Tuesday, March 3, 2015

on being a mom

Being a mom is pretty much all I do - it encompasses everything in some way. Every single day. I have no time until 9 pm where I don't have a little person around asking for something or talking or crying. (Emma is no longer a little person by the way.) But I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a parent. What it means TO parent. To mother.

Sadie is really hard. She is sassy and demanding and cries a lot and wants me to hold her all the time. She is a big girl and she is getting heavy. Taking her out is hard (I would rather take the other 3 HANDS DOWN than take Sadie anywhere alone. The other day I had an idea. Sadie has no control over her own life. She is dragged everywhere and it's cold so even if she did ask me to go to the park JUST FOR HER TO PLAY, I would say no. She is in a tough spot. Being the youngest has its perks but it can't be easy. So I decided to give her control.

Normally I wake her up at 7:30 a.m. because by then I am ready for the day and she eats while watching Daniel Tiger and all is right with the world. She naps from about 1-3 (if we're lucky) but with her being so grumpy all the time I wondered if she needed more sleep. So, last Thursday was the "Sadie is in charge" day. She slept until 8:30 a.m. and I figured she wouldn't take a nap. But she was so happy! She didn't want to get dressed so she got to stay in her warm jammies. She didn't want to eat breakfast so I didn't make her. We took Tanner to preschool (she didn't have a choice there to stay home). When we got home she asked for eggs so I made them (it was almost 10 by this point). I let her take whatever she wanted into her crib for "nap time." She didn't fight me about napping and slept an hour and a half. I don't remember the rest of the day because I'm pretty sure she didn't control the afternoon, but she was so much happier. I am trying to give her choices (go to bed or be tickled; she HATES to be tickled so she chooses going to bed...but SHE CHOOSES it). That makes me feel like a good mom.

Last night we baby-sat twin baby girls. For a minute I glimpsed what it would be like to have 6 kids (the youngest two twins). I ate up those three hours with the babies, who were perfect angels and didn't even cry. Spencer had one, I had one, they were fed and happy...  Spencer asked me if it made me want more and I was thrilled to say no. I love knowing that we are complete and I will borrow babies anytime because I love to, and I also love to know that no more babies are in our future. I feel like our family is perfect and I'm not trying to keep up or compete with anyone who is having more than me. I just feel so content with my little family.

Lastly, I am reminded that I need to stand up for myself, for motherhood, for families, and for our values. Today at story time at the library I was with some friends and all our kids. Toward the end we were whispering about something (can't remember) and not paying attention to the book anymore. After it was over the librarian came up to us, and said "Girls, If you are going to talk while story time is going on, next time move to the back." (Whatever, fine, we shouldn't have been talking.) But then she said, "Remember to model good behavior for your children and set the example about what is ok and what isn't." That bugged me and I brushed her off and was ready to walk away. My friend Jen didn't take it, however. She told her that her mother had died and she didn't need another one. She said that crossed a line, and while we shouldn't have been talking, she did not need to treat us like children and insult our parenting. I was so proud! We both have 11 year old girls and said how if they had been there and heard that it would have been really extra inappropriate.

It got me thinking about, first, remembering to be quiet during story time, but also to stand up for ourselves and for what is important. I don't know if that lady had kids, but I remember in the moment being so glad Tanner couldn't hear. He probably wouldn't have understood, but for her to insult our parenting just because we were whispering was appalling and I am glad Emma and Tyler weren't there. Also, it makes me want to stand up for myself more! I would have been stewing about it all day, and probably would have gotten more and more irritated, but Jen was a good example to me about getting it off your chest, righting a wrong, and moving on.

These things are all random, but all connected in what I do as a mom. I sure love my kids, and I know Sadie will come into her own soon enough.