Friday, February 10, 2017

Be present, be grateful. Alternatively titled: The Worst Mom at the Library.

I enjoy taking Everett to morning events at our local library more than I ever thought I would. I am constantly surprised by myself these days. Everett thinks our library days are fun, too, a little too fun sometimes. 

Read-aloud books. Wheels on the Bus.  Stretches. If You’re Happy and You Know It. Dance Party to Taylor Swift. Bubbles. Crafts. A dream line up for a two and a half year old.

The theme for this week was Valentine’s Day, so we kissed the air, hugged ourselves, and talked about who we love. We (the caretakers of these children) created a love bug craft, because in my experience, if there is gluing, cutting, and markers involved, the adults in the room usually do more than the squirrely kids, even though we let them take all the credit. 

Then, it was time to leave the library.

I tried all of the strategies I know to prepare Everett for leaving, and none of them worked. Instead of calmly holding my hand and walking to the car with me as I had hoped, he ran down an aisle of books, took off his shoes, and began screaming/kicking/crying. I tried everything I could to get him to willingly leave, to no avail. I was that mom. The mom who can’t handle her kids. The mom who everyone looks at while her toddler is having a tantrum in public. While wearing my three month old daughter in the carrier, I ended up pulling/dragging/carrying my screaming/kicking/crying kid all the way to the car and forcefully buckling his flailing body into his car seat. I was the worst mom at the library. We both cried during what felt like a long 1.4 mile ride home. It wasn’t our best moment.

Motherhood is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, have traveled the world, have had a successful career, and this is what breaks me: a two and a half year old. 

Upon arriving at our house, we hugged and kissed and said we’re sorry, as we do. We played in the dirt in our front yard to reconnect and reset.

I adopted a new mantra this week for my parenthood journey: Be present, be grateful. I am trying to say it silently to myself during the most challenging moments. The hard moments are so hard, but I don’t want to get lost in feeling overwhelmed. Motherhood is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but it is also the most beautiful gift I’ve ever been given. So I say it silently to myself during the beautiful moments, too: Be present, be grateful. Because how lucky I am to get to spend my days with these two beautiful children. How lucky I am to be their mom. How quickly this season of life will go.

So we will go to the library again next week, and hopefully it will have a better ending, but if it doesn’t, that will be okay, too. 

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