.

There are days that I don’t change out of my pajama’s until almost dinnertime. Then I wonder what the point of doing so is anyway?

In fact, there are also days that I don’t feel like the television gets turned off. Because I need the noise. And, because it’s winter and it’s ridiculously cold outside. Pick whatever reason you want.

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One-on-one play is somewhat painful for me on occasions. I love watching my children play and getting to see them enjoy themselves and each other while lost in their imaginations. There are times, though, that I just want to be a casual observer and nothing more. Because I don’t know how to transform or, for that matter, BE a Transformer. Because I don’t know what to do with the giant plush Minnie and Mickey Mouse dolls that my daughter loves so much besides make it dance. Because mommy just wants to lay over *there* and close her eyes.

I try to avoid going out into the snow if possible. I remember playing outside in the aftermath of a blizzard when I was younger and not being phased by the freezing temperatures or the snow in my boots. Now, it’s a totally different story. I will take my babies out and I am always glad that I did…once it’s all over with. But if we can avoid that by, say, making the calendar year three months shorter and avoiding winter all together, then I’m down for it. I always enjoy the consolatory cup of hot chocolate when we get back inside.

My kids eat boxed Mac and Cheese, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and spaghettio’s more often than I would like. Because, sometimes, you just do what you have to do.

This is how she passes the time at Gam's sometimes.

This is how she passes the time at Gam’s sometimes.

I didn’t read any parenting, child-birth or pregnancy books when I was pregnant. Either time. My line of thinking about the whole experience was thus: you birth it, you feed it, you change it, you put it in the bed and it sleeps. Rinse and repeat. Note that I called the baby “it” in my head. I was excited to be pregnant both times, but I didn’t always see what all of the fuss was about. In hindsight I wish that I HAD done more preparation, but at the same time, I know that you can never be prepared enough to become a parent. It’s just that it does help to know that your breasts are going to swell like coconuts when you start nursing and the multiple methods for getting a baby to go to sleep. Those are both good things to know BEFORE baby comes. 

I cannot wait for my husband to get home. Every day. Literally. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT. for him to walk through that door. My kids may think that THEY are excited to see their father, but if they only knew. Suddenly, things seem a little less unnerving with another adult around, acting as a buffer.

I constantly feel like a parenting failure. I love parenting my children. They are my greatest motivators. This is the best job that I have ever had and ever will have. Ultimately, I wish that we did more crafts, played in the sunshine more, read more books and ate fresh fruits and veggies more often. 

Here’s the good stuff, though:

The babies get checked on every night before my husband and I trod off to bed. If they cry, I wake up. Even if I don’t go in to check on them, I hear them. And if they need me, I go. I clean up puke, change sheets, fetch milk, pray with them and sometimes stay with them and snuggle tight so that they can fall back asleep peacefully. 

We brush their teeth twice a day. I log miles on the van to take them to the dentist. 

We normally end up reading the same book a dozen times in a week

Hey, at least I’m conscious and upright and the kids are alive. 

I make my children use their imagination every day. 

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We do play together. We talk to each other. We laugh with each other. We chase each other. We rough house with each other. We have lots of fun together. I have a rule: I like to illicit one belly laugh from each child a day. That takes work. 

We go out in the snow and make snow angels. 

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My children love bananas and strawberries and blueberries, and even cucumbers and baby carrots. They drink water throughout the day and sweets are mostly for special occasions. Try as they might to convince me to let them have cookies for breakfast, mommy tries to be conscious of what they’re ingesting. Especially of the little one who likes to eat sand out of the sandbox.

They’re here, and they’re perfect. I drank tons of water while pregnant, took my prenatal vitamins every day and ate a lot of grapes because apparently, when I’m pregnant, I like a lot of grapes. It’s all good. 

There is really nothing wrong with welcoming your husband and best friend home in an eager fashion everyday. And from there on out, playtime normally continues. Like tonight, when we all played Candy Land together. His coming home is like the cherry on top of a good, satisfying day. 

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Tomorrow is a day that the Lord has made. And His mercies are new, every morning. 

Feel free to leave confessions of your very own in the comment section. No judging here, friend.
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18 thoughts on “Say It Ain’t So

  1. pennypinchingpeach says:

    I can relate to this so well! 🙂 I definitely do the multiple lollipop on my more frustrating shopping trips, and sometimes shush my extraordinarily inquisitive little girl when she keeps interrupting me while I’m reading a book to my munchkins. Good parents don’t have to be perfect. Good parents unconditionally love their children, and take care of them the best they can without losing the last few marbles they have rattling around. 🙂

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  2. Kristen Kelly says:

    I love this! We all have our moments where we feel like we aren’t giving 100% as a parent, but we have to remind ourselves that everything balances out. Where there is bad, there is also good. I love posts like this because it gives parents something they can relate to, and makes them feel like they aren’t alone! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

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  3. Melissande says:

    This post is a good reminder. Every mom at one point or another feels like they are failing their kids, messing them up, and thereby experiences the guilt that goes hand in hand with raising little ones. I love your honesty!

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  4. melissajane01 says:

    I have been in bed with chapped lips and not wanted to get up. Eventually, I’ll have to get the chapstick because I can’t fall asleep with dry lips. Sometimes, I keep one under my pillow.

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  5. threeboysandamom says:

    I have done sooo many of these…especially tv being on all day, waiting out the middle of the night cries, eating inappropriate foods…many a night my boys eat cheese for dinner, not Mac and cheese….just cheese. I figure at least they’re getting something in, and it’s protein, so yay! Haha….we can’t all be perfect all that time, and that’s a good thing!

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  6. Homemade Experience says:

    I enjoyed this, and I think I can speak for most moms when I say there are some on this list we all do too. I definitely don’t get up in the middle of the night when the toddler stirs or cries, but I don’t feel bad about it. I justify it because the times we have gotten her up, it starts a bad habit each night, so I think it’s important for her to sort it out on her own the majority of the time. The rest I do feel slightly guilty about though, like no I’m not going to read this book for the 5th time, sorry. And wearing pajamas some days, all day. And holy heck, when is the last time I actually did my hair? Some days I just don’t want to go outside and be fun or playful, because I suck. I wish I could be super mom/woman 24/7, but I’m not and I think that’s okay on occasion.

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