Before having kids I had all these ideas of what parenting was about and what I’d be like as a parent. They were more than ideas actually, they were ideals. The reality of parenting is quite different. Don’t get me wrong, parenting is often wonderful and amazing. However, it is also crazy hard. Many days insanely hard.
Having three kids under five, it feels like I am constantly behind. Constantly mediating fights. Constantly trying to feed someone. Constantly wiping noses, bums, hands. Constantly cleaning and doing laundry (oh my gosh the laundry!). Constantly trying to maintain my temper and my sanity.
Today is one of those days I feel a bit defeated. Actually, truth be told, I feel a bit of an epic fail as a parent today. I feel all my faults keenly- and there seem to be so many. I don’t spend enough time playing with my kids. I don’t get down to their level enough. I don’t connect with them enough. I don’t make them feel special enough. I don’t have enough patience. I don’t listen enough (maybe mommy needs to go up on Not Listening Island). I don’t, I don’t, I don’t.
Days like today I go to bed and the only thing that saves me is thinking of an Anne of Green Gables quote: “Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.” Maybe that is what parenting is, starting each day with the plan to do your best. Just waking up each day and saying, “Today I’ll be better.”
Perhaps that is the true ideal of parenting, trying your best each day…and then praying your kids have a good sense of humour when they are older and remember your meltdowns.