Thursday, April 17, 2014

Having Kids Can Be a Blessing...Right?

I was having an interesting conversation with a friend the other day regarding our kids.  Our kids are around the same age and she was explaining to me how her son who just turned 4 has been acting out, doing things like not listening, fighting more with his sister and just being slightly more difficult than before.  She asked me how do my kids get along?  Are they fighting more or am I going through any of the same things?  It was actually hard to answer her.  First, I didn't want to hurt her feelings and make her think she's alone in what is going on and then also it was hard because I just have my own point of view of parenting. 

I think I've explained this before, but I found becoming a mother a challenge in the beginning.  I even explained to my friend that when I became pregnant John and I were super excited and in shock that "this is really going to happen...we're going to be parents".  I had all these fantasies of what being a mother would be like, but I should have known from the beginning it wasn't going to be ANYTHING like I pictured.  As soon as I found out I was pregnant with Addison, John had the opportunity for us to move to Florida to help run a company.  Obviously I was like "hell yes" and then we found out I was pregnant 2 weeks later and I was like "wait, who's going to help us with this baby?"  After getting through that initial shock and finally being at peace with the fact it was going to just be the two of us with lots of visitors I decided that I would be fine.  Then Miss Addison entered our lives and my view on motherhood changed after a couple of days.  When I had Addison it was before all the acid-reflux talk began and doctor's were prescribing medicine for babies that were constantly crying.  John and I were so miserable, Addison would constantly be upset and we had to hold her non-stop.  I was seriously pissed.  This is not how its suppose to be, we were going to have a beautiful baby girl and she was going to sleep all day, let us look at her beautiful face whenever we wanted and then after she ate she would sleep through the night.  Holy hell that wasn't happening by a landslide.  I'm sure the anxiety I was feeling rubbed off on her which probably put her on edge even more than a child who had a "normal" mother.  I truly didn't think it was going to be this hard.  Then 3 1/2 years later we had Brody.  I had the worst pregnancy and was constantly thinking once again "what the hell did I do"?  After Brody was born I was praying every day that he would be nothing like Addison as a baby.  I was seriously holding my breath staring at him and wondering if we were going to go through the same type of traumas we endured with Addi.  Well, he took a little bit longer, but low and behold history repeated itself and this little guy wanted our attention at all times.  There was no putting him in the swing and letting him sleep while I got to watch, bedtime was a nightmare that consisted of holding him until he fell asleep and then laying him down in which he would wake up right away screaming.  I seriously couldn't believe how difficult my children were as babies.  I would continue to tell myself "god only gives us what we can handle".  There were many times where I questioned if motherhood was for me and if I was even capable of doing this...then reality set it and I knew "there's no turning back now".

Luckily for us our kids have truly grown into amazing toddlers, preschoolers and now Addison is in 1st grade.  People constantly praise me on what a good girl Addison is and what a good listener she is (sigh of relief).  Brody just started preschool this year and once again I'm being praised by what an amazing little boy he is.  One of the teachers pulled me aside to tell me what a joy he is to have in class.  I guess all the girls love him and basically follow his every move.  What a great complement right...I mean for someone who thought their children were going to grow up being angry and possibly resent me for all the anxiety I inflicted on them due to "them" not fulfilling my fantasy of being a mother.  I can look back now and thank god for getting me through these difficult times and while we still have a really long road a head, I'm now finding myself thanking god that I didn't completely screw them up by showing my disappointment along the way those first couple years.

Going back to the discussion with my friend.  After she was explaining that her son has been difficult since turning 4 I basically ran home and told John that once again "the plan" is going to be all screwed up.  I've been waiting for Brody to turn 4 because from what I remember with Addison this is when life got really good.  She became so independent and was a joy to take places, so to hear that 4 might not be the magic number for Brody sent me into a frenzy.  John simply shook me and said "you are crazy", I looked at him confused and realized your right.  Brody's already there he's already started his independence and is a joy to be around.  I mean the only thing I truly have to complain about is the fact he won't poop on the potty, he hates leaving the house (which lasts 2 minutes of crying when we get in the car) and when he's tired his life is miserable (which once again normally only lasts about 2 minutes).  I mean most of the time he's in his own little world playing with dinosaurs and telling me how much he loves me.  Seriously, how can I really complain about that?  So, I explained to my friend that while for the most part my kids do get along really well (only playing referee on certain occasions) and that he does behave most of time, but in my point of view its far from perfect.  Once again this is what I'm working on within myself.  I've never been the person to live in the moment, I always tend to want to fast forward to the good parts and then when I look back I forget that those bad parts really weren't "that bad".  I'm a work in progress as a person, a mother and even a wife.  I set the standards for myself way too high and tend to oversee even a minute of greatness due to wanting life to only be looked at as perfection.  One thing I'm grateful for is I'm realizing this now and I'm well aware of my flaws, I'm changing for the better day by day.  Choosing to confront these obstacles head on is what will make me a better person for all people that choose to be in my life.  My existence is getting brighter and brighter every single day...but I still thank God I won't be having anymore children and we are pass that fricken baby phase!