The pendulum of children’s moods swings far and fast. A child can be completely content making up song lyrics and the next devastated and inconsolable because you drove past a McDonald’s without stopping.
My therapist reminds me the children’s job is to push and push and push. Testing boundaries is inherent in their nature. As a parent I am supposed to remain still and stern. A concrete wall which does not crumble. And yet.
My kids wear me down, can break my spirit and completely exasperate any sliver of energy. And yet.
They can also delight, entertain and surprise me with their incredible insight. I enjoy my children. When we laugh together I try to perpetuate it. Joy is laughing with a child. True joy is laughing with your children.
I lose my cool with the kids, more often than I would like. Since nobody enjoys losing one’s cool, no amount is pleasurable.
The other night, a mom who’s energy, enthusiasm and dedication to her children I admire told me I was an excellent mom. This is the same mother whose home I I have been trying to send my son for a sleepover to have a little break. What makes a mom excellent?
As with anything, there is always room for improvement. Perhaps wanting to improve as a parent is a sign of a good one. I began reflecting on what I do with my kids, and it is plenty. And yet. There is plenty I do not do. I am fortunate enough to create a balance where I am able to be with my children and still have an identity distinct from mother and wife which helps me appreciate my many roles. A happy mother is a good mother.
While my 6 and 8 year old were assembling Legos this evening, I asked how each would rate me on a scale of 1-10. My oldest nearly said 10 and while she was thinking about it, my son said 10. Then my daughter said about a billion.