"Mercy Triumphs Judgment"
Last week I wrote in my journal that I have hated every job I ever had, except mothering. Over the weekend I scratched it out. Back when I was in 8th grade (long before modern conveniences were even invented) our class had to write a paper on what we wanted to do career wise when we were adults and why. I racked my small brain for ideas but continued to come up with nothing. I had no clue what I wanted to become. My main concern at the time was what in the world I was going to wear for our class field day at Great America and if I should consider getting a new Rob Lowe or Duran Duran poster for my locker. Something had begun to nudge at me however. I observed my mom and while she has regrets (hello, welcome to reality,) I really admired her parenting. What if I were to title my article, "If I Were A Mother" and discuss a career as a mom. My mom still has that old dog eared copy covered in white out (I was a terrible typist and yes I am from the era where typing was a required class.) I wonder now if deep down I knew that mothering would essentially be my career when I was an adult. At any rate, I was embarrassed to hand my paper in. As kids wrote teacher, engineer, NASCAR racer and ninja warrior as their career choices, I was writing about doing laundry. In our young minds motherhood really didn't seem like a career, more like an expectation. In fact I had been nervous when we went around the room to share what our parents did for a living, I mumbled "My mom is just a housewife." Emphasis on the just. My teacher (who had 4 boys and a lovely wife) stopped me dead cold and said, "There is nothing JUST about being a work at home mother." Bless his heart. I'll bet if his wife had heard that she would have fallen in love with him all over again. I had Jaimey and Will at 31 and 33. I consider my children to be my greatest achievement. Let me rephrase. LAST week I considered it my greatest achievement. Actually let me rephrase yet again. Last week Monday thru Wednesday afternoon I considered motherhood to be my greatest achievement. By Wednesday night, all bets were off. I was offically quitting mothering. The gig was up. Mothering apparently is the real shit. I got some kids on the hit list right now and isn't pretty. And yes, since I obviously have no shame given my way too honest blog and facebook posts, I was mad I was the mom of a kid who did something really, really stupid (like I never have?) And yes, I admit I immediately went to THAT place. That evil place known as comparison. "I'll bet so and so's kid would NEVER pull something like that." And yes, I turned the whole thing into my fault. "If I had never divorced, this wouldn't have happened" and "If I had followed up with the situation regarding my child months ago, this wouldn't have escalated into such a fiasco." And yes, I literally cried myself into a ball on the couch and dealt with my grief by watching the season premiere of Nurse Jackie. I love how it all became about me, by the way. Don't get me wrong, I obviously love my kids with a fierce mother bear passion and now that my family has grown to also include 2 lovely teenage girls, that circle of love has widened. I realize my list of things I have done wrong as a parent most likely outweigh the things I have done right and I'm not sure it will ever equal out. This stuff is hard, awkward and messy and it is only the beginning. The kids are tweens and teens. I am officially out of the "I'm not going to let you watch Dora if you choose to continue screaming" years. In fact I'm afraid the last I checked, I was the one doing the screaming. One thing I was reminded of though was a quote by my hero, Glennon Melton (creator of Momastery.com) that "Mercy triumphs judgment" and I think it applies to parenting as well. While wrong choices need to be addressed and in this case, consequences assigned (and I'm saying this to include me as well), now more than ever my kids need me to be strong for them, to believe in them, to remind them that one bad choice doesn't define who they are or who they will become. They are beautiful blessings I have been entrusted with and they deserve to know their value, worth and importance every day. By the way, I got an A on my paper.