I realized the secret of parenting the second after the porcelain ball shattered across the dining room floor. Glass shards -everywhere…Parker—crawling across the crime scene. Greyson, barefoot… UGHHH!!! It was the second time he had thrown something and broken it that night.
Michael was out of town.
It was about 6pm and I had reached destination crazy. I ran towards Greyson, ready to use my "inside only” voice. No, not the inside voice you tell your kids to use at the library, but the one that sounds like it belongs on a horror movie. The one that you only reserve for your husband when you are superbly hormonal and he forgot to ask for extra dressing while getting take out…you know, the one –that if the neighbors heard- would make them call child services and make you want to list your house the next day??
Yeah, that one…I was about to use it to yell, “GREYSON!!! WE DON’T THROW THE….ummmm....Ball?!” I was going to yell at my son at the top of my lungs for throwing a ball, albeit, a decorative porcelain one… but a ball nontheless and how in the hell is he supposed to know the difference?
I was able to summon the strength in my soul and mentally duck tape my mouth, quietly sweep and vacuum, and take a deep breath to get myself grounded again.
I realized then in that instant -that parenting actually isn’t even hard. (Don’t worry I’m going to sort of contradict myself in just a second). In fact, day to day parenting is EASY!
For me-it’s changing some diapers, going to the grocery store, juggling, multi-tasking, giving baths, making lunch…if you’re a mom- it’s just those seemingly mindless things throughout the day. That 95% of it that is pure sugar coated easy…
It’s the 5% though that can crush you to the ground in an instant. That makes you think- for just a moment- What made me think I was fit to have 2 kids (or 4 or 1)? That makes you think-, Gosh –it was so easy when it was just me! I used to go to the gym, and the grocery store…BY MYSELF! And it was HEAVEN!
It has you watching the clock…. In angst—counting down the seconds….47 minutes until Michael gets home…. It sneaks up on me from out of nowhere…
Some days I can and do handle it all…. But sometimes, it may be the 2nd time Greyson goes to run into traffic…or the 8th...or when they are both crying for me and I feel spread too thin…or when G is screaming at me for giving him Fritos when he wanted Potato chips for gosh sakes….or for barely any reason at all...
I think this happens to all mothers…we just don’t bring it up because we are supposed to have it all handled and under control. I don’t care if you have help or a babysitter or your mom to pitch in—you still have the pain of that 5%! I do believe in --and preach about the importance of focusing on the positive and enjoying the tiny things in life, but I also believe it’s good to be real with the people you call friends. Be honest about feelings of inadequacy because I think we all share them at times. Working moms…stay at home moms….every one of us. And I bet even the Mom in the drop off line at school- you know -the one whose hair is always perfect- the one who is always wearing a cute outfit- the one who makes homemade treats for the kids and volunteers in the classroom and works- and has an organic garden-the one who NEVER cusses or thinks burping is funny—probably has the ugliest inside voice of us all.
I keep a piece of that broken ball on my counter to remind me of the 95% that I love.