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Challenge: Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

I’m not doing the best I can, and I’m OK with that

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I am currently entering the phase of the year where I am most reminded of the fact that my mom died. Yes, I know, every day I am reminded that she died, but as we enter spring, just knowing what’s to come hits me like a waterfall of emotion. From May through September I am bombarded with Mother’s Day, my youngest’s birthday (who was born just before she died), my birthday, her death day, and then her birthday. I’d like to believe that after 3 years it gets easier, but with 3 young kids, I still have yet to find the space to grieve and heal as i need to.

I titled this piece, I am not doing the best I can, and I’m okay with it, because I’m just not. I see Instagram influencers posting all over saying “I’m doing the best I can and we should be proud lalala”. But you know what I’m really not, and I’m not proud of it, but I don’t really have a choice here and I accept that. In this stage of life, I’m a struggle bus to the extreme and that’s just fine with me. On top of all my grief, and other major life struggles that I’m not going into right now, we are ALSO in the midst of a pandemic, I mean we just can’t catch a break! I’m just trying to survive while somehow managing the grief I have barely been able to tap into yet.

I have 3 immunocompromised kids, so we are still in strict lockdown. I don’t get much of a break, they can’t see friends, and I barely can either. I’m not doing my best, I’m just living in this mess and I’m okay with it. My kids will see me as this struggle bus and they’ll know that it’s okay to just not do it all, and be, and live, and experience life for what it gives us instead of pretending. They’ll know hard things happen and we don’t have to just move on. We can get support, go to therapy, and sometimes just sit instead of all the other things the world tells us we have to do. Because…life lesson, we just don’t have to.

Sitting on the couch doing nothing is not the best I can do, but it’s what I need right now. So it’s what I’ve got. I am on my phone far too much, but it’s my connection to life, to my friends, to everything I wish could have… to what I miss. I take this extra space, this extra hard season of life, and I remind myself that it just is what it is. I had a my third baby, and 2 months later my mom died, then other things in my life fell apart, and here we are. And honestly, I don’t even need to justify why, sometimes life is just hard for no real reason. I love my kids, and I know with every piece of me that they know they’re loved too. I’m not a bad mom or a mean mom or a neglectful mom because I am not always fully available when they want me to be. I’ve been through neglect, this isn’t that. I’m here, I hear them, and see them, and give them the love they need. They still live life as “normal” kids; they do school and play and do all the silly kid things. And most of the time it’s with me. I’m just a little less right now. And that’s okay.

One day, even though no parent would wish for this, they’ll go through a incredibly hard season of life, just as I am, and I hope they look back and see that they don’t have to do it all either. As long as they have support, they can sit longer, and cry harder, and rest as long as they need. Doing everything non stop and pushing my pain aside, never helped anyone, especially myself. So yeah, I’m not doing my best, but one day I will. And until then, I’m okay with that.

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