I usually don’t do “mommy” blogging because so many other moms do it, and it drives me crazy seeing how perfect some make parenting out to be. But today I really want to share what’s on my heart and mind, and I hope I don’t sound like everything’s peachy-keen. (Because it’s not. For sure.)
As you may know, life here got a little crazy, and then got crazier, and crazier. I thought my first trimester was going to be my tough one, but it turns out the third is by far the most miserable. I am exhausted from preterm contractions, and from SPD (symphysis pubis dysfunction), which is basically my muscles relaxing too much and causing pain, soreness, and discomfort by just moving. Literally just trying to move from one position to the next. Some days are worse than others, and some days I care very little how sore I am.
It’s been 5 weeks since all this started. Baby Aaron, however, is still tucked in his little warm “womb” as happy as a clam. He loves to kick, swirl, punch, dance, kickbox, stretch (I mean, sometimes I wonder how my belly isn’t tearing!), and hiccup. He also likes to punish my poor stretching belly with frantic kickboxing if he thinks I’m not giving him enough space. He’s a healthy little man, from what we can tell, with a strong heartbeat. So, even though my body is taking some extra beatings this time around, I am grateful for Aaron’s health.
But then there’s Michael. O my dear, sweet, little (sprouting like a tree) Michael. Parenting is faking it till you make it.
Cement picnic tables are not to be crashed into, my dear little boy. Your lip is not meant to be bitten through. And now, your tooth is not meant to be pulled before your third birthday because of infection. But alas, you are my little energetic, crazy boy who thinks little of danger and only wants to have fun and run around in circles.
With tears in my eyes last night I told Adam that it’s hard for me to believe that we are parents. As in, we have to make these tough decisions, have to take him to the ER and the dentist for injuries, have to care for him like our parents did for us. I mean, who said we were qualified? Who said we knew what we were doing? Feeding kids is easy. Cleaning them is easy (even with screeches of “hey! That’s my hair!!”). Putting them to bed and reminding them to look up at the ceiling to watch the stars is easy, because then they go right to sleep staring at those glowy things like it’s the best thing ever. But hearing that your not-yet-three-year-old needs to have his tooth pulled because the infection is too large, and you’re wondering how on earth is your heart going to manage the screaming and the tears because you just can’t tell him why the pain is happening, is heartbreaking. It makes me mad. It makes me want to hold him tight and not let them put my child through all that. It makes me wonder if we missed something — but there was absolutely no way that we could have prevented all this.
And Adam looked at me and said, “Makes you realize that our parents didn’t know what they were doing either, huh?”
And I sat in silence, realizing that my parents weren’t born with how to care for us. They didn’t know, with 100% certainty, which direction to go for us. They just did their best and prayed for the rest. Because this parenting gig is hard. It’s painful. It’s a sure way to drag those gray hairs out (I’m still on the lookout for mine, because I firmly believe Michael is giving them to me). And you know what? Parenting sucks. Amid the hugs, the kisses, and the sweetness that makes your heart melt, there’s the tantrums, the accidents, and the days where you think “FAILURE” is written all over the house.
But it’s never a failure. Because this is hard, and all parents struggle. They may not show it, but it would be crazy to think all parents are happy, clean, and looking nice all day long. (And their houses.)
Parenting is faking it. And I pray that we are making it.