Whenever I begin to think I have this "Mom" thing in the bag, something happens to assure me that it is, in fact, quite out of the bag.
There are those rare and few moments when the kitchen is clean-ish (I mean, don't look too closely at the cabinets or floor), the kids are fed (cereal for dinner counts, right?), homework is finished, everyone is pj'd and we still have a solid hour before bedtime. This all equates to me feeling like a total Mom Rock Star. I may even start dancing and singing to some loud TSwift - "So it's gonna be forever or it's gonna go down in flames..."
And does it ever go down in flames, my friends.
My first mistake? Feeling confident. It's a rookie mistake, really. I should know by now to never, never, EVER feel confident as a parent. My children can sense that confidence - they can smell it on me faster than a certified K9 could. And as soon as they recognize it, they want to destroy it. To tear it apart into a million little pieces leaving only the memory of that sweet, sweet emotion behind.
It may start as an innocent request for a nighttime snack. Or maybe a sweet tiny voice coming from an angelic-looking, freshly bathed little girl asking for "One more Sofia the First show. Please mommy?" These seemingly harmless questions that turn my night and my mood into a deep, dark abyss.
You see, the nighttime snack? It's actually a carefully planned and well thought out extremist food attack on the kitchen. The absolute messiest, crumbiest and stickiest treats are secretly saved by these mini masterminds of mine specifically for these special evenings. Or, in the category of 'absolute & worst-case scenario', the very last 'nana is chosen. A godforsaken banana that, if it breaks during the peeling process, Lord help us all. That fractured final banana will lead to a complete and total shut-down of the human mind of the toddler. There will be no reasoning. No rational thinking or "talking them down". Multiple desperate attempts to offer other, non-broken food items will be made by every member of the household to no avail. Onlookers will have no choice but to ride the wave of destructive melt-down that ensues until the offended baby either cries himself to sleep or decides that he will eat the 'nana after all. But, he will NOT like it.
Oh, the "one more show" request? Don't be fooled. It's not one last show. In reality, it is an all-night binge watching sesh that they are calling for. And when that appeal is denied, a Cat 5 hurricane disguised as a 3 year old begins to rotate. It starts mild enough. A sprinkling of whining and a little shower of begging. She hangs off my leg and whimpers "Pleeeeeeze Mommy?!" But it's when the realization that her request will not be granted that the real storm will strike land. And everyone around is on the dreaded 'dirty side' of that down pour. Have you ever tried to carry a typhoon to bed? I have. It's as dangerous as it sounds.
After the off-spring have been exhaustively tucked in and are all cozily in the land of nod, I try to take a minute to sit and reflect on my night with a glass of cheap vino in hand. I find wine
makes me a better mother makes me more at ease and relaxed. And here's the conclusion I come to more often than not. No matter how many children I have, I am 'winging it' every day. Honestly, aren't we all? There is no right or wrong way to parent. No for-sure-guaranteed-way to raise our kids. I have not found the How to be a Perfect Mom Guide Book anywhere and if there was a required daily 'Mom Exam', I am pretty sure I would fail it a staggering number of our days.
But, I don't feel bad.
Truly I don't. I know my little ones and not so little ones are well loved. All 8 of them are well rounded and well hugged. You see, I don't believe the success or failure of a mother is measured in broken bananas - thank goodness - but in the sheer size of love they give. And I've got some BIG love to share.
I may not be killing it at being A mom, but I will forever be their mom. And some days I just gotta "Shake it off."