In our single years, we trekked across the world unrestrained. We didn’t hold sleeping babies until our arms cramped up. We didn’t weather a toddler’s tantrum while one of us was pulled aside by the TSA for inspection. People didn’t glance at us getting on the plane trying to hide their fear that our seats would be close by. We didn’t fill our pockets with Juicy Fruit gum, or collapse a stroller at the gate.
I was going to be the Dr. Oz of parenting. I was going to be a guru, and then I realized that I would probably have to teach my kids to stop acting like wild raccoons at the grocery store. I don’t want to be negative but my kids are 10, 8,6, and 3. This is never going to happen for me.
You are not going to get advice from me on teaching toddlers to read, or getting your kids to stop gagging on their vegetables. I could however offer a step-by-step guide to watching them chew on the same vegetable for two hours, until you eventually give up and let them spit it out.
I am not very perfect at parenting, but I do love my kids enough to cuddle with them while they smell like pee, and I feel like that’s kind of a lot.
Sometimes I wake up in the morning and I see that you’ve grown over night. Your face is more defined, your eyes look older. A part of me is excited and in awe; I know you have so much ahead of you. Another part is scared because time is racing and I can’t slow it down. I’m afraid that I haven’t always been awake and noticing, and that somehow I have slept through the magic of your growing. I wonder, have I enjoyed you enough? Have I given you what you needed? Is your heart still whole? Is your spirit unbroken?
I’m not always good at this. I’m not always as good as I want to be at being your mom. I want to be great; and sometimes I am, but sometimes I’m not.
Sometimes I get it, and sometimes I don’t.
Sometimes I do it right, and sometimes I completely miss it.
Everyday I make mistakes.
While usually we are being quaint and adorable like a live Norman Rockwell painting, there are a few other things that get us from WHYGODWHY in the morning to Netflix-O’clock at night.
We clean things so they can be destroyed right exactly before you drop by. I don’t mean to brag, but my kids are capable of making my house a major health code violation in ten seconds flat. Sometimes I think about posting pictures of what my house looks like when it’s clean – just for reference.
Welcome to my home. Here is a picture of what my house looked like one time last week. It could also look like this more often if I had 47 maids and manservants.
Dear First Born,
I remember the day I first held you in my arms. You became, and I also became. I’d thought about motherhood for a long time, about how I’d be and how you’d be. But I was still so unprepared. Heaven and Earth kissed for a moment and I’d never felt so sure and so uncertain all at the same time.
I know you think I wear yoga pants and athletic-T’s because I spend my days doing pilates while my kids practice Mozart on their harmonicas. But, I’m here to tell you, I wear them because they’re stretchy.Read More...
1. They don’t share. AT ALL. You are pretty sure that you will be working on this until they are in their seventies. The main problem is that the other kids give them WHATEVER they want, WHENEVER they want. When you ask them why, they say things like, “She screamed so I gave it to her.”
You are really excited for their future parent-teacher conferences.
2. DRAMA. That noise that sounds like they’re being de-limbed in the back bedroom? That is the noise the youngest makes when their sock is “bothering them”.
Look into my eyes and let me tell you, there are no limits.
When I was young, I felt small in a large world. I was desperate to belong, so I tried to fit in. I tried to reduce myself to a puzzle piece in a giant picture. I tried to have straight edges and to not take up too much room.
The problem is I wasn’t made to fit. I was meant to live large and free and uninhibited. We all were. It took me a long time to realize that; it took me a long time to set myself free.
I hope that isn’t the same for you, dear one. I hope you burn fierce, burn loud, burn wild, burn bright. I hope you’re unapologetic about the fire that’s inside you.
I have raised four threenagers. The first one was a kleptomaniac. The second one was a nudist with a rage problem. The third one was a tiny dictator. The fourth one is not out of the woods yet.
When I discovered my first one had a problem with stuffing his backpack with other people’s baby monitors and sound machines, I realized that I had failed as a mother. First step Sophie the Giraffe…next step diamond heist. I was plagued with visions of visiting him in his orange prison uniform.
Turns out being three is not permanent. I don’t usually find iphones and name brand sneakers in my nine-year-old’s backpack. So, hang in there parents.
I sat across from you today. You are struggling, you are tired.
As looked into her eyes I recognized the exhaustion and the fear. I recognized the question, the one that asks am I going to be okay? I remembered a dark season in my life. I remembered when I was so undone with anxiety that I couldn’t take the kids to the beach or even make it out of the house.
I remembered when I had no hope.
I remembered a friend who showed up every single day on my doorstep. She’d ask, “What are you afraid of today?” I’d tell her and she’d listen. She’d really listen…that was the gift. When I’d run all out of words I would sit shaking on my porch trying to feel the sun that beat down all around me, but never touched my skin.
I have recently gone back to work part time. This is mostly because I plan on giving my kids a sub-par childhood.
So far everyone is suffering and wearing weird clothes to school, because I’m not there to control their fashion decisions. My kindergartner wore pink leggings and cutoff jean shorts to her school Christmas program. I snuck in a few minutes late from work and scanned the kids on stage. When my eyes fell on Oaklee, I burst out laughing. There she was, surrounded by red and white dresses and tiny bow ties. My husband waited in great anticipation for my reaction. Our eyes met when I slid into the seat next to him. He grinned and nodded proudly. “Yeah I did…” he whispered, giving me a big wink.
I fired the tooth fairy.
I am all done moonlighting as an ivory collector.
It was the fifth time the, “tooth fairy must have been so busy she forgot!” while my husband and I mouthed obscenities to each other over their heads, HOW COULD WE LET THIS HAPPEN AGAIN???! My son sat me down and gently asked, “Mom, are you the tooth fairy?”
I just couldn’t handle the pressure anymore. I caved. Read More
I was twenty-one years old when I held my son for the first time. I hadn’t yet a enjoyed a single legal drink and my idea of cleaning house was to not to. He was red and wrinkly and his cry echoed down the hospital hallways. He was perfect. I looked into his wide eyes and I saw the weight of eternity in his fragile being. What a responsibility, what an honor. Fear hit, because suddenly I was vulnerable. Suddenly my actions mattered. Suddenly I had to grow up and to know what I didn’t know.
I have a very exciting announcement I’ve been dying to tell you all!!
On April 8th we are leaving for a 4-5 month trip around the world. Our stops will include the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia, and Europe. In case you are wondering I AM FREAKING OUT WITH EXCITEMENT!!!!!
Through the blog and our brand new company Wylder Pursuits we have been able to make connections and gain sponsorships for our trip. (To discuss working together, email email@example.com for more information.)