The Mother I Thought I’d Be

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mother-I-am

I always knew I’d have children; that was just something in the cards for me. I remember being a teenager and talking with a friend about where we saw ourselves at 35, and my response was, married with kids. She said she was never having kids because she’d never be able to be “the mother she wanted to be”. At the time I thought her words were so bizarre, so strange. How could she know the future? You are the person who decides how you will act, what moral compass you will follow. You dictate your future. At 15, I was really into that whole dogma.

Now, looking back on that conversation, I’m shocked at the words of wisdom provided to me by a person who was so young. She was TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY right on. I am nothing like the mother I thought I would be. That doesn’t mean that I’m not a good mom, although I do have my moments of total insanity. But I’m not “that mom”. That imaginary figment could never fly around here.

Mother I Thought I’d be: My children will always be able talk to me, about anything, and I won’t judge them.

Mother I Am: They talk to me, about anything, and I judge the ever-loving shit outta them. I judge them so hard I’m Judge Judy. I don’t always hand down a sentence but believe me, I judge. And they aren’t even teenagers yet. Oy.

Mother I Thought I’d be: My kids will always be able to pick the radio station in the car.

Mother I Am: Fuck that. After hearing Timber a million times I’m picking the radio station. “When you have a car you can listen to what you want.” {Did I just say that? My mother used to say that}

Mother I Thought I’d be: I will actively play with my kids all the time.

Mother I am: I can’t believe I even thought this was possible when I was younger. Like, I actually resented my mother at times because I didn’t think she played with me enough. And she played with me a lot! Between the housework, the siblings, the drop-offs and the pick-ups, I’m lucky if I get to eat a meal sitting down. Play with you? Another game of Candy Land? We’ve already played five. You must be joking.

Mother I Thought I’d be: My children will travel. We will see the world together.

Mother I am: Traveling costs money. Traveling with small children is a mind numbing siege that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. The last trip we took was a two hour car trip to a soccer tournament and I actually considered putting duct tape over the mouths of the older two. Travel? I don’t fucking think so.

Mother I thought I’d be: Each of my children will have their own personality, and I won’t let their behavior, good or bad, change how I feel about myself.

Mother I am: Wrong, wrong, wrong. When they accomplish something fantastic, I too, feel fantastic. When they act like animals, I see that as a direct reflection of my parenting failures. Just because I feel this way doesn’t make it right, but it’s still how I feel.

No, I’m not the mother I thought I’d be. Far from it. I have cobwebs in my house, I’m not hip, I’m embarrassing, and I’m not always fair. But I am here for them… 24/7, no matter what.

And I’m laughing.

And I’m trying.

Related post: The Perfect Mother 

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  1. 5

    says

    I’m actually a lot better at this shit than i thought i’d be. Not bragging – I thought I would be absolutely terrible. I was diagnosed as menopausal last year…. and then it turned out I was pregnant. And I’m absolutely loving motherhood. Wish I’d had more confidence earlier.

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