Being a parent is challenging, inspiring, breathtaking and exhausting. It wears me down and pumps me up all at the same time.
I love my children from the tips of their toes to the tops of their heads but they exhaust me physically and emotionally most days. In the past few weeks I have felt like I am running on a treadmill and there is no way off. I am exhausted and weary and yet I must keep on running. The treadmill feels gets faster and faster and I keep moving but I am not getting anywhere.
Everywhere I look there are other people who are also running all the time but they are getting it all done, they may be tired but everything gets finished. It seems as though they never feel discouraged or as though they can not deal with more tantrum or that they yell at their kids when they try to climb the display at the grocery store, again.
When I stand in line to pick up my kids after school I look around at all the other mothers, they have it all together, they look good, their children are clean and their outfits match, their cars look like they just came off the lot. and no one runs into the road without looking for cars first. It is a bit like a scene from a TV show and I am not only not in the cast but I was not even invited to the set.
I stand there waiting for my son feeling as though there is no way that I will ever have it all together. I have dirt on my knees from the garden, my car has not seen a vacuum in well over a year and I am lucky if my kid comes home with both of his shoes and without new holes in his clothes. I am exhausted all the time. I am dreading the 4 hours until I can send them to bed. I am not looking forward to doing dishes, laundry or breaking up an argument. I do not want to find out about another bad day at school, a failed test or an incident with another student. I do not want to make a exciting dinner and a fun after school snack like Joey’s mom does, there will be no crackers and pretzels made into a spider around here. There will be peanut butter on a rice cake and bacon, eggs and toast for dinner because P is working late and that is what we are having. You will play outside while I finish the dishes, bring in the laundry, watering the garden and getting ready for the meeting I have tonight.
I never thought I would be that mother, the one who never has time, the one who yells and gets frustrated when her children act like children. I want life to be bowl of cherries and I want to feel like I manage it all with grace, poise and charm instead of a loud voice, a tired sigh and “ why did you do that again!”
But life is not a bowl of cherries, it is hard, it is raw and this life is mine. I may not get anywhere on the treadmill this month, I will never be a TV show mom or even a storybook mom but I am doing the best that I can and at then end of the day that needs to be enough.
I am good enough.
J writes about being a Mom at Stellar Parenting 101 where some days she feels as though good enough is not enough.