“My son spit on me today.” This is a text message I received from my best friend followed by “I want to stab him in the face with a fork.” Meanwhile, I was reading a book on my couch wearing whitestrips and a charcoal peel-off mask. Talk about a Freaky Friday dynamic. I don’t know how she does it. I don’t know how any of you do it. There are days I find it hard to deal and the only person involved in that equation is me. Beyond the fact that pregnancy is my biggest fear next to heights and being bitten in the thigh by a snake, I can’t imagine having to manage the lives of tiny humans without a paycheck. So, from a gal in Cali who can’t even keep track of her Apple TV remote, what you’re doing is amazing, correct and enough.
I’m sure many of you are rolling your eyes and thinking ‘yeah ok’ because what would I know about it, right? It’s like when skinny people tell me they feel fat and I’m like, you don’t even know what fat is. You could fit into the left pant leg of my jeans. I’ll tell you what I do know. I grew up with three brothers and a sister. We were the equivalent of a West Side Story gang, including the song and dance and most certainly action packed with inner turmoil. Kids are certified bananas. I can vouch for that from a personal as well as an observatory perspective. I can also say with all the confidence I own, your kids are completely oblivious to the fact that you could ever possibly feel like a failure. You’re indestructible in their eyes.
Kids are oblivious to reality a majority of the time. I can guarantee you that 70% of your children’s decisions are made without a thought of you. All they really want is a CapriSun and solitary rights to every toy within a ten mile radius. They have no idea how much sleep you got or how much you require to function at full caliber. They have very little interest in what you want to eat for dinner and have zero clue that everything they say and do is a reflection of your parenting skills in the eyes of the America and all her judgement. If they only knew.
As a parent, what you do is incredible. My nephew once had me make his sandwich for him three times because none of them were right. After his disapproval of the third sandwich, my patience sprinted out of the house Forrest Gump style. It’s also important to note that at this point, we were out of bread. He proceeded to express his disappointment by knocking picture frames off of the wall. I looked him dead in the eye and said, “Keep going. And then you can explain to grandmae why all of her things are on the floor.” This resulted in a full-out tantrum which included screaming, crying and a few choice words I didn’t quite understand. Meanwhile, three perfectly edible, dare I say delicious, sandwiches sat on the kitchen counter. I’ll take door #2, thanks.
To all of my friends who are moms, I will sing your wonders from a rooftop and dance in the middle of a highway at the miracle that has now become your routine. Whether you have one or eight, you are incredible and should be greeted every morning by a theme song, breakfast and the largest mimosa there ever was. Between the practices, the doctor appointments, the showers, the birthday parties, the clothes, the laundry, the dinners, the questions, the crying, the stains, the begging, the lessons and school-you’ve gotta be joking my ass. Meanwhile, every giga pet I ever owned died of starvation, my fridge has had nothing but two packets of soy sauce and a bottle of champagne for over three weeks and I’ve recently managed to lose my pizza cutter and a pair of kitchen scissors…and I live alone.
So when you’re having a bad day and you feel like you aren’t up to the task or like you aren’t doing a good job or like you can’t get a hold of your reality, remember that your kids wouldn’t last a day without you. Truly. You’re essentially their personal chef, chauffeur, concierge, therapist, dietician, stylist, encyclopedia and tour guide. You’re a ring master of a thousand circles. Taming a lion might actually be easier. You aren’t perfect. Cut yourself some slack and give yourself some credit. In fact, give yourself a whole heap of credit. You’re raising the future and that is no easy task. You’re doing just fine and I can guarantee your kid thinks so too…even when it would appear their sole purpose in life is to ruin yours. If someone hasn’t told you yet today, you’re more than enough and for what it’s worth, I think you’re pretty magical.