I like to finish what I've started. While the simple act of attempting something new is better than sitting on your ass eating corn chips, I've always found that the joy of completing a task - particularly a big one - is more satisfying that simply starting down the path. I like to check things off of my to-do list, tie them up with a bow and move on to the next.
Then I had kids. And suddenly my life became a massive run-on sentence of incomplete and regularly re-visited, previously-assumed completed tasks.
Late last week, I had a conversation with my mother (an avid reader of this blog - Hi Mom!). In it, she suggested that I start writing more about how I'm a good mom ("Because you REALLY are a good mom, Sherice...") and how I'm starting to figure things out. To take a more positive spin on motherhood, and how things are getting easier.
I would LOVE to write about how after 4 years, I have it all figured out. For my next blog post to be titled, "How to raise happy, well-rounded, perfectly mannered, insanely creative and brilliant kids in 3 easy steps". I'd love to say that I've cracked the code to having a happy marriage, well-adjusted kids, good health and a career with some semblance of my sanity intact.
But I can't. Because I haven't.
As soon as I think I've gotten the hang of this mommy thing, the rules seem to change. Tantrum-tamers that used to work like a charm are miraculously rendered obsolete. The adventurous two-year-old who used to eat anything now limits his food choices to pasta, milk and bananas. There are never enough hours in the day (cliche! cliche!). My to-do list runneth over and my patience runneth short.
This much I do know. I no longer give much credence to how others think I should raise my children. After a battle with pre-eclampsia, premature birth, health scares and countless hours of nursing, feeding and comforting my children, I think I've earned the right to raise my kids the way I see fit. The problem is, there are only so many things you can accomplish in a given day and I continue to fall into the trap of trying to do everything, every day. I cannot be super mom, super wife, super executive, super friend, super sister, super daughter all at the same time.
So why do I keep trying to?
Like Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, the empty inbox or completed to do list are a myth. Urban legend perpetuated by generations of over-achievers struggling to keep up the facade of having it all.
I may not have the secret to being the perfect mom, but I do know that I love my kids perfectly. I know that my priorities in life are to make sure that they feel loved, are safe and healthy, are able to learn and know how to play well with others. I may not get to all of them every day, but I know my priorities are in check.
Hey - maybe I have this motherhood thing down after all...