My friend sent a group text to me and a few other moms asking about phrases we often say to our kids.
In a total rookie mom move, I asked my kids, “What are some things I say over and over to you guys?”
I expected them to reply with phrases such as,
“I love you.”
“I’m so glad I’m your mom.”
“You make me so proud.”
“You’re my favorite.”
I obviously forgot that I am dealing with children and would regret my question as soon as I spoke it.
Without skipping a beat, Caleb said, “You call us jack a’s.”
A “jack a”…in the definite case you’re nicer than me…is a jackass.
And, yes, I have called my son a jackass. To his face. Twice.
I have said the aforementioned compliments no less than one million times.
But I call him a jackass twice, and all of a sudden, it’s my catchphrase.
Lest you judge me for this (you should totally judge me for this…I am just trying to justify my words), my son has the personality of his dad. Which is wildly awesome. But also a little jackassish at times (see: my husband’s Facebook feed). (See also: my son’s reply to my innocent question.)
I adore these two men more than I could ever possibly explain. Their wit and humor is my most favorite. Until it’s not. Which is usually about once a month ifyouknowwhatimean.
When I am well-rested(ish) and enjoying life and not a raging hormonal person, they make me laugh until I cry. And I sometimes wonder if I birthed a comedic genius because Caleb’s impeccable timing is something to be admired.
But when I haven’t slept well and sweet Aunt Flo (do we still refer to that as Aunt Flo, or is that term reserved for middle schoolers?) pays me a visit, their typically hilarious jokes aren’t funny at all. And sometimes
there is weeping and gnashing of teeth I snap.
And call my son a jackass.
While I am confessing my most precious moments, I should probably also tell you this is where I usually scream and cry and complain loudly that (and this is a direct quote), “I DO EVERYTHING AND NO ONE HELPS ME AROUND HERE! DOES ANYONE KNOW HOW TO USE A LAUNDRY HAMPER? DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE A TRASH CAN IS? NO! I AM NOT MAKING DINNER! YOU MAY NEVER EAT AGAIN. AND I DON’T CARE!”
Every emotion I feel and every word I say is very real and very important in that moment.
Even if it has no bearing in reality. Hormones and truth do not seem to co-exist in my world, but that doesn’t stop me from believing WITH ALL MY HORMONAL HEART that they do.
I have no idea why I am telling you this. Or why I am writing it on the Internet for the world to read.
For all I know, it may be used against me in the court of law.
I don’t know. Maybe I would be fine with that. I once told my BFF, “If I ever get arrested, please don’t bail me out of jail. I could use the vacation.”
Parenting is so weird.
It literally (FIGURATIVELY!)(for all you How I Met Your Mother fans) takes you to the worst depths of yourself.
And this is why parenting is weird.
It simultaneously reveals the worst parts of me while bringing out the best of me.
I simultaneously never want my children to grow up while loving every new phase life brings.
I laugh at the same jokes that make me curse.
And everyday…no matter if I rocked the mom gig or if I gave my children something to process through in therapy one day…I am so grateful.
I am grateful to get to raise four of the most awesome kids on the planet.
I am grateful that even the worst days eventually end.
I am grateful for the man who gave my children jackass DNA…because he is the best there is.
I am grateful for friends who understand my dramatic texts (and understand why I want to stay in jail).
I am grateful for children who are so forgiving.
They may not know how to forget (see: this blog post), but they sure know how to forgive.
And gosh dang if that isn’t the sweetest quality about kids.
I think back to the mom I was in the above picture.
I remember that time well. Because I was consumed with feeling like I was the worst mom on planet Earth.
I am thankful no one told that girl how much farther I could actually fall in this whole mothering thing.
Which I guess is why I am writing this blog post.
Because I’ve fallen so many times. And I have said words I regret. And my family has seen the ugliest parts of me. And I have gone to bed so many times wishing the day had gone differently.
And yet the day always ends. And a new day always comes.
And there is another opportunity to be awesome.
Some days I nail it.
Some days I don’t.
And that’s okay.
You don’t have to be awesome every moment to be an awesome mom.
Just as your kids don’t have to be awesome every moment to be awesome kids.
They will sometimes be jackasses. And you will sometimes be a jackass.
But no matter what, the day ends.
And it didn’t end with you in jail.
Which feels like a win some days ifyouknowwhatimean.