The “Motherly Moments” category has been empty. I’ve been hesitant to post because I’m the I’m failing my children as a mother kind of mother. No, I’m not saying this because I want sympathy. I’m saying this because every time I go to bed, I realize I failed my duties as a mother in one way or another:
- I lost my patience and raised my voice – more than once.
- I sent my ten-year-old to school with disheveled hair.
- My almost two-year-old once again got into my iPhone and watched nursery rhymes videos on YouTube.
- The dinner that was supposed to include vegetables ended up being loaded with carbohydrates.
- The pile of laundry did not get folded on time, so my daughter sported wrinkles to school.
- I did not enroll my daughter in gymnastics or dance young enough for her to ever consider said talents as a career. I speak Spanish, but failed to teach my oldest daughter Spanish.
- I allowed them to watch back-to-back episodes of SpongeBob, and Icarly.
- This weekend, both girls ate more than their fair share of sugar.
- I was so tired, I send them to bed without brushing their teeth, or flossing.
- I gave them cereal for dinner because I did not feel like cooking.
- They asked me to play a board game, and I’ve said no because I was not in the mood for playing.
- They watched the movie Coraline first thing when they woke, in the middle of the day, and just before bed time.
- I’m lousy at arts and crafts, so we rarely utilize glue, beads, stickers, construction paper, or scissors.
- I’m constantly nagging my daughter about her messy room.
- I’m hounding my older daughter about her homework.
The list is never-ending. And every night, I tell myself that tomorrow will be different. I will not lose my patience. I will be more organized. Dinner will look good, taste good, and be healthy. I will not send my daughter off to school with messy hair, or wrinkled clothes. I shall read to my toddler all day long, followed by arts and crafts, and the mess that transpires in between that time will only be symbolic of our creativity. But the day passes, and every night, my failings flash before my eyes like flickering neon lights in a questionable bar. I go to bed wondering if my daughters will hate me. If they will blame me for all of their shortcomings. If they will approach motherhood with the hope they will not be the mother to their children like the mother I was to them.
I’m turning this post around. I don’t want for this first post to be filled with self-imposed expectations of what my role as a mother should be. Yes, I am impatient, but I apologize to my daughters, and they forgive me every time, and am granted another opportunity to show them how much I love them. I’ve sent my daughter to school disheveled on several occasions, but she’s always been clothes, her belly has been filled with food (or have access to food at school) in a house where she was able to sleep comfortably in her own bed. I don’t do arts and crafts, but I will enroll my daughter in school plays, and drive six hours one way to ensure she participates in an event that is less than an hour-long because I know it will be a wonderful memory she can place in her treasure box. I kiss both of them good night every night. Yes, I nag my daughter about her homework, but it’s because I care about her and want her to be successful in school. My toddler can use an iPhone, but she can also sing Twinkle Twinkle, the Alphabet, and over twenty different nursery rhymes. Despite her ability to turn an immaculate room into a Picasso masterpiece, If I ask her to help me pick-up, she happily obliges. And when I don’t want to cook dinner, they are not only forgiving, but enjoy having breakfast for dinner (I thank the movie Coraline for that one).
My daughters love me and I know they know I love them. I’m not perfect. I never will be. I will never be good at arts and crafts, but there is no rule in this galaxy that indicates I have to be Martha Stewart in order for my daughters to think highly of me. The ratio of carbohydrates to protein will never be perfect, but my daughters are not starving, or malnourished. Two out of five days, my daughter will go to school with nicely braided hair. And if the measurement of a good mother is dependent on braids, then I’m sure I am sharing the Titanic with a plethora of parents. Each day is a learning day for both my daughters and me. It is learning to love each other unconditionally, to learn about each other and strive to be a better us the next day. And if at night, I don’t get to check-off a single one of the self-expectation measuring my value as a mother, I will wake up the next day and try, try again. There will be times where my daughters might be embarrassed of me, perhaps blame me for something I failed to do, or did. But there is one thing they will never doubt – how much I LOVE THEM!