Let me paint you a picture… Your friends decide its about time for a girls day out lunch. How fun! Of course, I am in! What a great idea! I will bring Samantha with a peanut butter sandwich and it will be awesome. Isn’t being a stay at home Mom the best?!
I get to the restaurant starving and ready to relax with my girlfriends…And then reality sits in. Samantha realizes she doesn’t fancy the high chair that has been provided for us. And you know what, she doesn’t want her sandwich, either. You know what Samantha wants? To run away from her Mother and spill water all over the table. Her plan for my girls lunch was very different than mine. In fact, I spent little time interacting with the girls and more time controlling tantrums and threatening (with love)! for her to behave at the exit.
Finally my amazing friend grabbed Sam from me and took her outside for a bit so I could have a bite and sulk in pity. We eventually left early. I now have a toddler and my life is over. No, just kidding (Kind of).
But, seriously, toddlers are not for the weak, dude. I remember sitting there with my newborn and looking at toddlers thinking, that looks so fun! I can’t wait for Samantha to play with me and talk to me and giggle. Now, don’t get me wrong. We giggle a whole lot in the Buhler household. But, no one tells you this whole Mom thing may be the hardest thing you have ever done in your whole life. In between Goodnight Moon (124th time) and food spills (almost daily) I have to remind myself that I am doing an awesome job and some days all you have to excel at is keeping them alive.
I also remember a time when I was newly married, getting a full and refreshing 8 hours of sleep and the only bum I had to wipe was my own. I would sit there and gander at Moms. “Oh, my kid will never have a paci longer than 6 months.” “My child will never talk back to me.” “I plan on making different Pinterest FHE packets for every week of the year.” “My toddler will never behave like that in public.” Yes, sadly Catherine does remember those days. …and I am here to admit it, apologize and eat some humble pie. Because as I sat there trying to talk sense into a 19 month old while prying her off the dirty Shanghai sidewalk from her meltdown, I closed my eyes, and said to myself, “You are THAT mother, and it is OKAY.”
I think we (Catherine included) have placed too much pressure on ourselves and eachother to be the BEST mother out there. “Look at my child, potty trained at 6 months. It only took 3 hours!” “What do you mean, you didn’t breastfeed for 12 months?” “I never let my children eat anything unless its organic, glutten-free, pesticide free, and is deliciously inedible.” Why do we do this to ourselves? Its exhausting. Okay, Catherine is exhausted. But thats besides the point. It is okay to give your child peanut butter and jelly for lunch every once in awhile. It is okay to let Elmo offer them a dose of education so you can take a quick shower. You don’t need to feel guilty. Because in the end, your child isn’t going to remember how many times you gave him broccoli or goldfish. He will remember the way you showed him love, the way you excelled at kisses and the encouragement you always provided.
I love being a Mom, I know I will look back on these days with fond memories. But, I also know I shouldn’t waste time with my Children worrying if I am doing everything the “right way.” What is the right way, anyways? I am almost positive (about 95.67%) that there is not one right way to raise them. Thank goodness!
A small update to that girls day lunch- Catherine rewarded herself with a Diet Coke when she got home. Samantha doesn’t even remember throwing herself on the ground screaming and hopefully all of the city has forgotten it, as well.