In my head, I burst out from under my covers in the morning to the birds singing, I throw a pan of blueberry muffins in the oven, and then putter around, packing lunches as my teens get ready for school like busy bees, and usher them out the door sweetly with kisses and hugs like I did when they were grade-schoolers. But, I’m not that kind of mom.
In reality, I drag myself out of bed from having been up a bit too late the night before from finishing up the day. I crack one eye open as I swallow my old lady pills with a cold glass of water,wonder why my back hurts, and then, as the kids fight over something (really, pick anything), I chase it with a swig of hot coffee, and briefly wish no one would talk before I’ve gotten to the bottom of the mug. They yell they don’t have pants, as I yell back that’s too bad if they didn’t do their laundry. I go upstairs for the 10th time to get Little out of bed, and I listen to the teens argue over something else (pick anything else. It doesn’t matter, they will fight over it.). All the while, I yell at them to throw something (anything) in their mouths between crabbing at each other, so they can make it to lunch. Most of the time I manage to pressure them into jamming a granola bar, and maybe a bit of fruit in their mouths, while they yell at each other to hurry up because the other one is going to make them late. Someone always cries they can’t find their backpack/notebook/lunchbox/phone/whyareallofthecoldpackswarm?/why is she such a jerk?/Why do you hate me?/I hate you.
I feel like I should make a full breakfast, that I should make sure they’ve done their laundry,that I should smooth things over so that their mornings are stress-free, that I should make sure they are all up on time, and have everything together the night before. But ,I’m not that kind of mom.
A good friend pointed something out to me, when I admitted that I’m not that kind of mom, and I felt bad about it after seeing and reading all kinds of smiling things on social media.
I should realize it’s already going fast. They were once sweet gap-toothed grade-schoolers, who kissed me when they walked out the door, instead of running out with their heads down, while I yell at them to zip their coats, for the love all that is holy, it’s only 40-degrees out, at least put one on. I should realize that every time I get mad because they fight and nit-pick at each other, I should realize that it’s a strength talent in a girl, and no one is going to take advantage of them anytime soon, or tell them what to do. I should realize that wishing it away when I feel mad at the chaos, only rushes the good times too. I should realize that they are becoming their own people, and they need to figure it out, and that taking a step back and letting them do so is the best thing I can do. Doing their laundry for them so they have clean pants ,or finding the one cold pack so their lunch doesn’t get warm only enforces them to be more dependent on me, and not themselves. Because when I stop doing, they learn they have to for themselves.
And I should realized that in less than 5 years they will all be driving, and and out in the world, and need to navigate without me acting as the GPS in the car, or their daily life. When I think about getting involved in lunchroom squabbles or drama, that they need to figure it out by themselves, no matter how much hurt I see, and how much it hurts me. They need learn to be functional in all aspects in life, and if that means they get themselves out of bed on time or be late for school, so be it. And, if it means they spend their mornings arguing to work out problems,crying about dirty pants, so be it.
Because. I love those those kids like mad-crazy.
I’m that kind of mom.
Love essays? Read about why your home should reflect you, not a magazine,
from Jennifer Rizzo http://jenniferrizzo.com/2017/05/im-not-kind-mom.html