I've got motherhood on the brain. After all, it is Mother's Day on Sunday. I have been on my own for almost two years. Sam and I got separated in July of 2011. I remember the first month or so feeling so good. I felt like I was being carried by some unseen force. But then I remember a few months later, feeling defeated--feeling like my life was never going to be good again, at least, it was never going to be the same. The adrenaline had worn off and the daily grind was a struggle for me.
Things are better now but sometimes I still catch myself daydreaming of my "other life." You know, the one that I would be living if I hadn't got divorced. I let myself go there for about thirty seconds and then I snap back to reality. Don't get me wrong. I love my life. I am very blessed. But every so often, I just want my old life back, where my kids didn't pack little bags and go back and forth between two houses and everything was just less complicated. For me, that will always be the worst part of getting divorced--knowing that my kids' lives will never be the same. I know that I will eventually get remarried and my life will probably be even better than it was before. But I can't say that for my kids. I still maintain that I got divorced in large part for my kids but I think it is going to take years for my children to understand and believe it was for the best.
I had the perfect childhood with a mom and dad who loved each other and everything was pretty idyllic. My kids will never have that. They will always have two homes. They will eventually have to deal with step-parents and step siblings. They will have the long awkward wedding invitations listing two sets of parents.
But at this point, I can't do anything about that. All I can do is reassure my kids that both Sam and I love them more than anything. I tell them that they are going to be fantastic, strong, amazing adults because they had to go through some really hard stuff as kids. They will already know something about adversity when they are called on to face greater trials.
But back to my mothering...I go back and forth between bursting with pride in how well I am doing and feeling like a total failure. I guess that's normal.
Here is the thing..I'm not so good at the homemaking side of mothering. We dig through the baskets of clean clothes every day for underwear and socks. (I call it "go fish!") Dinner is usually something fast and easy--most nights there is no roast in the oven. But that was never my forte.
I feel like my strength is holding my big ol' 9 year old in my lap and crying with him because he wishes his parents weren't divorced. I am good at going to five sports stores looking for a particular pair of bball socks for his Easter basket. I am good at listening to my 8 yr old's lengthy stories about what one girl said to another at school today. I am great at taking her shopping and finding her the cutest clothes. I am good at putting on a full witch costume and helping with the school parties on Halloween. I am really good at body slamming my 3 year old and wrestling with him in my bed for thirty mins in the afternoon when all of his siblings are gone. I am good at cheering him on as he learns to use the potty. I am good at snuggling with my 5 year old in the morning and telling him how special he is. I am good at taking him to BYU sporting events even though he gets tired and wants to leave early. I am good at reading with him before he goes to bed.
So while I mess up every.single.day and say things in frustration that I want to take back or I lose my patience, I need to remember that I am doing the best I can. I am not the perfect mother--not even close. But my mother wasn't perfect either (sorry mom!) However, she was and still is the best mom for me. I think I am the best mom for my kids. And that is something worth celebrating.