Earlier, while picking up the crumbs of the post-bedtime-snack Pringles out of the carpet, (yes, the ones I specifically told her NOT to crumble up on the floor) I realized that being a mother is the most frustrating job that anyone could have asked for. Daily- No, hourly, I’m constantly smacking myself in the forehead, asking the Lord why on EARTH I decided to become a parent, and better yet, why I did it again? However, the answer isn’t something I needed to wait for. God gave me my babies because he knew, although it would challenge me every single day, multiple times a day, that I could handle it.
Sure! There are countless times a day that my almost five year old makes me want to rip every strand of hair out of my head and throw a temper tantrum of my own sort; flailing and rolling around on the floor all the while screaming and crying, but then, I look at her. I watch her while she sleeps or while she plays independently, and suddenly, I feel at peace.
No, I don’t have it right. Not even close. This motherhood thing is gives the term “test” a whole new meaning, but my daughter is sweet, she is kind. She says ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and asks people to excuse her when she walks in their way. She waves at complete strangers and tells them hello in the store, and although that bit terrifies me, I love that she is so soft. She isn’t hardened by the world, or aware of all the cruelty people can be capable of. To my daughter, ‘sorry’ still fixes everything and a kiss is better than any drug in the world. Yes, of course, we have our moments of not-so-happy times where I get the eye roll, or wave of dismissal that every mother of a daughter expects, and I get the huff-n-puffs, and the drawn out “mooooooooooooooom” when I ask her to do something she is less than thrilled about, but I have to say, overall, my daughter has the kindness I seem to have lost in my 21 years of life; The kindness that I believe almost all of the adults I know have lost.
So, am I the best mother? Heck no. Not in the least bit do I compare. However, I have to say, for my daughter to be as loving and gentle, with nothing hateful to say about anyone, not even those who have been so to her, I must have done something right. I am terrified for the years to come. I’m so scared that sex, drugs, and familiar mother-hatred will inflict this warm heart that I love so dearly. I’ve been told that all girls hate their mother at some point. I’m guilty having said those awful words to my own mother more than once in my teen years. Now that I’m older, I look back. Did I ever mean it? No. Did it hurt my mom all the same? Absolutely. It will take an amount of understanding that I hope to acquire over the years to be able to deal with these things as they come.
Emily called me ‘mean’ once. I cried so hard that I couldn’t see clearly. I hid in my room and cried into my pillow by myself. Can anyone imagine what I’m going to do when she says she hates me?
These are thoughts I try my hardest to push aside when I fall asleep at night. All I aim for in life is for my daughter to know that I love her more than I love anyone or anything in this whole universe. I don’t aim for a big home, flashy career, nice materials, or a designer bag full of cash. Although, yes, those things would be nice, and I would love to cry in my Ferrari outside my mansion when she tells me she hates me rather than in my little apartment… But in reality, I want my kids to grow up and tell the people they have lengthy conversations with on long nights out that despite what mistakes I’ve made, they know that their mother loves them. I never want there to be a doubt from within that I’d give everything I have to make sure that they are safe and taken care of.
I’ve figured out in the short five years of motherhood that only I can give my children a mother who loves them, gives them security, and makes them feel like they will always have one person on their side, in their corner, fighting all odds just for their win. No matter what, they will have a friend in me and know that I’m never very far away.