I love quotes. Seems like everything I want to say can just be summed up in a short sentence with the right quote. Except that lately, I havent been able to find the right quote, or words, to say what I want. Until tonight.
“Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.”
I found this quote to be funny. But funny in a funny way, and funny in a sad, very true sort of way. Everyone has the answers, it seems, except me. Everyone knows how to do what I am trying to do – only ten times better. And it seems no one has a problem telling me, daily, that something or another that I am doing, usually related to the kids, is wrong! I try, I do really, to take it with a smile. I don’t try and please as many people as I used to, but sometimes, on those days where I already feel like I am failing everything and everyone – I just don’t want to go out because I just don’t want to hear what I already know.
People assume, I guess, that I don’t know. But I do. I am so very aware that I screw up. Daily. I will be the first to admit that if these people closed their mouth long enough to hear me. I will agree with them. 110%. I fly blind, solo, and by the seat of my pants. I am doing the best I can, with the given circumstances and consider it great success when the kids are all in bed before midnight, having been fed and not hurt too badly.
That is when I collapse onto the chair and tell myself that we had a good day.
Because sometimes it doesn’t matter, at the end of the day.
It doesn’t matter that they didn’t get three vegetables. Doesn’t matter that I cant remember how long it has been since their last bath. It doesn’t matter that I rushed getting them into bed, and overlooked the sticky hands, or dirty face – because I really did not care. It doesn’t matter! In a few years (or minutes really) it will all be forgotten. And if something will be forgotten in a few minutes – then I don’t see why there is any need to fuss about it.
Pick your battles, and pick them wisely.
But not everyone sees it that way. And when the day is over, and the night is just getting broken in – I hear it. The critique. The criticism. The sarcasm. The sympathy for the kids. It plays back in my mind, and sometimes its enough to make me want to jerk the kids out of bed and have a 3 point session on how to get ready for bed. Because that will make me a better parent, wont it?
The thing is, for the past three years I have been trying to find my footing. Again and again I mess up, and I try to get back up, and move on. I am trying to find that balance of just where I belong in these kids lives. How much is too much, and when do I need to back up? It’s a tricky balancing act, and one that I have never claimed to be good at.
I try to play the roll of uncle, dad, mom, teacher, and friend. I try to be a cook, chauffeur, and referee. I try to fill the gaps, and teach them right from wrong. I try to give them well balanced meals, while teaching them to cook. When really – I need someone teaching me. I try to remember appointments, schedules, babysitters, and practice. I try but I forget a lot too. In-between work, and life – there is a lot that gets lost. Communication sucks. Patience doesn’t exist. And by the time the day has been in full swing for 12 hours – I am ready for a do-over. Even in the best conditions – I am no match for the game I have been given.
Yes. I fail.
If your looking to me to set the standard to do things – then look the other way, because I am not a good example of how things should be done. I am simply trying to get from one day to the next, with three kids in tow – and maybe if were lucky, a canned vegetable with dinner.