Wednesday, May 9, 2012
The Mom Machine
Behold: The Mom Machine.
It has everything you need! Cough drops, hand sanitizer, bottles, wet wipes, tampons, pads, pacifiers, baby rattles, aloe vera, stain remover, sun screen, sippy cups, bandaids, diapers, snack bowls, tissues... and more!
Only thing it doesn't have?
This is the Mom Machine in the toddler play area at the museum we visit all the time. But my Mom Machine has been out of patience lately too. For some reason I seem to have plenty of sippy cups, but patience is always out of stock. (If you have an abundance, please send some my way. I'll cover the cost of shipping.) Do you ever feel that way?
Lately I have been wondering whether I'm a good mom. Olivia couldn't possibly be an easier kid and yet... I still get frustrated with her. I get impatient. I lose my temper over stupid stuff and then I feel bad about it. I get so tired of playing games and doing puzzles and reading books with her. My kid-activity attention span is about 5 seconds long. I can focus on playing with her animal toys for about 5 seconds and then my mind is wandering to more interesting things. Things I might write about. Things I might make. Things for my book. What I'm going to eat for lunch. If we can wrangle anyone into going on a walk with us so I'll have an excuse to quit playing "let's push the ball back and forth until the end of time." (Yes, it's a real game. I know because it's one of Olivia's favorites.)
I think at some point anyone who already has one child and is thinking about having another one steps back and says to themselves, "I'm not even very good with this one. Subjecting another child to my crazy parenting? Who am I kidding? Why would I do that?"
This is not to say that I don't still want to have more children. I do. But I also feel unqualified for the job... probably on a daily basis. I try not to dwell on these moments since it doesn't really do any good to think like that and it's kind of a drag on my mood. But as I was lying on the couch earlier, feeling inadequate, I thought about writing about it. At first I thought, "No, that's so whiny and mopey to write about." But that thought was followed soon behind by, "Yeah, but everybody feels this way sometimes. I'm not the only one." I hope that's true so I'm not the only lame mom out there. But I also hope it's not true. I hope everyone else is awesome and that someday I'll be awesome like you all are too. That'd be win-win.
The good news is, Olivia doesn't seem to care much. She's used to having a mom who's totally inadequate. She knows my attention span for "let's roll the ball back and forth from now until eternity" is only going to last 5 seconds. She's used to having a mom who's not perfect, so she doesn't expect me to be that way. In fact, thus far she seems to have gone through life completely unscathed by my inadequacies.
Never have I been more sure of Heavenly Father's plan for me than I have as a mother. Every time I get close to that dangerous edge of thinking, "I'm not a good mom," that sure and steady quiet voice whispers in the back of my mind, "I know Olivia. And I know you. You can handle her. And she can handle you."
That is something I definitely know to be true. Heavenly Father knows what kind of mom I am--with all my parenting beliefs and vast inadequacies--and he gave me a child who needs that kind of mom. And he knows how much I have to learn as a parent, so he gave me a child who is patient with me while she teaches me all the little things I need to learn. What to put my foot down about and what to let go of. When she needs me to be crazy and silly and fun and when she needs me to just hold her. I get it wrong a lot of the time, but we're getting there.
And perhaps the most helpful thing she does is not dwell on my mistakes. She needs me to be crazy and fun. I get frustrated and tell her to come back right now and stay with Mommy. I get it wrong. And she doesn't seem to mind. She just comes to Mommy and later when I realize I got it wrong we're crazy and fun and she's just as happy as if I had gotten things right in the first place.
Kids. Man, you can learn a lot.
Anyway, the Mom Machine is a constant process of re-stocking the things that run out. It's something I'm working on.
But hey! At least there are free diapers!
Posted by Katie Lewis at 8:25 PM