When I dreamed of my days as a mom, I had a vision of how it would all play out.
I imagined baking with my future kids using that teachable moment to integrate fractions and measurement into their world. I thought I was a shoe-in for joining the PTA and volunteering in their school because I’m a passionate educator. I was certain I would revel in our night routine for the quality time because it would include (never missing a teeth brushing!) chatting about their day while combing their hair and finishing things up with a good book before bed.
Fast forward to reality.
I don’t bake. It wasn’t something that was done with me as a kid, so it doesn’t come naturally to me and I’m just not a fan.
I loathe volunteering at school. I don’t know why, I just can’t do it. We all grow and evolve as we become parents and age, and I grew myself right out of the classroom.
Our night time routine looks like triage – we’re just trying to survive, and if we get a teeth brushing in, I’m definitely winning the day.
I often feel like I’m failing my kids.
Will they feel cheated out of those baking moments? Will they be mad I wasn’t in the classroom every week? Are they going to suffer in their reading development because I didn’t read to them each night before they went to sleep?
The truth is, I’m not sure. And, I won’t really know until they have grown. Parenthood is a crap shoot and we are all doing the best we can.
What I can tell you is that every once in a while, I am reminded that they are O.K., and that I am doing O.K. as their mom.
They know they are loved deeply, and that’s so important.
Also, they have a lovely grandmother who bakes wonderful things with them when she’s here, and that has become their memory and quality time with her, so they aren’t really missing out. In fact, my oldest has become the baker in the home when Grandma isn’t around. She baked her father’s birthday cake this year and I was so proud of her. So, it all comes together in the end.
I do show up and help at their school but it’s for the occasional holiday party where I work the craft station. I donate books to their school and I have lunch with my girls about once a nine weeks, and you know what? It. is. enough.
At night, the one thing I do without fail is snuggle my kids. They all get a few minutes each night where I crawl in bed with them, pull them close and we snuggle and chat.
I’d say it’s working out.
“The best thing about my mom…my mom gives me snuggles.”
So, I’m not the mom I thought I would be. I often fear failure and that I’m not enough for them. But, then I remember that as long as I show them love, understanding, and give them the gift of my undivided attention when they need me – that’s better than any classroom volunteering or cake I can bake them.
They will be OK.
We will be OK.
And, it’s enough.
Are you the mother you thought you would be?
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Featured Image Courtesy: Julie Antonino – Rustic Roots Photography