When I was a kid, I used to play with my Magic Nursery dolls and name them and pretend I was the best little momma around. I would take them for walks in the stroller, feed them, and give them lots of kisses.
Flash forward to me at 27, and I’m finally pregnant after dealing with some infertility struggles. I prayed for my sweet baby daily and dreamed away at all of the magical adventures we would have.
Flash forward to 33 with three small children, and this momma is not the mom I thought I would be when I was pushing around my sweet, silent plastic babies.
I lose my cool. I never really have had a temper. While I was growing up, I was more passive with people. I never got angry when I should have been. With my spouse, I am a peace maker and we get along great. With my kids, I lose my cool. Just this morning, my one-year-old spilled cereal in the car. No, not healthy Cheerios. I’m talking Lucky Charms, full of sugar. I lost it and my mood tanked. Why do I do this?
I don’t find joy in the simple things like I wish I did. I just saw a commercial of a little boy learning to hit a baseball with his parents in the backyard. They were so excited when he finally hit the ball and was a success. Why don’t I celebrate my kids like that? Instead of finding the time to teach them new things and celebrate their victories, I often find myself frustrated and impatient with them. Why can’t you figure out how to buckle yourself in the carseat? Why don’t you know how to tie your shoes? When will you learn to talk clearly so I don’t have to hear whining all day? Relate?
I am no Martha Stewart. While I pride myself in a clean house, my home is not as organized as it should or could be. My dinners usually involve a frozen vegetable and often times velveeta shells and cheese is a staple in our house. I care for my family, but we don’t eat healthy meals together and sometimes I’m just glad my kids sat at the table at all.
Now, mommas, I know this sounds like a downer, but it’s the truth. I do fall short of the fairy tale dreams of motherhood I had once as a child. But, there is some hope. While I do lose my cool, I do often find these moments to explain grace and forgiveness to my littles. I try to learn from my mistakes and teach them it’s OK to mess up. While I can be impatient and sadly, critical, at times, I do love to take time to celebrate my kids and take them on one-on-one dates or trips to the dollar store for good rewards. I don’t cook homemade meals nightly, but I take pride in taking care of my family and their needs.
I may not be the best mom, but I can promise you I try. I am a work in progress, and that is enough.
Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of three in Arkansas where she loves her kiddos and tries to do her best daily.