Just when I thought I was figuring out what to do … I go and add boy number two.
Everyone waits until they “think” they’re ready for a baby. But can you ever really be ready? Honestly. We thought we were. We planned both our boys down to the month (and almost the day too). But yet … everything we had hoped for, planned for, lived for, and waited for was thrown out the window. Being a parent is gross, messy, stinky, annoying, hard, frustrating, scary, sad, and hurtful. But it’s also the complete opposite of all of those things. It’s the best feeling in the world and the most rewarding job you could ever have.
I always wanted to raise future presidents or quarterbacks. But now I’m just trying not to screw them up and hope they won’t turn into serial killers.
I may not be the perfect mom. But I’m dedicated. And that’s my “sorta kinda” recipe way of raising my little boys.
Along with what else I’m about to spill.
This may sound so cliche. But you can’t let the haters get you down. One of the downsides of blogging is the criticism you get. People only know you via your blogs. Yet … moms everywhere deal with negative feedback at some point. The only thing you can do is let it roll off your back and keep on keepin’ on.
Don’t be your worst critic. I always like to think that I’m doing a good job. I’m there for my boys whenever they need me. I’ve vowed to never spend more than one night without them. If I spend more than a day without either of them I start to have mini panic attacks. They’re all I think about. But then I tell myself … the fact that I get so upset is yet another sign that I’m doing alright as a mother.
I don’t aim for perfection. I try to find that “balance”. Cash starting preschool is a perfect example. I know that I’m not going to see him for a few hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I make sure that after I pick him up we spend a ton of time together. It’s his “free choice” day. Candyland. Coloring. Tag. Hide-n-Stink. Whatever he wants.
Before I know it … Cash will be off at school or sleepovers at friends houses. I need to cherish these times now and enjoy his annoying whiney voice now because I’m gonna miss it. There’s a song that always gets to me everytime I hear it. It’s Trace Adkins, “You’re Gonna Miss This”. It really makes me stop and think and be a little more patient with my guys.
Being a good mom isn’t that complicated. You don’t have to do everything right — you just have to be there. I fed Christopher french fries the other day. Cash hasn’t been eating enough vegetables. That doesn’t make me a bad mom. Chris wanted some of what we were eating. I don’t blame him. After eating watered down mush for months, he deserves one or two french fries. Cash is a picky eater. Again … doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom. But if we mix the corn in with his mashed potatoes or give him a glass of sweetened V8 … then I’ve just become a creative mom. Or sneaky. But at least I’m there.
I understand I have and I’m going to make mistakes. And I try not to freak out about them. One time I forgot to buckle Cash in when we went to the store. I didn’t notice until I went to “un”buckle him from his booster seat. All I could do was look up to the sky and thank God and/or our angels for getting us there safe. It was a lesson learned. Not one to dwell on. The other day when Christopher was taking a bath I turned my back to get a towel ready and when I turned back he was dunking his head in the tub which ended up getting soap up his nose. What can I do? Just say “I’m sorry” and move on. Again …. lesson learned.
We cut cable in order to save some money. None of us had time to watch TV and it was just an unecessary want …. not a need. We kept Netflix for Cassius although we’re seriously thinking of cutting that too since he’s more into playing, building, and reading, then he is into watching TV. But that doesn’t mean we don’t keep the fun. Every once in awhile when we’re feeling a little sluggish or (the opposite) … needing to get the wiggles out …. we turn on the crappy free 80’s music channel we get with the antenna and dance like fools in the family room. Or Daddy gets out the popup tent and sets it up in the boys’ room and pretend play that they’re in Disney World in the Haunted Mansion or whatever.
I’m a different Mom now than I was when I had Cash. I’m more laid back and easy going. If Christopher falls and bonks his head I don’t rush over and scoop him up. When I get barfed on I don’t have to immediately jump in the shower and change my entire outfit. Now I wipe it off with a buttwipe and go about my day. Is it laziness? No. There’s just other things going on more important at the time.
I don’t have everything. I’m not lucky. I’m blessed. I don’t have the perfect husband. The perfect boys. The perfect life. No one does! It gets tricky to compare yourself to other people. You don’t know what they’ve been through nor what they’re going through. I’m a very private person believe it or not. I have skeletons in my closet that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. There’s a saying that floats around on Pinterest sometimes….”If we all threw our problems in a bowl … we’d all grab our own right back.” That couldn’t be more true. I can deal with my problems. I can’t say the same if I had yours. No offense 😉
What I wish someone would’ve told me when I had a baby: That your relationship with your husband will change. And that’s not a bad thing. At least we still have parenthood in common. It’s something we connect on and feel so fortunate and blessed. We put everything into our boys and at the end of the day can sit down and humbly say that it’s the one thing we are most proud of in life.
Since having Cash I’ve realized that something’s got to give. I have very few people I can trust. I have very few “good” friends. And I don’t have a big social life at all. I’ve had to cut out a lot of things. But I’m happy and at ease. People can remain in your heart … sometimes they just don’t belong in your life. My boys define who I am. I’m not Amanda “the fish” anymore. I’m Mommy. And it’s the funnest and best title I could ever own.
One of my favorite quotes is by a woman named Angela Schmidt, “While we try to teach our children all about life ….. Our children teach us what life is all about.” I try to remember this when I’m cranky or having a bad day or ungrateful. My boys have shown me how to be joyful and how to live in the moment. Life’s too short.
And I know that someday …. I’m gonna miss this.