As far as I can remember, I knew I wanted to be a mother. I wanted to have at least 2 kids, a boy and a girl (the typical dream). Little did I know, how much came with being someone’s parent. Little did I know all the sources I would have to pull from in order to be present and attentive to these little beings I am, now, responsible for. Although I did have the two I asked for, both were girls, no boy. Let me tell you, they are a handful. So different in personalities, yet the same energy is needed to provide them with what they need in order to rear them decently.
My oldest is a self-proclaimed fashionista/stylist/entertainer who constantly needs your undivided attention. If she is not having fashion shows or concerts, she is preaching a longwinded sermon that requires participation and patience. Don’t get me wrong, I love her love of God, but her sermons can be draining and go on forever. I am constantly trying to balance my sanity and not killing her spirit. Most of time, I feel I am failing at achieving this balance.
My youngest is at an age where she is beginning to express her personality as well as do whatever the oldest have her do. She is definitely a mommy’s girl and is on my heels every time I turn around. She doesn’t require much attentiveness as my oldest but does like to be near me (touching me) at all times. They are both little firecrackers, however. I find myself always trying to keep up and stay focused on whatever it is they are engaged in.
Growing up, I would hear adults say things like, “wait until you have a child of your own” or “it’s hard being a parent.” I never got it until now. I think it is the idea of being responsible for another soul, and I mean soul, literally. God has gifted us with these babies to show them the way. We are responsible for shaping them and molding them and it can be tough. I have learned for me to raise healthy children, I must one, make sure I am good, and two, meet them where they are and seek ways to speak to their spirit. I sometimes find myself speaking to them as if they are older than they are and put expectations on them that are not age appropriate. Then, I become frustrated when the expectations are not met, not realizing that they just aren’t there yet. Every day I am learning what works and what doesn’t and how I can be better to them and for them, but it ain’t easy. Most of the time, “I’s tired, Boss!! I’s can’t make it, Boss!!” Sometimes, I even want to crawl up in the fetal position and rock myself into another world because I just do not have it in me. In those moments, I just regroup, reconnect, and remember to “be brave” as my oldest used to put it when she was younger.
I used to be a very patient individual. That was a quality that people seemed to always notice about me, and it was humbling considering not a lot of people have patience. However, when it comes to raising my daughters, patience is a word that seems so foreign to me. I think it boils down to just wanting the best for them and wanting them to learn things at my pace rather than their own. If I am honest, I sometimes worry about judgment from others that I am not doing a good job as a mother. I know prior to becoming a mom, I had my opinions on other’s parenting, some good, some bad. I had thoughts on how I would discipline/interact with my child once I had him/her. I always thought the “old school” way worked and planned to follow that model, meaning, punishment, repercussion, pop on the butt, etc. I still believe in these things, however, I, now, know that they must be modified into today’s society with today’s children. Although I still wonder if my parenting is being judged, I am getting better at focusing on what other’s may think. Every has an opinion, and it is really not my concern. What is best for my daughters is! I understand now that some things just don’t work for children nowadays. I have to be creative with how I speak to my girls and how I react to their shenanigans. I am learning although they are children, they are still people. Some things have to be tweaked, or I am not going to get the result that I want and to add to that, a headache.
Being a mom has taught me that I have to be aware of all that I say and do. In the past, I would try to carry myself in a way that would be a role model to young girls who may see me, whether daily or in passing. Although, I continue to do that, it is different being a mother to daughters who see and hear everything!!! For example, I remember mumbling the word stupid in the car in response to something I heard on the radio. Knowing I shouldn’t have said it, but thinking I said it low enough to not be heard, I thought I was off the hook. Sure enough, the little one heard!! One thing, I tell them is not to say words like stupid, idiot, shut up, dumb, etc. Those are “bad words” and here I was using it. (Let’s not even talk about how I cannot enjoy anything with explicit or inappropriate language anymore because their little hears pick up everything). But yeah, parenting has been somewhat of a journey for me.
To make life easier for myself, some things I just have to let go. I look at the spirit of my daughters, and I am just in awe at how they can love unconditionally and how they look at the beauty of life. Things that I once saw as beautiful, I have grown to take for granted. I see that there are things that just aren’t that worth getting so upset over. I have learned to “talk about it” as my oldest continues to tell me when I am upset, and she wants to plead her case. I am learning that some things are really and truly “accidents” or “misunderstandings.” Some things I can be gentle about and not always be so tough. My oldest has taught me that sometimes you just have to put on a dress and a pair of heels and get a “makeup over” to feel good and pretty. She teaches me to be “fierce” and reminds me of the importance of being creative and expressing yourself. My youngest teaches me how to love unconditionally. She reminds me that “it’s going to be OK!” My girls teach me to be aware of who I am not always take life so seriously. They make me have fun. We sing, we dance, we act silly! Although mommin’ is tough, it also does so much for my soul. Sometimes I wonder, am I teaching them or are they teaching me? My daughters remind me of the importance of confidence. I have never seen so much confidence rolled up in such small bodies, and I am so thankful to God for blessing me with these little divas. Sometimes as moms, we get too caught up in wanting to rear them right, that we miss out on the opportunities to let loose and allow them to be themselves. Heck, we need to allow ourselves to be ourselves. They will learn more from us being our true selves than they will our desire to rear them “perfectly.” Remember there is no such thing, so that would only do them a disservice and set them up for failure. Mommin’ ain’t easy, but I am enjoying the ride!!