How the fuck do parents of multiple children manage life day in and day out? I am not going to pretend that I don’t have it good, because I do. My daughter is amazing, caring, brilliant, introspective and also 7 years old. That means she’s also sassy, pushing the boundaries of fantasy and straight up lies, and the more she grows is the more I see the parts of myself that I’m super proud of and the parts that make me cringe. Give Thanks is what we will call her because that is what I am, thankful.
However, sometimes I want to lovingly say please shut the fuck upppppppp!!! I don’t do that…ever but I think it often. Don’t fucking judge me. I’m being honest here. Anyway sometimes I just simply want quiet but I know given that my kid loves music and performing arts I have to allow her to be and let out her feelings and expressions the best way she knows how. I love that she speaks her mind and if she cannot express through words she will sing or dance or both and I think that’s beautiful. I often find myself in awe of Give Thanks because she is so bold and forward with her ways of being. I hope that while it may drive me crazy sometimes I always allow her to be self expressed because that’s the greatest gift I can give to her.
I observe her interactions with her peers and sometimes I am cringing because of the brutal honesty she dishes out. She will not hesitate to tell it like it is when she is at her limit. I get it because I am that way too. However being on the receiving end of that raw honesty isn’t always pleasant. It kinda sucks. I then have to teach her how to say things with kindness and compassion even when it’s really hard and inconvenient. I have to remember her humanity and her feelings when I’m out of sorts and I’m struggling with self kindness and trying to come out of my funky mess. That’s the hard part of being responsible for a life. The moments when I’m in my own personal chaos I still have to find the energy to be authentic, empathic, kind and honest to my daughter. I think because of that it makes me a better human being. Give Thanks challenges me to be better when she asks me if I’m mad at her by the way I respond. I immediately check my tone, and sometimes I am able to say I am sorry and other times I just pull back silently. Most days I do my best to offer a heart felt apology for my tone and sometimes I don’t get to it and I feel badly. And to be clear I don’t get to it on purpose because being confronted with my shit is wack and sometimes I’m just not my best and I let myself off the hook without apologizing.
It catches up though. The lack of apology, the not saying sorry, the brashness and unkindness shows up when I hear my daughter playing with her dolls or with her friends. I hear my unapologetic and really rough tone falling out of her mouth like a barbed wire fence scraping the skin of a pregnant dog. I hear the scathing words seeping out like cyanide choking the air around me and her, killing hopes and dreams. Aight….maybe not that bad but still, it stings and it fucking sucks. Those are the moments when I reach in and I say hey girl…can we talk about ways to be better about this? Can we find a better way to say this? I know that I’m not always my best and my tone sucks sometimes and I’m really sorry. Let’s find ways to be better together. Those moments are golden because we get to build together and learn that fuck ups are only fuck ups if we don’t learn anything from them. We learn together.
How do I manage to mommy and be a person?. Lmao!!!!!!! I say this as I chug my extra strong margarita…..I AM KIDDDDDDING!!!!!! Ok but real talk, my mommying is not separate from who I am as a human being. Actually me being a mommy has made me a more present, aware and kind human being. I see everything through the lens of this could be my kid I’m talking to or an interaction that she may have one day. It is not easy battling painful experiences and having to be responsible for a life. I don’t go into detail but I do tell her when I’m sad, and that my heart aches and I just need quiet or need to be alone. I communicate with her because I don’t need her to do anything about my sadness but I want her to know that I do have sadness. I want her to know that I get sad, I get super happy, I get disappointed, I have every single feeling that she has, but I experience it differently. The feelings are comparable and just because I’m a mom it doesn’t mean I’m not gonna feel valid pain. The lesson I want her to get is that all people feel, and their expressions look different HOWEVER no matter what we are dealing with no one has the license to make you feel badly or hurt you because they are hurting. We can support people who are in pain if they allow us, but for the most part no one is allowed to make you feel badly. PERIOD.
Everyday is an experience with my daughter and I. She is the best parts of me and I am grateful that she loves me despite my own humanity. She is an incredible gift to my soul, my life, my essence and I am grateful eternally. She makes mommying easy and it just helps me check myself more than anything else. She is imperfectly perfect, as I am and we are finding our way together. I Give Thanks.