I’m bottoming out over here.
Parenting is so hard. People like to talk about the warm and fuzzy stuff and leave out the hard as shit part, probably out of fear of being judged for their honesty.
Well, I don’t mind being honest. Figuring out how to manage other humans who don’t know how to do anything until you teach them is a ridiculously complicated, difficult job. Throw in some external stressors and a genetic tendency towards attention disorders and motherhood goes from “complicated” to “I REALLY DON’T KNOW IF I CAN DO THIS WITHOUT DYING BECAUSE I ACTUALLY FEEL LIKE I MIGHT NOT MAKE IT OMG I’M DEAD I DIED.”
Today, I hit a new low in parenting where I found myself alone with my kids — well, actually, they were all inside of the car and I was standing outside of the car trying to pull myself together — in the driveway of my parent’s house. All the other adults were safely inside, probably talking about me and wondering how I was going to discipline my oldest son for the events that had just taken place. My husband was at work, and I was alone, staring up at the sky, desperately trying to come up with something to say to my kid that wouldn’t scar him for life.
Sometimes it feels like I am screwing everything up. Like … I’m positive of it. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with my child, and other times I wonder what is wrong with me. I worry about what kind of man he will become, whether or not he will choose to use his talents for good or for evil. He’s got so much potential, but like all children, there’s no way of knowing how he will turn out.
That’s what makes parenting the hardest, I think. The not knowing. If I knew what was going to happen in the end, like what kind of adult he’s going to turn into, maybe I wouldn’t care so much about screen time and carbonated beverages. Maybe I would be able to let more shit go. But because there’s always a nagging question in my mind of whether or not I’m truly giving my children my best, I do care. I try and it’s hard and I struggle and I fail a lot and it’s literally the most humbling experience of my life.
So today when I hit bottom, feeling empty like there was absolutely nothing left, a thought entered my mind.
Believe in your kid.
My mother would tell me that was God. Maybe it was, but that sounds crazy, so let’s say it wasn’t. I don’t know where it came from, but it was clear as day.
Believe in your kid.
“I can do that,” I literally said out loud, like a crazy person.
I mustered up some courage and made the decision to believe; to believe he is good, believe he is trainable, believe he has love and good things in him, and most of all, believe that I am the best mother to guide him. Believing in my kid means that I have to also believe in myself.
So, I do.