Late last week, the kids and I took a walk to the store. It started raining as soon as we headed out and I just wanted to put a stop to the whole thing and go back inside. But I didn’t. The three of us walked to the store, played in puddles, and I marveled at their delight in water falling from the sky. “Mom, look! Raining! It so pretty!” my daughter exclaimed with glee. In that moment, I breathed in the good air, breathed out the bad, and learned that my children’s curiosity and awe of nature was worth getting wet for.
That’s not true.
I hated every minute of it.
I was wet and cold. My hands were soaked from pushed a drenched
grocery cart stroller. I was short-tempered and didn’t understand why my kids chose today of all days to walk as though they were trudging through peanut butter from last night’s dinner. “Hurry up, guys,” I sighed. “Levi, don’t splash in the puddle,” I scolded. “Lillian, yes, the rain is pretty but it’s even prettier when we’re inside the nice, dry store,” I explained.
It was not a good mom day for me.
I wanted to be that mom who held their hands while jumping in puddles. I tried to convince myself it was just water and we’d be home in dry clothes by nightfall. I did my best to breathe in my children’s awe and wonder and breathe out my anxiety and frustration but I practically hyperventilated.
Despite my best efforts, I’m not a fun mom. I have moments, but at my core I am not one of those women. I struggle to find joy in the new things my children experience. I cringe at the idea of arts and crafts projects and fun outside activiites. It’s just not in me. I have to fight to bring out that alternate side of my personality, and that fight takes it out of me for the rest of the day.
But I’m trying. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I rock at hide and seek and playing with cars, and I kind of suck at coloring and sensory activities and going to the park and the like. And splashing in puddles is not my forte either.
The way I see it, though… I get an A for effort. I give my kids the best of my best qualities, and I suck it up and break out the stickers and glitter when my baby girls’ blue eyes beg me too. Motherhood is all about doing your best and some days my best is walking in the rain even though I hate every second of it.