Milana asked me the other day if I liked being a mom to four kids. Screwballs. I closed my eyes and felt all the shame a mother could feel. You see, she asked me this question about ten minutes after I had a purge of frustration…with my four kids. That one question stopped me in my tracks and has been lingering with me like a winter’s cough.
It made me realize that I’m not really showing my kids how much I enjoy being their mom. Because, if I’m being honest, there are some moments I’m not sure I am. The “I can’t find my <<insert the thing I told them to put away 8 thousand times>> when we have to leave in two minutes, the “I’m hungry” after I just finished cleaning up from the second dinner, the “for all things holy… what happened here?” every day destroying of something, the lugging, drudging, heavy lifting grind … it will just WEAR. YOU. DOWN. Also, do you know how many water bottles I have purchased? And how many I have in our possession? It’s staggering.
My favorite everything Maya Angelou said “You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.” Every December while decorating, I try to remember this and show my amazingly patient grace. And because I’m so intentional at this time, it happens. But for a lot of the other moments, not so much. All grace is lost when my two year old smears jelly on the underbelly of our island and I don’t discover it until it’s basically cement and friends are due over any minute, or my six year-old’s blast in the bathtub is my near blow out my knee skid across the bathroom or the twins fighting and literally punching each other in the van… over the seat NOT next to the two year old so they DON’T get punched. The irony. I just lose it. I become the mom… the person I don’t want to be.
But life is not once a year ‘keep your cool’ decorating moments. So I need Milana. She has incredible social awareness. It’s something that makes her so important to our family and is a great skill for life… especially when she’s picking up on my “why are you little people trying to kill me” cues and quickly moves into helper mode.
As bad as I felt about the question, I’m glad she asked it. It caused a wave in my perception tank. Because my idea of being a parent has so completely shifted from before I had kids. The blissful and pristine moments that I thought it was going to be are really unique and the ‘chaos is like the dawn is to the day’ commonplace. Milana helps me make that shift to embracing what is real…the pace, the imperfections and the holy Hallelujah that is this parenting gig. So thank you, I’ll take a second piece of that pie.
Hugs and LOVE!