Monday, October 21, 2013

Diary of an Imperfect Mom

When I found out I was pregnant over 8 years ago, I scrambled to find all the parenting books so I could be "super mom". As my baby J was growing in my belly I had one of those calendar thingy's that told me all about my baby boy and how he was developing each day down to when his fingernails were beginning to grow on his teensy tiny toes. On April 28th, 2005 my bundle of joy was born and that is when that planning book went out the window with a crash. As my sweet boy was laid upon me I was thinking two things. 1.)I was scared out of my mind that I was responsible for this precious life 2.) He was the cutest thing I ever had seen in my life. Instant fear and instant love all at the same time.

Everything now revolved around him and I was now on the back burner. I couldn't have ever planned for the selflessness that would ultimately take over whether I liked it or not. Going to the grocery store took on a whole new meaning as I bundled up my boy and made sure I had all the necessities: diapers- check, bottle-check, extra outfit-check, pacifier-check, and some random toy that would keep his interest for about a micro second-check. It took an extra 15 minutes to just get in the car and an extra hour to go shopping for what would used to  take 20 minutes. I could no longer dash to any place, instead I had to be prepared and on top of things. I had to carry containers and fill them with stuff. I'm a creative, all over the place, whimsical soul by nature so this was like a foreign language to me. BUT I wouldn't be caught dead anywhere with a screaming inconsolable  child so everywhere I went I was armed for battle. For a while I was in constant panic mode wondering if I was really cut out for this whole mom thing. I didn't want to mess up, I didn't want to fail at the ONE thing I was supposed to just be naturally good at.

Then just as I was figuring out this mom gig I found myself a single mom on a new journey-survival. There was no room for pity parties or time to think- I just did whatever it would take to be “super single mom”. I thought this would be a piece of cake- wrong! That saying that it takes a tribe to raise a child is really, really true. There were all sorts of things to consider that I never even thought of like how expensive children are for one thing and how to have a job that is willing to work around your kid but jobs are not that flexible so  you have to have someone to watch your child while your working late- can anyone say cha-ching? And then on top of that you want your child to fit in so you HAVE to have them love something. I tried soccer-NOPE, I tried basketball-double no, we tried soccer again just to be sure- nada. Finally my little fish found his pond, he is a swimmer folks- the next Michael Phelps I believe (keep your eye out for the insane mom cheering at the Olympics in a few years!).

On top of all that you have to deal with your child's ever evolving personality, I know imagine that! So one day they are the most charming little darling and your heart is melting at their ridiculous cuteness and then you blink and  all of a sudden they become curious about the anatomy of the human body and the burning question for what seems like the past decade is how my son can exist if  his mom is not married.  And now I’m freaking out because his father is somewhere in Bangladesh and I’m stuck having to talk about the birds and the bees which is not my forte and  now I’m back at the bookstore finding the latest copy of how to not ruin your child’s life. Sigh. So needless to say being a mom has had its ups and downs in the most horrific and most beautiful ways. But I would not trade it for the world (you know we have to say that right?).

Yet I have found one thing that has been steady in the midst of chaos. No matter what day it was or how old my son has been thus far there is always that moment at the end of the day where we find peace. When he was a baby it was that moment his baby soft Johnson &Johnson's aroma scented head was nestled on my shoulder. It was in these times that all my fears and doubts faded off into the distance. As he peacefully rested in my arms he melted more and more into my heart. Nothing could match these perfect moments and not even the most strenuous day could take away how much this boy meant to me.  As the days, months and years have passed I've learned so much about not only selflessness but what it means to let go of that expectation to be the perfect mom and to truly enjoy the little things. My Jalen didn't have terrible 2's… oh no he waited until he was 4...he gave me a couple extra years to prepare for the relentless dreaded tantrums. There were times I was defeated and that I felt like I was definitely not cut out to be a mom but alas that "moment" always came. At the end of the day,the sun would set and my rambunctious boy would nestle up to me ready for his bed time story and once again all was well in the world and I had peace that I would survive mother hood.

I've come to accept the fact that I'm the farthest thing from "super" mom or “super single mom” but I've never been more okay with that because at the end of the day I am certain that in the strife and in each moment of calm at the end of a long day the definition of being a mother has been built as I have learned that nothing can replace a mothers love and her efforts. Nothing can replace the bond between a mother and her child that is defined over the years of simply being present.  I have learned to create my own book  mastering the ups and downs in the perfectly imperfect life of being a mom. The zombie days and nights from the lack of sleep, the hundredth trip downstairs to get some water after story time, the millionth story that is read even when its past bedtime, the bumps and bruises, the constant reminders that could qualify me for nagging mom of the year all somehow become this beautiful story that leaves an imprint on my heart that beats for my son with the hope to watch him grow up, have a family of his own to share the same unconditional love that all started from the love of a mother.