Dear Mom,Forgiv…

Dear Mom,

Forgive me if this letter is a bit fragmented, I had an extra-strong coffee this morning.

I was reading a great book on parenting the other night. It was 10 o’clock, both kids were sound asleep, and Hubby and I finally had some alone time. So what do we do? He plays Portal 2, and I read up on teaching character development to your toddler. So I’m reading this book by the light of the computer screen, because if I turn on a light Baby Adelaide will instantly wake up and start talking to the stuffed animal hanging from her bassinet hood, and I have this epiphany. And not one of those good epiphanies, like, “Hey, I think I’ll invent a social network that will go global in a matter of months.” No, it was one of those epiphanies that makes you want to curl up and sleep for the next eighteen years.

Let me preface by saying that it had been a long day. My day started with one kid missing the diaper completely and filling the highchair, and the other tripping and for some reason not catching himself with his arms, but his nose. Naps were spotty, to say the least, and toilet training went south when, in the split second between when I took him off the potty to flush and turned around again, well, let’s just say I ended up washing the shower mat.

So, in desperate need of encouragement, I turned to “Raising Great Kids”. That’s when it hit me.

IT DOESN’T GET EASIER

I think I had been functioning under the impression that, as my children grew and became more self-sufficient, parenting would get easier. Reading Dr. Townsend’s advice for dealing with tantrums, limits, and integrating love into discipline, though, the thought occurred to me: This doesn’t sound easier, it sounds harder! I was staggered. By which I mean, I staggered into Jude’s bedroom to find the misplaced binky and pop it back into his mouth. Then I staggered back into my room and announced my realization to my husband. And get this, the man just looks and me and says, “Yeah? And?”

At this moment I realized something else.

I need to leave him alone with the kids more often.

I think we focus so much on the struggles we have right now, that sometimes we (By ‘we’ I mean ‘I’) forget the big picture. I’m raising kids, but I’m creating adults. I’m molding the type of parents my children will be. I’m setting standards that will affect them the rest of their lives. It’s a big responsibility, and I think sometimes I don’t take it seriously enough.

All babies need is love. They need to be fed, cuddled, and kept warm. Toddlers need a little more, elementary school kids, even more, and so on. I think God planned it that way to break us in easy. I also think it’s time to step up my game. Maybe read another book instead of turning on “Super Why”. Maybe eat a carrot myself (bleh!) when I tell him to eat his. Maybe even take words like “butt” and “dang” out of my vocabulary. And you know what? It’s the best feeling in the world to realize that this little person is learning from me. He is mimicking me. No, it doesn’t get easier, but it’s totally worth it.

Thanks for raising me, Mom.

Your Daughter

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