My mom is an amazing cook. If you go to her house, she’ll make you something delicious and it will follow any dietary restrictions you might have. She can recreate any recipe, and it most likely be healthier than the original. I have two left hands in the kitchen. Throwing something in the slow cooker feels like a huge task. I cook out of necessity, and never for fun.
My dad loves South Dakota. He can drive across the prairie for hours. He finds it absolutely beautiful, as well as calls it home, even though he hasn’t been a long-term resident for over twenty years. I left that state hours after I graduated from high school and have returned a handful of times. I love many people who live there, but I don’t miss the state.
These thoughts popped into my head one Saturday morning, as I worked in a rare silence. I realized that in many, many, many ways, I’m not like my parents. I’m sure I frustrate both of them, and there are parts of my personality that neither one understand. Yet, they have learned to accept who I am and love me anyway. They support way more than they judge and if they do judge me, I don’t hear about it. They are wonderful parents.
The past few months have been tough for me as a mom. I love my kids more than anything. Yet, lately, I haven’t enjoyed them.
My son talks incessantly about sports, Presidents, and anything that interests him. He throws his body on the floor, just to see what happens, and without thinking, will climb and jump off of anything. His opinions are great, and he has no problem sharing them with me. He’s adamant that he’s always right, even though it has never gotten him his way. However, he works hard at understanding others. He is loving, caring, and such a deep thinker. My son is learning to ask me about my interests, and his attention span for listening to me is increasing. He challenges me in every way, and because of him, I know I’m a better mother.
My daughter leaves a trail behind her, everywhere she goes. It’s not like she means to trail her shoes, socks, and clothes from the bathroom to the bedroom, by way of the kitchen. She can easily leave a sticky mess after eating popcorn, when popcorn isn’t sticky. Making messes is her specialty, and her attempts at cleaning are, just that, attempts. She is a creative, walking tornado. However, her creativity absolutely inspires me. She will draw the same character many times, perfecting the curves and edges. She isn’t a perfectionist, but is a great example of studying your craft. My daughter brings light to every room, and most people leave her smiling, because that is who she is.
Lately, it’s their “faults” that have been driving me nuts. I don’t want to listen to another reason why the Patriots are innocent or pick up a fire hazard room one more time. I’m one parent, working nonstop, and I’m tired. I’m frustrated.
In my rare quiet Saturday morning, I reflected on my kids, my mothering, and frustrations. I don’t want to be the tired, cranky mom. I don’t want my kids to remember the tears in my eyes, or the scowl on face. I want their childhoods to be filled with love and magic, not frustration and yelling. I’m frustrated because I want my kids to change, but they’re not going to change. They are who they are, and it’s not all bad.
Why do I want my kids to be like me, when I’m not my biggest fan? That thought alone, was enough to help my frustrated brain. My son will always love sports, and my daughter will always be a mess.
This week, I worked on acceptance of who they are, and tried to celebrate it. I listened to “Deflategate” theories, then asked him to talk to someone else about it. I bought my daughter three crap baskets, and was amazed at how she was able to keep her room fire hazard free, most of the time. The way they do things is not my way, and probably never will be, but as long as we can find our happy middle ground, we will live in harmony.
I’m not going to love the frustrations that come with motherhood everyday, but I do love my kids for who they are more than I will ever be able to express. They are not me, doing things my way, and while I might get frustrated, I’m also grateful.