Today I decided to borrow a question from an interview over at Design Mom. Late to the party. As usual. I just found Design Mom last week. Wake up, Lindsay. It’s a great blog with something for everyone. And don’t even get me started on how fabulous Gabrielle is with her husband and 6 kids who had been living in France and now resides in California.
From there I was led to Tina Fussell’s blog, TravelingMama.net. Check out both if you haven’t already. I haven’t had a chance to dive into Tina’s blog deeply yet but I think my wanderlust may be satisfied if I do.
The question below was part of the interview DesignMom did with Tina. I was inspired to share with you my own feelings on the topic, if you’d like to hear me blab…
“What has been your absolute favorite part about living with your own kids? What has surprised you the most about being a mom?”
Between myself, my husband and the kids, it’s like we’re 4 weirdos who get eachother. I love, devour and adore the idiosyncrasies of my kids that also tend to drive me crazy at any given moment. My 6-year-old, Luke, can’t possibly eat a meal if any of his foods touch. Madeleine, my 3-year-old, would eat smooshed up globs of is-that-even-food off the floor. (Luckily, I clean often.) They fight daily over who gets to sit in a specific chair in a specific location at the kitchen island. We actually had to implement a system of alternating who sits where and when. (See how much energy is expended on nonsense?) Even so, I’m happy that they have distinct personalities, likes and dislikes and unpredictable moods. Whatever these two little people do creates a domino effect and my husband and I behave differently, with our kids and with each other, than we would had we decided not to become parents (which almost happened). It’s wonderfully intimate to get to know my kids each day. And it’s never boring.
My hope is to teach them to be kind first, to strangers and to people they know (something I aspire to do daily but still fail at sometimes). And if there’s nothing else they know for sure about their mom, please let it be that whatever my vision for their futures, I will always love, like, and respect them as individuals even if they choose to take a road I wouldn’t have taken. Fly, little birds, fly!
My aunt often says, “Our children are on loan to us.” This reminds me that my kids don’t belong to me. They’re mine in some ways, of course, but they belong to themselves and to the world and I can not and should not try to control them. Another thing I work on/fail at daily.
Isn’t it just amazing that as parents we’re in charge of shaping their minds, answering their questions and calming their fears? What a tremendous and gorgeous job. I can’t wait to be old and wrinkly and say things like whipper-snapper and tell annoying stories about how Luke seemed to time is bowel movements with mine so that I never got a private moment in the bathroom.
The most surprising thing about being a mom is …
How hard it is to step back. To not correct their every move.
Be careful. Don’t step on that! You’re going to hurt your penis! Eat the broccoli, please. I’ve even caught myself telling them how thoroughly to chew. (I wish I was kidding.)
My kids have taught me not to avoid things that are difficult. Kids need things all day long. If it’s something I’d rather avoid doing, for a reason as simple as wanting to be anti-social that day, I can’t. There are no sick days or re-do’s.
How would you answer these questions? Dads, how about you? The answers that men give on these topics are always different and interesting to me so please speak up!