How to be a Mother

Last night as my best friend and I were brainstorming ways to make her one month old baby sleep more and eat less often, she admitted to feeling like a failure.  A failure because she couldn’t fix whatever was wrong, because the things she’d tried just weren’t working, because she’s a total control freak (I know the feeling) and she feels out of control.  I told her the following:

Sometimes we are given opportunities to turn our greatest weaknesses into our greatest attributes. Motherhood is the single biggest opportunity to do that. And if you don’t kill the baby, you’ve succeeded.

After I said that I have thought and thought about it and I realized that I need to listen to myself more often.

My biggest weakness is my lack of patience.  I need things to happen and I need them to happen IMMEDIATELY.  And if they don’t my next biggest weakness kicks in.  Procrastination.

People tell me all the time they cannot believe the amount of patience I have with my girls.  And I do.  90% of the time I am so patient it’s ridiculous.  But there’s the other 10% when I’m trying my hardest to get them to do what I need them to do and it’s a fight.  It’s a war.  I get ganged up on because they are ALWAYS a team.

We started potty training in March.  I thought at the time “I can totally do this.  I have smart kids.  They know what to do.  No big deal.”

When that first weekend of potty training boot camp was over, and they were not trained, I somewhat gave up and let procrastination kick in.  Little C was having stomach issues (basically she didn’t want to poo in the potty so she was holding it, therefore making herself sick).  Little G simply didn’t want to do it.  I gave up.

We wore pullups for awhile trying to “teach” them to potty but let’s be honest.  A pullup is a diaper.  It’s not a thick diaper but it’s a diaper.  And they KNOW that.

A little over a week ago I decided it was time.  No more excuses.  No more procrastination.  No more waiting.  They WILL be trained.  They will be trained by Christmas because I am a control freak and that is my cut off date.  I’ve told them that if they are trained, we will go to the beach for a week after Christmas.

Little C is ALL OVER this.  That kid is 90% trained already.

Little G keeps saying we will take her anyway.  It will break my heart if we have to leave her here with my mom.  I’m not being mean, I’m not expecting too much. She CAN do it.  She HAS done it, for a day here and there.  She just won’t do it consistently.  And that, my friends, will try your patience more than anything.

I’m trying very hard to turn my greatest weaknesses into attributes.  I’m trying to be more patient.  I’m trying not to procrastinate.  I’m trying to be the mother they deserve.

That’s all any mother tries to do.  Do right by their kid.  Take the things that don’t work and turn them into things that do work.  Listen to advice and weed out the bad.  Be firm, but kind.  It’s not about making the best craft or reading the most books to your kid or making the best costumes.  It’s about doing your best and making sure your kid(s) have fun while you do all those things.

And most importantly, it’s about love.

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