Monday, May 2, 2016

So I'll probably never win Mother of the Year...

I am the proud mother of two amazing children, I say proud cause have you ever met a mother who wasn't? Even the lady from making a murderer, Steven Avery's mother, was proud of her son. Its just something built into us. Mothers are always proud of their creations. And I am proud of mine.

I'm more proud of myself for surviving motherhood but I guess not everything is about me (or so people keep telling me).  I have two perfect kids. A girl and a boy. The perfect family, one boy, one girl. I had Brittany just shortly after my 17th birthday, way back when I knew everything and was fairly confident being a parent was way more easier then just being a teenager. I had Hunter years later. I can remember being about 25 maybe 26 and thinking if we don't have another baby soon I'm not gonna want to.

I was quickly discovering that the older children became the less actual work it was to be a parent. It got easier and easier every year. And I'm not gonna lie I liked the less and less responsibility being a mother required and I like things that come easy. I am after all from the generation that brought about the end of playing outside and somehow made instant gratification one of our fundamental basic needs. I was sleeping in on the weekends. I hadn't wiped another persons shitty ass in years and I was starting to feel more like an individual and less like a child attendant.

Life was getting easy and I decided to have Hunter. I'd always wanted a boy. Everyone always said boys were different then girls and Brittany was a daddies girl and I am so needy I wanted a mommas boy. The age difference turned out to be perfect. By the time I needed a babysitter for Hunter Brittany was old enough.  With every passing year I was feeling like an old pro and most days I felt like I was striving closer towards that ever unattainable and elusive award of Mother of the year.

I have never once claimed to be the very best mother ever in the history of all the mothers ever since the beginning of time. I'm going to go way out on a limb and say there have been better mothers then me over the millions and millions of years of motherhood.

However, I like to think as far as mothering goes I'm good at it and have this shit down pat. (I never physically harmed them, mentally on the other hand is still under debate.) Some days though that's not always the case, some days I don't have my shit together.

Some days, like the day when Brittany was 3 and I got up and dressed for work and walked a great deal of  distance down the street to the bus stop before realizing I had forgotten my child at home, I am forgetful.

Some days I'm too self absorbed in my own troubles to have patience for theirs. Some days I'm just human. Some days I do not have all the answers to all the questions, so from time to time I just make up shit to tell them so they stop talking.

Other days I'm a great Mom, I bake cookies and sing songs and make all their troubles disappear.

Along time ago when I first became a mother, and I say a long time ago because its been almost 23 years now, I was more concerned with not breaking my child then actually fucking them up mentally.

Brittany was absolutely notorious for not going to bed. Getting the kid to sleep at night often took hours. I'd read her a story usually "No peas for Nelly" her favourite book, then it would be she needed a drink, then she'd be hungry, then her teddy bear didn't get a hug, she heard a noise under the bed ,then she'd need to pee again and her doll needed a drink and could I sing her a song?? I had tried everything possible to get that kid to just go to fucking sleep.

She'd always been a bit difficult, so it never really surprised me when she played the difficult card.  She was colicky as a baby and allergic to her formula and just a handful and clingy.

Maybe because I was 16 and aside from sometimes watching my little brother and skimming through What to Expect when Your Expecting my life experiences were extremely limited in the how to be a  parent department. There were a few times I'm pretty sure I thought about smothering her with the pillow just so she would go to fucken sleep.

This crazy, insane evening bedtime routine of Brittany not going to bed went on for what seemed like years but was maybe a few weeks, a month at most, before I lost my fucken mind. It doesn't happen often but sometimes I snap. I couldn't take it any more why couldn't my kid just go to fucken sleep.

I was willing to do anything at this point, I was certain I had tried everything and I sat, a broken woman, teetering on the edge. Brittany was up so early every day and refused to nap and I knew she was tired every night but she fought though with her cute smiles and her adorable " I need a drink mommies." It was almost like she knew she was driving me insane and that somehow seemed to become her entire purpose.

At some point it had stopped being bedtime and was now a battle of wills between me and a 3 year old. One night after hours of fighting with this child I came up with the greatest idea in the history of ideas. An Idea that would change bedtime forever
I don't know where the idea came from, chances are good it came from a broken woman (me) grasping at something deep, anything to win this war or sheer brokenness and desperation. It was a long shot but I was determined to beat this child at her own game. Bed time actually meant Bed Time!

So I told her Monsters only eat little girls that keep their eyes open at night. I'd even sometimes make some random growling noises and without her seeing scratch the walls so it sounded like monster claws ( 3 year olds are easily manipulated). Okay maybe making monster noises was taking things too far but I don't play to lose. And if she was gonna insist her doll was crying cause I wouldn't give it yet another hug then pretend monster noises seemed more then reasonable.

I think, because she still sometimes gets super duper scared at night and she slept in bed with me till she was nine and that she has a debilitating fear of closets that maybe this wasn't such a great idea. I did however win that war and believe it or not have a wonderful relationship with Brittany despite the fact I played into a 3 year old child's irrational fear of monsters, the dark and everything scary to get my own way.

I may never win Mother of the Year but I am the very best mother I can be despite the fact that a lot of times I don't have the slightest clue what I'm doing or how years later what I do will impact their lives. I can only hope that they keep a sense of humour and that if I've taught them anything at all it is that its okay to laugh and its normal and natural to sometimes feel over-whelmed and that even if I'm the reason they are scared of monsters I love them with every breath I have.
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