This piece first appeared on GeorgeJessieLove.wordpress.com. See Julie’s complete bio and contact info below the post.
I love my kids. It has (often) been (anything but) a pleasure to be their mother. They have (when not embarrassing me) made me proud. They have (when not infuriating me) cracked me up. They have (when not being impossible) touched my heart with their warmth. They have regularly made parenting (not at all) easy. I have learned from them (how to not lose my shit) every day. I’ve grown (fatter and more chronically tired) as a person. And I truly (most of the time) feel blessed to have them in my life.
With (more than a) little exception, I have (almost) always acknowledged (‘fessed up) when my kids have been too energetic (obnoxious), outspoken (rude), or inquisitive (disrespectful) . I have (happily) allowed them to watch (a ridiculously inappropriate number of) hours of television for the (entirely not) educational value. (I convinced myself that) I did it to (keep from killing them) afford them hours of (mindless) entertainment (that didn’t require me to do anything).
[clickToTweet tweet=”When they were younger, school vacations were (as) relaxing (as Chinese water torture).” quote=”When they were younger, school vacations were (as) relaxing (as Chinese water torture).” theme=”style3″]
When they were younger, school vacations were (as) relaxing (as Chinese water torture). Weekends were often (Satan’s idea of) fun for everyone. I looked forward (like I would to, say a root canal) to the two weeks at the end of the summer between when camp (sadly) ended and school (be still my heart) began. My kids were (not) easy. And I (really don’t) look back at those days with feelings of (entire) joy.
As I (miraculously) grew into my life as a parent, I (finally) realized that (not) being honest about (how difficult) my kids and their (endless) needs was (not) the way to go. I needed (a crap ton of) support and, if I allowed myself (to be woman enough) to acknowledge that …then I would be (off the charts) better off. It took (way too much) time, but eventually I realized (admitted to myself) that I was (ridiculously) overwhelmed and that my feelings (of anger, exhaustion and resentment) didn’t mean I was a (shamefully) bad mother. They meant I was being (brutally) honest with myself.
So, (with the ferocity of a mama bear) I began to (aggressively and somewhat desperately) reach out to other moms who were (over the top) relieved to hear that they were not alone. We shared with (admitted to) one another that being with the kids could be (not at all) enjoyable and that we (often) felt that we got (stiffed with) the (least) easy parts of these little creatures. But we never (ever ever) stopped truly, deeply loving them.
I am (beyond) elated (and a little bit surprised) to report that my children are now (way more often than not) a pleasure to be with. They have (with lots of personal work) turned into lovely young people. We’ve all needed (lots and lots of) help, support and love to bring us here. And there is no shame in that. None at all.
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