The kids let me sleep in a few extra minutes this morning and got themselves ready. They woke me up when it was time to go and I think I only had to say 'get your shoes on' to one child, once.
After the kiddos were dropped off, I came home with full intentions of crawling back in bed. After all, doesn't hiding under the covers fix all of life's complicated problems?
Instead, I flung open the curtains to let the sun shine in, made a pot of coffee and an egg omelette. I had laundry to tackle, dishes to clean up, floors to vacuum, and things to do.
Then I went to my computer.
What I found gave me more hope. I found out from many women that I am not alone. Some of these women are single moms, some are not. Some are still in the thick of toddler years, some have children the same age as my children, and some of the women are done raising their children and have wisdom to share.
What I found is that my feelings are normal.
My favorite part in a comment was this:
But I frequently fantasize of putting my dog Rocky in the car and he and I driving off into the sunset together. Maybe we could live near a beach and play frisbey every evening? In the mornings we could jog along this beach while the sun is rising... You get it? I have thought.this out. Sometimes I go so far that I begin to plan my great escape mentally. I will never do it. I can't.They NEED me. So I will keep going doing what I do for them. Even when they cant see that what I'm doing IS FOR THEM.
The woman who wrote this is an amazing woman. She has conquered a lot in life and I know loves her children with all that she has. Yet, she has the feelings of wanting to run into the sunset away from it all just like I do. And, I can guess, but if we ever were to run away from the noise and chaos of raising children, once we got to that place we would miss our kids and soon come running back.
I need to give myself permission to not be perfect. Its okay to mess up...to move forward and keep trying. Its okay for my kids to have bad days. Its okay to show them tough love. Its okay to tell them I need a little bit of space. Its okay that I need a few minutes each day to be alone.
The past few weeks have brought school projects. I used to love to work on projects with my kids. Now it feels like school projects just highlight my inability to do juggle it all.
A fun project of "dress like a famous historical American" had me almost in tears. Reagan was to dress like Wilbur Wright. I had tons of fun ideas running in my head. But working 11 days in a row that week made me short on time. Instead I threw something together hoping it would suffice. Parents were invited in to walk through and see the kids. As I walked in the classroom and saw what the other kids were dressed like compared to Reagan, it made me want to run from the room. It was almost like it was a showcase of 'lets show everyone how pathetic Julie is'. I talked to him a minute and then made the excuse I had to get to work. I hugged and kissed him with tears burning in my eyes. I left the building as fast as I could. Sad for him. Aching that he didn't have a nice costume. Sad that he didn't have a mom who could sew something fun or even if she could find the time to do it. I hope he didn't look around too much and see how bad his costume was compared to everyone else in the room.
Rhianna has an economics project she had to make something to sell. She wanted to do cookies. I mixed the dough up and then she cut them out herself. The next day we decorated them together. Well. She did most of the work. They were cute, but not like I would have normally sent to school. I saw pictures of other projects that moms did with their kids all over Facebook. Again, a reminder of how inadequate I am. All I kept telling myself was that I taught my daughter to just go for it. She wanted to make the cookies herself, and she did. And they turned out great. I kept telling myself that was more important than how perfect they look. I hope that she looks at her cookies and sees her accomplishment of making sugar cut-outs alone (with minimal assistance). I hope that she doesn't compare to others, but sees that she did something most little girls couldn't do.
Tomorrow night we have to make Swiss bread and get an outfit together like a Swiss immigrant. I'm hoping that the old red plaid apron I have will work with her blond hair in braids....
Even though I don't know how to be a mom, I need to stop trying to be perfect. I need to realize that my kids aren't going to grow up and remember all the times I didn't pull it off 100%. I want them to grow up and remember that I gave them all that I had to give and then gave a little more. That I maybe wasn't the greatest at getting a Wilbur Wright costume thrown together at 2 am after working a long shift, but that I did let them try things and pushed them to accomplish things. I hope that even though I'm not perfect, they can just know that I love them.
And that as often as I wanted to run away, into the sunset, I didn't. I stayed. And gave them a little more of me.