motherhood at the moment

It's 7:00. The kids are in bed; of course they're not sleeping yet. I hear thump, thump, thumping coming from the floor above reminding me of their constant presence. Genevieve peed on my right foot just before she slipped into bed. She crossed her legs as quickly as possible, but I was the unfortunate recipient of the pee that got away. We got a good chuckle out of that one.

I'm sitting down at the computer with a fresh coat of "coin flip" nail polish adorning my ever-so-short nails. I like them short and chop them/bite them as soon as white is noticeable. Tim is walking Blue so I've got about ten minutes to write.

I am loving motherhood at the moment.

This morning I sat with my hands in the sand, repeatedly building sand castles for Elle to knock down. I couldn't build them fast enough. I watched Mya and V race back and forth from the life guard station only to dump sand all over my body. They giggled, I smiled and Elle shrieked in delight. For some reason, dumping sand on me was way better than anything else the beach had to offer.

Last night we took the girls to the park to teach Mya how to ride a bike without training wheels. She learned so quickly that we ended up riding for a bit and running around the playground until our tummies grumbled so loudly that we were forced to go home for some good old fashioned Kraft mac & cheese. Before we left, we hopped on the tire swing and had Mya push us with as much strength as she could muster, and would you believe it...she got us spinning pretty dang fast. We were all laughing pretty hard.

I have moments like these everyday. I have been trying to slow down a bit and realize the kids aren't necessarily out to annoy me every waking moment of the day by spilling water multiple times a day, throwing tantrums over any little thing or screaming at each other because so and so stole this thing or that thing. It's been a hard thing for me to realize because I meticulously plan everyday and I've always let the little things get to me. I don't know why. I believe it's my personality, but it is an aspect of my mothering that I am trying to change, one spill at a time.

I believe I am a good mom. I am hard on myself, especially when friends or family are in town and they spend time with my kids, and I feel like everything my kids do is a direct representation of my mothering or lack of mothering ability. If my kids yell at me or each other, I put blame on myself because I yell. If my kids aren't polite, I feel like I failed in the manner department. And so on and so on. I internalize everything. I often take sighs or disapproving head shakes too personally.

I've decided to be kinder to myself because I may fall short on many things, but I do some great things too. My girls know I love them. I mean they really know it. I see it in their faces. I feel it in their hugs. I read it in their misspelled notes. I love my girls. They are smoothing out my many obvious rough edges. It's a long, grueling process. But it's a process I wouldn't live without. I couldn't.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley