Parenting…the ever eluding masters degree. Parenting is not a skill that can be fully honed via reading books or blogs or listening to your parents about parenting. I am literally parenting by the seat of my pants. Winging it like I did with Algebra class. Close my eyes and point to an answer and hope that wisdom, intuition and the process of elimination helps me get it right. Hoping that after a few do overs, I’ll get it down pat. You know, child 1, 2, 3, 4. Yes, 4 children and I’m still winging it and trying to get it right with the, “Well, this didn’t work, so maybe this will?” And round and round I go.
Listen, life isn’t easy or fair without children, but as a parent? Even less fair. I feel like a failure regularly and even more so when my kids get mad at me and deny me a kiss goodbye. It’s that moment I want to grab my phone and record a video message and post to the world my rants, whines, cries for help but then wonder, “What will that do? Who cares?” And I don’t do it because who has time to care for my drama? Because everyone else is trying to keep it together too! So, instead, I do something more effective. I threaten my kids. I threaten that they will have to take care of me when I’m old, and I’ll pee in the bed, leave my dirty clothes on the floor, never wash my dishes, and they laugh and say “It’s ok mom, I’ll take care of you anyway.” How can I not love them more?
Then there are days I hate being around them for all their bickering. I wonder why in the world would God put me in a position to test my patience when I wasn’t given much to begin with?! AND make me a loud, toe tapping, watch watching, anxious Cuban… (…breathe). Then, of course, there’s that one friend who says, “Well that’s how God builds your patience, you know, by testing it,” and I just want to choke that person – ok not all the way, just a little. There are days I feel life itself is drained from every vein in my body and other days where I feel like “oh my cup runneth over” with joy and laughter because, well, they are all so funny in their own ways.
I am never quite sure if I am the “right” mom. If mom from Little House on the Prairie is the right mom to be or if militant/dictator Castro mom works better – can’t seem to find a middle ground that is NOT friend mom. Truth is there is not a “right” mom to be. There has to be a balance of strict and being loving. There is no perfect parent. If you love your kids, it is likely that you will make mistakes, lose your mind and wonder where you’re going wrong. I’m winging it and so many parents are. It’s ok. Kids aren’t perfect either, right? “Take it one day at a time, Adriana.” I tell myself this everyday. My mom made mistakes, her mom made mistakes. Kids don’t come with a manual and EVERY child is different. Parenting has to be flexible because every child has their own unique ebb and flow. Winging parenting is not a bad thing, it is necessary for personal growth as a parent and for the child. It’s going to be ok.