Wednesday, January 29, 2014

What I am is...not who I am.

I am a lot of things.  I am things that are obvious.  I am things that are subtle.  I have passions that I lay out for everyone to see and some that I keep closer to the vest.  I am silly.  I am impulsive.  I am out-going.  I am a nature lover, an animal lover, and borderline tree-hugger.  I like going to the grocery store.  I make lists for everything.  I am a conversationalist.  I try daily to be open-minded and non-judgmental (and fail just as often).

I am NOT a lot of things.  I am not slow to anger.  I am not overly patient.  I am not always the person I want my children to think I am.  I am not always kind.  I am not always happy.  I am not always thankful for the beautiful things in my life.  I am not always as excited as I should be to see my kids when they wake up in the morning or my husband when he gets home at night.  I am not a perfect (or even always a GOOD) parent.  I am not conservative.  I am not good at self-editing or filtering (though I think I am getting better). 

From a parenting standpoint; what am I?  I am a mother who, at times, feels like she cannot stand another minute in her house alone with her children or else she will go absolutely insane, never to be seen again except feeding birds in the park and talking to stray cats as if they were her late grandfather...

From a parenting standpoint; WHO am I?  Today?  I am an overwhelmed, exhausted young parent who is unsure of every parenting move I've ever made.  I am not enough of anything and I'm too much of everything.  I am a mother who loves her children more than her own life.  I am an advocate for their health, their education, their potential.  I am a parent of two very different children that need me to be very different things for them.  So at any given time; I am a teacher, I am a therapist, I am a mother, I am a maid, I am a cook, and I am a refuge when the world is just too much.  I am a listener, a holder of hands, a feeler of foreheads and a bandager of broken hearts.  I am a scheduler, a facilitator, a chaperone.  I am a decision-maker, a questioner, a second-guesser.  I am everything to my children and nothing at the same time.  I am a parent trying my hardest to raise independent individuals who are confident in their own abilities and choices while being unsure and terrified of my own.  And at the end of the day, that's a comforting thought.  If ever I feel sure of myself and fully confident that I have done "the right thing" for my children, I will immediately know I am failing.  If I ever go to bed NOT feeling at least a little bit like a screw-up, I will be sure I am one.  Parenting and life are like that.  They are an endless journey of questions.  Some days, I have no answers.

Are you sure you know what you're doing Mom?  Nope, no idea kid!
In my life, I am a lot of things.  For my kids' sake, I hope that an over-confident parent who has all the answers is never one of them.