Parenting: My Two Eggs

The Boy and The Girl are respectively six and nine years old. I always think he is five but acting twenty. But The Girl is right where she is supposed to be. Mostly acting like Nathan lane in The Birdcage, one of my favorite movies. And I love Nathan Lane. So it’s all good. Right now they are eating eggs. Two different styles, I cooked for them individually. It’s the least I can do.

{Sitting beside me as she eats I’m talking to her like a big girl. She is sort of listening but keeps interrupting me. As she is talking about the clubhouse/apartment that should be built for her and her friends in the back yard. Humph}

When I was pregnant with The Girl I remember how amazing and organic I believed life and the world was. I was truly happy and excited to learn of all the ways I innately knew I would raise my bundle of joy. I would make my own food, breast feed, use cloth diapers, talk adult. etc. You get the picture. I didn’t smoke, use caffeine, color my hair.  I wore a lot of J Jill and comfortable shoes. Honestly, I looked horrible.

{I still don’t believe it}

The pregnancy itself was uneventful. The delivery was laborious and long. The midwife made quite a few mistakes and I haven’t ‘not peed’ when I coughed since. Really sucks. The beauty was I didn’t realize it sucked until after The Boy was born. Funny how God takes care of that.

It didn’t suck because of any of those things my children are amazing. My husband, Number Three was and still (mostly) is supportive. What sucked was the need to do so many things and behave in so many ways that were only unnatural to me because I didn’t understand the balance between my single beliefs and my parental beliefs yet.

{I only knew what I grew up with and my first instinct was to do everything differently}

My mother was a single parent of three. She got nothing for free. Marie would pay over full price for everything from a radiator hose to a brick wall for the yard. She worked what would be considered two full time jobs and never managed to get passed go. When I was my daughters age I was very close to her and she was still emotionally available in a nurturing capacity. As the years went by and the physical, financial and emotional exhaustion set in; her ability to emotionally parent went to sleep. Something had to give, it was self preservation at it’s best. She fed us, clothed us and completely fatigued her outdoor voice telling us to, “act fucking right”. She was always a screamer. Marie smoked freely at home, in the car and where ever else she needed to.

{You could always find an ashtray next to the tub. A luxury I enjoy thinking about often.}

Marie mostly said what she was thinking, even if it was “inappropriate”. She wasn’t and isn’t prejudice she just is not politically correct. “It’s chink food tonight”, the woman loves an egg roll. My mother did not hold a word back about somebody who she believed was bad. Bad in a moral sense. Bad for her children. Bad to others. Still she will point out an assole from a mile away. Sometimes it takes years for me to see what she is talking about – let me fucking tell you – she 99 percent of the time absolutely right. She doesn’t care for a show off. A lot of this was skewed by years of drinking in between that only recently seems to be under control. Different story.

My point is I wanted to be different. I wanted to be bigger and better. The new improved version of parent. Instinctively and what I thought was brilliance at the time; was to do everything different.

Shit don’t work like that. I stuffed all of my energy, the personality that had been defined by almost 30 years of experience and lived my life from a recipe card. I chose a recipe that I thought would work best for my values. I think I chose correctly. I still believe that local and organic foods are best, cloth diapers are better for everybody, circumcision is ridiculous and talking baby talk all the time is stupid. I stand behind my decision to stay home with my kids, I just know now that I don’t have to do all the fucking crafts with them.

The turning point in my parenting was when my kids found out I smoked. I have since then slowly and steadily introduced my children to myself. It has been an uphill if not maniacal battle in my head sometimes, because I didn’t believe in myself. I wasn’t sure who I was anymore. It was like waking up and wondering where the hell I was. Growing pains were and still are inevitable. The Boy and The Girl still hound me about smoking. They should, they love me and I am The Mother. I still do lots of things differently.

Circumstances are that I am fortunate enough to still stay home with my kids. Thank God they are in school full time. I really don’t need to be a martyr anymore. I don’t make racial slurs in front of my children, I’m not a racist – just a potty mouth. They get exposed to all of their own shit on the playground they don’t need to learn it from me. I do not pretend to be whole earth organic mother anymore. Thank Baby Jesus again for the ability to throw out all of my “comfortable shoes AND clothes” . I love fashion and expressing myself with makeup and accessories. I LOVE a hat and my kids love that about me. I know they do and it makes me feel good. Today when I told The Girl that I was having trouble shopping for clothes for her, she told me to just buy her clothes that I would wear. The ultimate compliment!

I feel good that I can bring positive outcomes out of a lot of lousy experiences. That I can begin to live my life in a fashion that I am both comfortable and challenged; truly believing what is best for my family.

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