a proud mom moment

Friday, June 9, 2017

Motherhood is a lot of things. It’s a big mix of constant contradictions like immense love and utter frustration. Motherhood often means perpetually doubting yourself and your abilities and praying that your children turn out alright in spite of you.

I am a mom, come October (ish), I will be a mom to three, yes three, little human beings.That means three times the self-doubt my friends. That's a heck of a lot of self-doubt.

Most moms I know have said this once or a million times, but becoming a mother has been both the greatest gift and the most challenging thing that has ever happened to me.

Some moments, heck, some days I struggle HARD.

I worry a lot and I make mistakes and I think, for me, the most difficult part is knowing that we, as parents, have such a profound impact on these little humans and truly not wanting to mess it all up.

Then… something happens and one of my incredible human beings does something so remarkable that it causes a shift. Something happens that causes tears to well up in my eyes as I beam with pride and not just in the little person who has astounded me so, but also in myself, and my parenting partner (shout out to Mr. B), because, gosh darn it, if one of our littles can do something so awesome, well, we MUST be doing at least something right. Right?

Now with that intro, you’re probably wondering what the heck I’m going on about and I’ll tell you. Before I do, I’ll warn that to most, this may not seem as remarkable as I am leading on, but to me, it’s confirmation that we’re all doing ‘okay’ and that is nothing short of awesome.

The morning I'm writing about started like most. I left early to go to the gym (that in and of itself is something) and got home just as Mr. B was getting the kids up and dressed. Not surprising, little miss was fighting the 'getting ready' process. To say it kindly, she's not a morning person (I feel ya hun). Anyways, I walked into a battle royale as Mr. B was trying to patiently negotiate what pants she was going to wear under her dress. In an attempt to be helpful, I took over trying to offer a plethora of options, surely providing one that would be viable. There were NO pants that would please little miss. We threw up our respective hands in frustration, me heading to the shower and Mr. B opting for the child to go pant-less while she ate and he'd pick up the battle prior to leaving the house.

Things continued as usual. The kids ate, I secluded myself to my bathroom to ready for the day. As things were wrapping up I crossed Mr. B's path coming up the stairs only I noticed a giant smile on his face. I love the man, but he doesn't usually walk around all smiley-like for no reason. Naturally, my curiosity was peaked and I asked "what's that smile for?". He obliged my inquiry and explained that, while successfully getting little miss to put on her pants (ones, I might add, that we had already picked and got denied) she cooperated and was quiet for a moment. She then asked him for a hug and a kiss and said "I'm sorry I was grumpy with you this morning, that was not very nice". Tears flooded my just-mascara'd eyes.

I looked down the stairs and saw her still sitting at the bottom, waiting for her dad to come usher her out the door and I said "Annabelle, I'm so proud of you for telling daddy you were sorry" and her response was "mommy, I need to talk to you too". I went downstairs and she gave me the biggest, most genuine hug and kiss and said "I'm sorry to you too, I was grumpy and wasn't talking very nice". I thanked her for her apology, said we all have grumpy mornings (because, let's be serious) and said the important part is she knows it was hurtful and she said she was sorry and hopefully will learn to try and be more kind next time.

But guys, I walked away from that embrace literally glowing with pride. My daughter, our just 4 year old daughter, had enough insight to know that she was grumpy, that she hadn't been treating us kindly and she had the awareness and the want to apologize and to try and remedy the hurt.

Yes, it's what she should have done, it's what you might expect from an adult but truthfully, I know some adults who aren't able to recognize when they've done wrong like this, let alone genuinely apologize for it.

Even writing this, a week later (because I started writing the morning of, but you know, life and all of that) I'm still so incredibly proud of that little girl but I'm also proud of her father and I. We are NOT perfect parents. We mess up, probably more often than either of us would care to admit. Life can be hard, adulting is challenging and parenting can try even the most patient of souls. These little people, as they reveal themselves to us, are helping us recognize that 1) we all make mistakes but the important part is that we do what we can to acknowledge those mistakes, apologize and try and do better next time and 2) we need to give ourselves more credit because gosh darn it, if our kids are learning these things from us, we're obviously doing something right!

This also serves as a reminder for those not-so-stellar moments that there are little people watching practically ALL.THE.TIME. Little people who learn from us how to be in the world and how to treat other people. This is a gift, an honor and a HUGE responsibility. Good thing situations like this lead me more and more to believe that we might just be up to the challenge and they may just turn out alright in spite of us - fingers crossed :)