I was hiding from my children yesterday when my phone rang. It was a dear friend and fellow twin mom. I answered and she seemed sad. I asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I’m afraid I’m ruining my children.” I assured her we are all ruining our children, that this is parenting. In fact, they will be in therapy and may develop some weird sexual fetishes. She laughed because that is ridiculous. She is a great mother that loves her children immensely. The fact that she was worried, in itself, proves she is doing her very best for her babes.
I am by no means any kind of parenting guru. I mess up. I yell and scream and bribe my kids. I am on Facebook while they are awake and sometimes we eat goldfish crackers for breakfast. I do know that I am doing the very best I can with the life we have. I know that I love my two with more of my heart than I thought possible. I know that I mess up daily. I know if I had just a little more patience at dinner, maybe they would eat more of their vegetables. I know when I skip pages at bedtime, I am not at my best. I realize as I write this in the bathroom with the door locked, I am missing out on quality time with them, but it is the very best I have to give at this moment. And I think it is pretty good because they have a healthy mom.
My children know love. They know my love. They know our family’s love. They know that when I tuck them into bed at night there is nowhere I’d rather be. They are healthy and happy little boys. They are also giant jerks sometimes too. They are nine. It’s to be expected. Parenting isn’t easy. Being a mother isn’t easy. There are so many expectations, from what we should look like, to how we speak to our kids. Even what toys we should allow them to play with (mine have been playing with a box from Amazon for the past three days.)
There will always be days that seem to never end but I promise they do. No matter what season of parenting you’re in, these days will come and they will go. The social media expectation we are supposed to bake our own donuts while dancing freely in the kitchen with flour on our faces is dangerous for many of us just trying to make it to bedtime.
It’s time we give up a little control and tamper our expectations. A healthy, and sane mom makes for a happy and sane household. Making homemade donuts is awesome, as long as you aren’t expecting perfection. A trip to the zoo and no one got lost? Give yourself a pat on the back! Yeah, I know twin A cried the entire time and twin B nearly fell into the penquin pool but they didn’t get lost – did they?
How do we do this, you ask? We talk to each other. We stop judging each other. We hand some control over to our partners, and caregivers. We need to stop worrying that we are ruining our children and stop being so hard on ourselves. We need to stop chasing perfection. There is no perfection in parenting. There’s only survival and a whole lotta love. Some days are going to feel perfect. Other days are going to feel like the third level of hell. The sooner we stop beating ourselves up, the better we all will be.
I suppose I should unlock the bathroom door and see why they are so quiet.
Moms – love yourselves. And talk to each other. Be honest. And kiss your babies while knowing that you are truly amazing.
Laura Birks is the mother of 9-year-old twin boys. She is your Twiniversity Facebook manager. She likes to think she is Superwoman but she is a mere mortal with a messy home. For more articles by Laura on Twiniversity, click here.