To My Twenty-Something Self
I remember it like it was yesterday, that moment when I said, “My children will never do that!” Yes, that was the time when I was a young twenty-something watching a mother with her small children navigate her way through dinner at a restaurant. I was so young and naïve. I thought I had it all figured out. I thought that thing called motherhood would be so simple. You would have children and raise them to be exactly who you would mold them to be.
Boy, oh boy, was I in for a rude awakening.
If I could go back to my young self-circa 13 years ago, I would laugh in her face. She had no idea what she would be in for. I now have two toddlers that I love with all my heart and dedicate my life to teaching and training them to be little humans. The days are tiring, and the hours are endless. The tantrums seem to end just as another one begins. I find myself laughing until I cry some days.
I had no idea back then just what it took to be a mom. I didn’t realize the hard work and dedication it would take to teach our children right from wrong. To train them to behave and to understand that there will be days that they don’t behave—many of them. What I didn’t know back then is that I was going to be that mom in the restaurant, many times. I can not tell you how many times I have packed my dinner to go or cried in the car with embarrassment.
There have been amazing experiences too, but there are those times when your children just are not on their best behavior and no matter what you can do as a parent, you just can’t win the battle.
I think going into parenthood I didn’t know what to expect. I read all the books and did as much research as I could. I got more advice than anyone could imagine, but I was still not prepared for what it was going to truly be like. I cannot sit here and candy coat it: it is tough.
There are the moms that seem to have it all together, for that I applaud you. Then there’s me. I like to call myself the hot mess express. I may have a toddler throwing a tantrum, I may leave a store with a child half-dressed, I may have a child covered in ice-cream laughing because we are having a blast, every step we take is a memory made.
I am learning something new about my journey of motherhood and when I see a young girl on a date judging my parenting situation, I give her my biggest smile possible, because one day she will understand too.