in the past 11, almost 12, years i have been pooped on, peed on, projectile vomited on, many, MANY times. i’m the only one who has always been there. i wipe their noses and i stay up all night watching over…. making sure they are still breathing. even at almost 12 yrs old, when she’s sick…. really sick… i check to make sure she’s still breathing.
i’m the one who copes with the tantrums, the meltdowns, the sibling rivalry. it’s just me.
i’m the one who shares my bed when they have a bad dream… or just because it feels better to sleep next to someone than to sleep alone.
i nursed one for a solid FOUR years. when the other came along i nursed them together.
i birthed them with no drugs because i didn’t want that stuff in their tiny bodies. my stubborn one took a solid 36 hrs before finally letting my insides go. i don’t blame her. it was a lot more cozy in there than it is out here. the second was born at home and there were moments we thought i might lose him. that was such a horrible feeling. but he came out and after a few seconds, seconds that seemed like hours, he was rosy pink and screaming. and then like the sweet boy he is he slept for the first 2 months of his life. the complete opposite of his sister, of course. he knew even then that i needed a break.
my husband left when my son was just over a year old and my daughter was barely 3. i was still in full mommy mode making all baby food from scratch and keeping sugar out of their mouths. i knew exactly what kind of parent i wanted to be. they wore cloth diapers and i carried them in a sling….. i miss carrying a baby in a sling.
all my parenting ideals began to slip away as my ex husband started to parent in opposition. handing them sodas and mc donalds burgers. letting them watch crap on TV. he feared they would be “sheltered”. my thoughts were “isn’t that a good thing??”. i think he does half of what he does just because he knows i wouldn’t like it.
so now, years later… i feed them fast food and make mac n cheese way too often. there’s dr. pepper in my fridge and MSG laden potato chips in the pantry. i even bought my first package of deli meat the other day. oscar meyer salami (gross). after all the crack food my ex has fed them my picky eater will essentially starve to death if i don’t let her eat some of the crap she wants. so i let my ideals go. mostly out of exhaustion. it’s hard to do it all and then have them leave on the weekend where they spend it with people i have ZERO in common with. people who let their kids watch R rated movies at the age of 10 and put mountain dew in a sippy cup. i have no control over any of it. it haunts me but there’s nothing i can do other than hope.
so while i am not the parent i thought i would be or hoped i would be or wanted to be… i’m here for them and i’m the one they turn to when they need something. i’m still the only one cleaning up the puke.
and though one of them fights me constantly i know she loves me. i know i’ve yelled way too much…. my excuse being that i’m just not cut out to be a single parent. not only do i let the food and tv slide but i have certainly let my emotions slide.
so far they are 2 really good kids and i love them more than anything in the world. i won’t win a mother of the year award but i think i’ve done a pretty good job.