As I am writing this, my Son (4 years old) and Daughter (2 years old) are snuggled together inside a tent watching a movie on the iPad. Moments like this I get all mushy and warm inside because I know beyond a doubt, they are growing up to be the best of friends! That was our intent when we had them so close in age (22 months).
Looking back, we had a ton of expectations being parents… some of which have come to light, and others of which that have crashed and burned. But… even on my worst days, I can name my absolute truths about Parenthood. This is what my children have taught me, so far:
1. I am beautiful. Because I have a hard time writing this most days… I’ll say this again.. I am BEAUTIFUL. My flaws are flawless. I don’t say this because I had a good hair day, or that I am being over-confident. I say this because on my worst days, in my crummiest clothes, while I’m sure the crust on my shoulder is someone else’s snot… my son said to me, “Mommy, you look BEAUTIFUL today.”
2. I have a closer relationship with God. This is not because we are raising our children with a life full of church, or even because we read them stories from the bible and pray often. It is because, becoming a Parent opened my eyes to a God who had a Son, who gave him up.. FOR ME. The love he must have for ME to do such an impossible thing. I see the Lord in a whole new way.
3. What is important in life. We may have spaghetti for 2 nights in a row, and my dishes may sit in the sink for 3 days after… but my priorities are the proof. Some may say I have put my children too high on a pedestal. I say, “shut it”, they are only young once, and I’M NOT GOING TO MISS A MOMENT. I don’t suffocate, but I do join in on the fun.
4. Germs are gross, Poop is not. Yep… I said it. And I meant it. There is nothing worse than a sick babe. My heart breaks for them, and the only good that comes out of germs is an extra snuggle. I will take POOP on my face ANY DAY, but the thought of someone else’s germs…. Excuse me while I find the nearest garbage can.
5. Self-Worth. This one relates with #1, but I feel can be expressed differently. I have more self-worth being a Parent than I could have ever imagined possible. It’s the simple fact that, I mean the world to someone! So from that day on, I drive slower.. My life is worth more than it ever has before.
6. My Husband is an AMAZING Dad. I have always loved my husband. Since the first day I met him… without a doubt. So I never had any worry that he wouldn’t make me happy in our marriage. In fact, we have a very healthy and STRONG marriage. But the key to this one is… He has grown to be such an incredible husband that he is someone I would approve of to marry my daughter.
7. Friendships. Becoming a Parent has made me re-evaluate my point system for qualifying friends. If they aren’t someone who I want my own kids to be friends with… They aren’t worth it. I
am USED to be a door mat, and it’s just not something I am willing to deal with anymore. I have had to pluck a few seeds, but in the end I have some of the most AMAZING friends. (you know who you are!)
8. My “I can’t” is Contagious. There is NOTHING more heart wrenching than to see your child say, “I can’t” (when they don’t feel good enough) and really mean it. The first time my oldest said “I can’t” is something that stuck with me ever since. He was coloring and was having a hard time staying in the lines. All of a sudden he became disgusted with himself, and I could see his confidence drop. He said, “I can’t color very good.” MY HEART SHATTERED. I want my children to grow up confident! And then it hit me, I was hearing MYSELF in his voice. Ever since then I have made a point to watch what I say, and I NO LONGER say, “I can’t”.
The love they have for me has helped me grow in to being the best wife, and mother I could have dreamed. I am always reminded of them by “out-of-place” baby dolls and matchbox cars. When walking in the door after being away for work, I AM ALWAYS greeted with a running start, followed by hugs and kisses. In the morning, I am the first item on their agenda… Good Morning Kiss and snuggle. I wouldn’t trade these moments FOR ANYTHING.
Yes, there are days when I have a serious “Mom Fail”, and there are days when they are testing my limits like no other. BUT, those reminders and moments make me smile inside and out, and help me know that I am allowed to have bad days, I am allowed to learn from my mistakes. In the end, I am a good mother who is loved by her children. What more can someone ask for?