Here's a link to a blog post that I most recently read. My sister shared this on Facebook and I also shared it. I think it is a very good read for any parent with small children.
I work full time monday through friday and so many nights I am just mentally and physically exhausted from work. It feels like it takes all I have just to even make dinner and I just can't wait for 8:00 p.m. Lately there have been numerous nights that I have sent the girls to their room just so I can sit on the couch and unwind and enjoy the silence before I start dinner. I feel guilty some nights because I hate having kids attached to my legs while I'm trying to cook dinner. I sneak off to the bathroom and lock the door for a few minutes before I see little fingers sticking under the door and little voices saying, "mom what are you doing? OPEN THE DOOR!!"
Just like every parent I know, we are taught to enjoy the moments we have because they grow up fast and pretty soon want nothing to do with us. I often feel guilty and like a bad mom because I also enjoy the quiet time and the time I have to myself. After reading the blog post I know I'm not a bad mom. I would rather enjoy those precious times with my kids while I'm rested and happy.
Duh, I can clearly see they grow up to fast and don't need constant reminders. I remember the days we brought the girls home like it was yesterday. I remember when KP came home and how we went and had sushi that night against the NICU nurses wishes of wanting me to stay home with her until her sister came home. I remember visiting KT in the NICU while KP was in her carseat at the front desk and as soon as I heard her cry (yes, as moms we can hear OUR kids cry a mile away even with others crying or in a room full of noises) I knew my time with KT was up. Sneaking time with both girls was my favorite since they were separated from both and not allowed in the same cribs. I remember what it was like trying to split my day up between two babies that were in two different places. I remember each surgery and thinking to myself how is KT going to bounce back from THIS and each time she showed me true strength. Now both girls are my twin tornadoes that sometimes I just want to run and hide from.
With society I feel there is always a drive to be the "perfect parent" and strive above and beyond. I am not a perfect parent and know that I never will be. But I know that I will always be there for my kids no matter what. I know that I try. I try to use Love and Logic especially for consequences but there's times when my patience is at it's lowest and I just don't want to think of an approriate response to things. There's times where I don't want to explain everything and the girls get a mom look with "go to your room right now and I'll see you again in 5 minutes." I beat myself up over that maybe I'm too harsh or that maybe I should just suck it up and enjoy the time that I do have with them.
Then I have nights like last night that are just perfect and remind me that not every day is a struggle or not every day needs to be one. I am pretty good about picking my battles but some mornings it is just to hard getting both girls and myself ready. Last night we got home, KP asked to watch "annie" and both girls sat so quietly while I was able to clean up the mess from the night before and enjoy some time just sitting at the kitchen table...alone. I started dinner and of course Kaleah came in to help. Usually she gets kicked right back out of the kitchen but since I had time to unwind I told her to pull up a chair and watch. She asked what everything was and even "helped" by carrying empty containers to the trash. We made tuna casserole and she loved smashing up the chips to put on top. I think it helped that not only did the girls decide to have their own to unwind from the day but I did too.
While dinner was cooking we decorated the front of our fridge. I felt so guilty that I don't spend my limited time with them in the proper ways so I came up with an idea to work on pre-school type things. Our "learning wall" aka the fridge door is decorated with a weekly theme. Everything will be changed each Sunday. The theme for the upcoming week is cows and each week includes a theme, vocab word, letter, number, shape or color, and a nursery rhyme. I found a 26 week program to follow and will make a more in depth post about that.
So after my ridiciously long post I've concluded it's ok to not be that perfect parent. It's ok to enjoy a night out with my love...without two kids asking why every 5 minutes. I don't have to out do anyone or feel bad about decisions I make. I know that I am still the best parent to my children.