Three kids

21 Aug

If you know me, you know I have 3 kids.  You may also know that I’m 26.  Every once in a while, these two things blow me away.  This is not how I imagined life at 26.  Actually, I don’t think I ever had any idea what I’d be doing past 19.  And that was when I was 19.

I’m a fatalist, friends.  What does that mean?  It means, for me, I don’t see very far into the future.  Sometimes I try to have a great, positive (Christian?) outlook  for the years to come… but I can’t do it.  It’s all fog and haze and maybe I need new glasses?  So, when I was 19 and tried to look forward, I didn’t imagine much for 26.  Maybe I thought I’d be married?  But I don’t remember caring much about getting married.  I definitely didn’t think about kids ever.  I seriously used to be scared of babies.  They just freaked me out.  They’re tiny!  and fragile!  with a soft spot!  DO NOT TOUCH BABIES.

But, here I am.  I’m onto my 3rd baby, and I’m not very scared of doing much with him.  (I mean as far as dropping him goes.  After you see one baby fall off the couch, you’re slightly more and less afraid at the same time.)  I know how to take care of an infant; how to help a toddler up the stairs; how to help a preschooler scribble and color.  I’ve changed diapers ad nauseum; offered countless turned down dinner plates; cleaned a million sticky fingers.  And I still don’t feel like a mom.

I mean:  I am a mom.  Or mommy.  Or mama.  I am one of those.  I do the things moms do and have children to call my own; but I can’t seem to figure out what I’m supposed to feel.  How do you feel like a mom?

I think part of my problem is that this mothering thing is pretty hard for me.  It takes a lot of patience and care and gentleness and enthusiasm and listening.  Some of those I can do somewhat easily; others are less natural for me.  It takes a lot of control for me to, say, not roll my eyes at my 4 year old when she spills her entire plate because she was engrossed in something other than walking; or to answer the same question over and over and over and over from my 2 year old without telling him to shut up.  Yeah, I’m not a natural-born mother.

Then again, I am.  Right?  I mean, here I am:  Mother.  It sort of feels like a shirt that’s a bit too snug; maybe if I lost something it’d fit better.  But I’m still holding on to being what I once could easily be:  selfish and petty and ugly and mean and controlling and flippant and lazy.  Why should I give those up for my little blessings?  Why can’t I just be the way that comes easily to me?

This stuff– this letting go type stuff– is hard.  It’s hard to see a constant furrow on your face and not wonder what it does to your kids.  So I’m trying to let go.  To give my kids a kind, gentle, loving, patient, soft mother even if I don’t always want to be her.  And maybe I’ll keep trying to be her, and, one day, wake up and find I actually am her.   Fake it ’til you make it, right?  RIGHT?!

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2 Responses to “Three kids”

  1. What's in a name? August 21, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Right! But make sure that your children will be able to see you as a fully formed person, not just a mother.

    • adellamae August 27, 2013 at 12:45 pm #

      Currently, I’m trying to see myself as more than a mother! Hopefully I figure that out sometime. 🙂

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