Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Adventures in parenting

It's a snow day! No school, which means even Paul is home. It's been one of those perfect family days. Surprise extra weekend day basically. Home with no plans, and an internal compass that says it's rest time. We rotated naps and adventures. I chose to nap for 2 hours. Paul chose to walk in the woods for 2 hours. It was perfect. We ate amazing wings and made a greek salad - which meant Paul got to trek to the store for produce in the snow since we had been about to go shopping when the snow began (he loved it). The kids and I watched The Incredibles 2 while he made the trek. We were midway through revamping the kids play area due to a gift of a mini trampoline - so a coffee table was on its side and the girls were adorable hiding in it - finally an actually good hiding spot! Avie told me I was "the best mommy in the world" and also "the best cooker". Paul and I so enjoyed spending time together with our kids.

I say all of this because even a perfect day in so many ways - it also wasn't. And I think that's the tension of parenting - choosing to see the very real days as wonderful or perfect despite what's hard. Because today Avie also told me I was a "rude mommy". She screamed for so long it hurt her throat and she was convinced that she was sick and needed medicine and then screamed more because I wouldn't give it to her (since she wasn't sick). Avie also sat on Bailey's face (no underwear on) and farted, which Bailey did not love. The twins are fun but also super snotty right now. They have colds so they like being held often. Bailey is always whining and crying as she gets bugged easily. So that's fun. Avie also fell off of the counter (onto the couch) which set her off again. Bailey peed on the floor (where was her diaper?). Paul was setting up the mini trampoline someone gave us and got frustrated as he did it. I took that personally and we kept sniping at each other.

Last week I took Avie to the states for the day as a date. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. We actually mostly had a wonderful time. We shopped, we tried on clothes, we laughed and ate Taco Bell. We peed on the toilet. It was a success. I felt like I was almost out without kids and she got to direct the time and feel like a grown up. Then we were headed back to the border and she peed in her carseat. Quote "Am I wearing a diaper?" "No" "Oh, I peed". Which means she peed onto the van car seat as well. We then got sent in at the border to pay duty (which is fine but less ideal when you are with a toddler soaked in urine). Thankfully I had bought clothes for Colton and Bailey at the consignment store so I managed to get her into some outfits that covered her even though they didn't actually fit. I reminded her on our way back that we didn't have a diaper for her. 5 minutes into our car ride in the other toddler car seat she asked, "Am I wearing a diaper?" "No" "Oh, I peed". So that was fun.

Avie in all her toddler glory

Parenting is the strangest thing. The glorious, wonderful moments are sandwiched right next to the terrible, hard moments. All of which are surrounded by a thousand moments of minutia. Every stage has wonderful bits (newborn snuggles! 6-month-old giggles! 1-year-old first steps! 2-year-old silliness! 3-year-old conversations!) and every stage has hard bits (newborn middle of the night feedings! 6-month-old solid food feeding! 1-year-old frustration! 2-year-old whining! 3-year-old tantrums!). In the middle of the exhaustion is pure joy. Under the pure joy is frustration. And somehow on top of all of this is the reality that your life is changing rapidly. You are rapidly changing (whether you are a mom or a dad). Parenting means that you are no longer in charge of how you spend your time. Parenting means that there are a thousand ways that you can feel guilty. The mom guilt is strong. The mother load is stronger yet. So many things to remember and keep track of: laundry, medicine, dishes, meals, etc. There are new ways to miscommunicate with your partner. There are new ways to feel disappointed by those around you. New ways to experience relationship with your family and friends. But also new ways to feel supported by those around you (I didn't cook for 3 months after Avie was born because people sent us food! I didn't cook for the last 6 weeks of my twins' pregnancy since I was on bedrest and people helped!). New ways to bond and enjoy your spouse. New ways to spend your days - what did we use to do with our time? Certainly more sleep and less tickle fights. I mean not none, but less ;)

I learn about myself in new ways and about Paul. I learn about my family and my parents. Often I learn about God. About His love for us. It's not that you can't experience that part of Him without being a parent but there is a new depth I have been experiencing. Speaking of love, I had often wondered if I had the makeup to be a parent. My mom loved us, for sure, but she wasn't always big on emotions. I am pretty emotionally even-keeled generally and I know how selfish I am as well. So I was worried I wouldn't know how to love my kids the way other moms seem to. But I don't think that's a real fear - I know what's inside of me and I will love my kids. I will be human. I will fail. I will succeed. I will enjoy them and be bugged by them. I will love them.

Avie is loving YouTube cosmic kids yoga. B is unconvinced. Both are adorable.

Parenting can also teach you about friendships. Some of my best friends and I have the same parenting philosophies and that's so helpful. Some of my best friends and I have very different parenting styles and it doesn't matter. I learn things from both. I learn good and bad things - strengths and weaknesses - kindness and support. My friendships have deepened - there's something about being 'in the trenches together' that strengthens a friendship like nothing else. I am so aware that friendships could go either way - hard things can also test friendships. But I've found that with authenticity and humour, some wine, and lots of vulnerability, that the friendships I'm having now are deeper than I've ever experienced before. Friendships, new and old, are able to go deeper quicker. I really appreciate that. 

Basically, it's wonderful and tricky. It's the best and it's so hard. It's wonderful moments and hard moments and a thousand in between. I have learned I'm stronger and more loving than I ever thought possible. I'm also as selfish as I feared and easily beaten down by parenting, which somehow doesn't disqualify me at all! High, lows and everything in between.

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...