Skip to main content
Perfection is an illusion

Long before most of us had kids, we had an idea of what we'd be like as parents. We had the ideal fantasy of what our world with children would be like. And while we sat staring at our first child, we put together a little list of the things we wanted to teach our kids, the things we needed to modify within ourselves to be that "perfect" parent, which of course had no resemblance to our own parents at all. We clung to it as our personal parent bible and we would rise to the challenge. We would be the best parents the world has ever known. 

With that, the first kid is watched like a hawk, juice boxes are evil and you hyper-hover so that no chemicals via manufactured foods will ever get inside your kid. You do the kid classes and although they may not have a clue what is going on, you feel validation in a room full of mother's doing the same thing. 

Then the second kid comes along, and a couple of the things you used to micro manage, lose their ranking on the priority chain. It takes some reworking and time,  but eventually you adjust to two kids. Kid classes are harder with two, so you stop going. You say "I can play with them at home",  pat yourself on the back and carry on.

And then you have more kids and everything goes to hell. The house looks like several small tornadoes ransacked the house at all times, even after you spent several hours cleaning it. Juice boxes become the norm and you let them have any type of chemical-laden food just so they give you a few minutes alone, and if that occurs while you're in the bathroom, then it's a double bonus. Classes become too expensive and too difficult to manage with all the kids, so you stay home and plug them in because you're too tired. You're just happy you've made it through the day so far. 


People see you in public with all the kids and say things like, "are they all yours?" No, I got the BOGO code and got a great deal in aisle 13, and, "I don't know how you do it", I drink, lady.  Lots and lots. If crack came in a patch, I would be wearing one.  I miss the days in NJ where the the liquor stores were attached to the grocery stores and I could wheel everyone into the liquor store after grabbing milk, to fill my cart up with essentials. The cashier would make the observation that I was buying more beer than food, count the kids and nod her head. You feel my pain, lady?

When you start allocating a percentage of the grocery money for beer, all the ideas you had long ago, about being the perfect parent become laughable. You realize that you yell and threaten your kids as much, if not better than your parents. "I'll give you something to cry about". But instead of hitting, we'll introduce Barbie to the recyclable bin. You have become your parents and every time you say, "How many times have I told you...", you grimace and have to squelch the impulse to soak your head in the sink. 


You shift your focus on surviving the parenting experience, and hope that your kids will be resilient enough to not need as much therapy as you think they will.

You let go of the word "perfect" and strive for "better than most", which is way more realistic. Perfection is like a unicorn. It is a unattainable fantasy, just like the ones you had before kids which hyper-focused on the novelty of having children, instead of the challenges they provide.  

And believe me, they are a challenge. Mommy needs her juice box.

 






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Diary of a music mom

Since fifth grade, both #1 and #2 have been playing instruments; #1, the saxophone and #2, the trombone. #1, Autism classic, plays the very same saxophone that I started on in fifth grade. I  teach him daily and we go once a week to our new sax teacher and they work on jazz. #2, the aspy is a lot more autonomous and he doesn't require my attention when he practices and gets by with his weekly skype lessons from grandpa and his private teacher.

Every year, our school district hosts a solo and ensemble festival. The kids have roughly eight weeks to choose a listed piece and then perform it with an accompaniment. Every year, I make the boys participate even though it means I need to spend more time with #1 to make sure he doesn't sound like a moose in the wild and more like a saxophone player.

It always turns out like this:
I choose the new piece and we trudge through it slowly and painfully.
I second guess my choice because I think it's too much, too hard, too intricate for …

My Heart Will Go On

At the end of the school year, the teachers usually host an event to give thanks to the many parents who helped out during the school year. When I went to #1's school, they had an elaborate spread and the highlight was when the sign language club performed a few songs.  #2 & #3's school, had their volunteer appreciation breakfast last week, and I was happy that I was able to bring the twins with me.

Everything was great. There was food, coffee, juice and some awesome moms. But, then the music teacher brought in the fourth grade class and they were all holding their recorders. Great. One kid practicing the recorder at home is painful enough.  Forty kids playing recorder in a quasi-controlled group is just one way the music teacher can express her feelings about not getting any holiday presents or special accolades during teacher appreciation week. F-U people, I teach your talentless kids and it is a thankless and painful job.  I'm going to let you know how much I apprec…

World Autism Awareness Month: A Time To Focus On Our Similarities.

Tomorrow, April 2, is World Autism Awareness day. I thought about all the things I could say about awareness and then I realized that the people who read this blog know all this stuff. With the latest release from the CDC about the number of children diagnosed with Autism now at 1:68, there will be a day that everyone will know or be related to someone with Autism. And unfortunately,  It is only when something affects everyone is when things will change.

I decided to re-share excerpts from my post: We're More alike than you think. The post was inspired by Willman Stillman and my self-observations. Everyday I look at my children and realize I have more Autistic qualities that I realized. I have also realized that it not necessarily a bad thing. Maybe melting and throwing myself on the ground if I can't find my keys may be over-doing it a bit, but many things are really a core part of me; like my ability to memorize information. It comes in handy on Black Friday for sure.