I did not have a vision of what motherhood would look like, but I knew I would be the best mom to my kids. What the best means is totally subjective. I wasn’t setting myself up for failure by being the perfect mother or picturing a “perfect life.” I’m not going to kid myself and think I can be perfect. I’m not even going to strive for it.
I recently heard of a term: Home Control Disease (HCD). I can TOTALLY see how I could have caught the “Type-A-need-to-control-everything-in-the-house” condition and apply it to all domestic aspects of my life. However, I was lucky to get a big ol’ “snap out of it!” slap in the face from the universe when I learned I was pregnant with twins. Surviving my twin pregnancy and giving birth to two babies six minutes apart made becoming a mom with Home Control Disease totally impossible.
I am a MacGyver Mom.
I am a minimalist and I don’t like to travel with a portable pharmacy, nursery, and toy store in a diaper bag. I have been caught without diapers and wipes more than a few times (oops) and I always made it work (burp cloth and tight pants can create a decent impromptu diaper).
This approach keeps my brain thinking and forces me to get creative. When we enter a new situation or environment I scope the place out to figure out how to entertain, feed, and generally keep things rolling with my kids. We don’t have any iPads and we don’t use my husband’s smart phone (because I still have my flippy) to entertain our kids like moths to a flame when we’re at a restaurant, travelling or just anywhere you want your kids to just be still and quiet.
Going out to a restaurant is all about the “toys” I can find in the common area, like straws, coffee creamers, napkins, etc. Free brochures and business cards in the front lobby/foyer are always a hit. If there is music playing overhead and the tiniest bit of floor space, my kids will have a dance party. I am often a part of the dance party too if I like the music.
What I think of motherhood
Becoming a mother has changed me in inconceivable ways, but first I needed to meet my husband. My husband (aka soulmate) saw me for the first time. My husband sees me for exactly who I am, accepts me and loves me just as I am (insert movie montage from Bridget Jones’s Diary and Notting Hill). Having him by my side has given me a level of inner self-acceptance I never thought possible.
Becoming a mother has helped me give myself permission to be unabashedly myself outwardly. I am myself without excuse or a layer of self-consciousness because I want the same for my girls.
My kids are exactly who they are straight outta the womb. I cannot change them. I don’t plan to try. Well, actually, I would prefer my 5 year old not use a really high-pitched scream/cry when she’s upset. It makes me want to rip my ears off and find a “gentle muzzle” – is that wrong? I am using my #1 parenting tool to deal with it: time outs. I said “New rule! When you are upset, you need to use your calm voice because screaming hurts my ears. I need you to use your calm voice. Screaming is a time out.” Sheesh.
But I digress; becoming a mother is not about being perfect to me. I am not perfect. I will be to blame for something or everything when my girls are teenagers and young adults. I give the tiny people I created my damnedest. It’s not perfect, but it’s all I can give, and it’s enough.