"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"don't be a perfect mom, BE a lovely person." -liz

beth is here all summer.
her mom is here for the rest of the week.
LIZ is beth's mom.
she's amazing too.
{i know that's not how it's spelled.}
while discussing 1st children and psychoanalyzing our motherhood-ing traits, 
including anger and other such issues, LIZ said the following:
"don't be a perfect mom. 
BE a lovely person."
the rest will work itself out.
and i've got to tell ya,
i haven't stopped thinking about that for the rest of the day.
it was like a firecracker literally went off inside of my brain 
and smacked me in the forehead yelling,
"DUH!!! why didn't you think of that?!?"
because all of a sudden it hit me.
when i set out to become a mother i had this idea.
of the kind of mother i was going to be.
how i wanted to raise my kids.
what i wanted all of that to look like.
what i did NOT want it to look like.
and that all it was going to take was some determination and endless love and patience.
piece of cake.
which the vision of motherhood was going to be able to attain very simply and beautifully.
and then i had 3 kids.
and i think that sometimes, not always, 
while i'm busy trying to be that mom that i've worked out in my brain to be,
that vision of how that mother is going to mother,
i completely lose track of being the mom i want to be.
because sometimes when all three of my kids are crying,
max just bit brennan on the face,
chase plunged his head into the toilet bowl for the 5th time in one day,
right after i have just used the only remaining three CLEAN towels in my entire house 
to mop up the tidal wave that happened in the bath they just took, 
and i find that i am completely out of soap in the bathroom to wash his hands with,
i just start to fling out orders in my mean mommy voice,
and ship people off to their prospective time out corners,
like Big Bird would yell at Elmo on a Saturday Night Live skit.
and even though i'm desperately trying to find that vision of motherhoodness that i've set out to be, 
and i don't even recognize who this crazy person barking orders out of my mouth is,
and i surely can't find that damn vision of motherhood 
anywhere in that soaking wet bathroom of screaming kids.
pardon my french.
and yet, big bird is right there talking mean to elmo b/c he's just trying to get him to listen to him for one second while he pulls himself up from doing the splits on the wet bathroom floor 
that he hasn't fully mopped up yet.
{note: later that evening when they are all asleep, and the day is done, 
i'm sitting there staring at my most beautiful perfect angels fast asleep in their beds 
wondering what i was so mad about in the first place anyway?}
are you following me?
for example,
brennan almost gets hit by a car.
i yell like a crazy orangutan with arms flailing, coming at him from across the street, 
until he covers his ears and screams for me to 
"stop! stop! stop!"
i can hear crazy bertha inside of me, 
and instead of telling her to shut up b/c she's scaring my 5 year old,
i let her continue to rant at my 5 year old. 
{i have officially named my crazy inner pseudo self for the purpose of this post. 
i retain the right to change her name at any given point,
and will exercise the liberty to do so whenever i fancy. 
like when i decide i don't like the name bertha anymore.}
the child inside of me is frightened that my 5 year old was almost hit by a car.
the adult inside of me is embarrassed that my 5 year old was almost hit by a car.
the adult inside of me is just SO upset that it didn't protect 
and/or teach my 5 year old better to avoid such a situation from almost happening.
the adult is angry.
the lovely person inside of me is relieved.
downright RELIEVED that my 5 year old did NOT just get hit by a car.
but the adult knows it must wear the hat in this situation 
if the kind of mother i'm going to be is going to be achieved.
plus, if you remember correctly, all of my neighbors are watching.
so that adult inside of me is allowed the front and center stage.
BE a lovely person.
hug the child.
tell them how relieved you are that they didn't just get hit by a car.
it's okay.
kiss the child.
show the child how you are shaking.
ask them if they are shaking too?
wasn't that scary?
let's hug again b/c that right there was really really scary.
tell them again how glad you are that they didn't just get hit by the car.
and let the lovely person inside of you tell the angry adult inside of you just where to go.
out the back door.
or other more creative nouns that require colorful language if you fancy.
b/c the lovely person inside of you can take it from here.
"don't be a perfect mom, 
BE a lovely person."
the rest will work itself out.
and it will tell the angry adult exactly where to go.
every time.
and that is what i've been thinking about for the rest of my day.

{you'd never believe how long he hung there by himself if we told you.}
 to be continued...

1 comment:

Sue said...

Wise counsel.

But sometimes, it's okay just to let 'er rip. And then be lovely about it afterwards.