As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a parent. I played with dolls, dreamed of the day that I would be old enough to babysit, majored in elementary education, and hoped and prayed that one day I would achieve my ultimate goal of being a mother. When my first child was born, I knew that it was the happiest day of my life. But all that experience with children aside, I had no idea what I was getting in to or how many ups, downs and unexpected detours parenting would offer. It’s been almost 28 years, and I wouldn’t trade a minute of it, but I am still learning every day and realized a long time ago that it’s impossible to perfect this parenting gig and the sooner you realize that, the more you will enjoy “the hardest job you will ever love”. And by the way, there is no finish line, end zone, or touchdown dance, so hunker down and prepare, because this is a marathon, not a sprint.
I remember when I was a pre-teen and 2 amusement parks opened within an hour of my home the same summer. Of course, they both had signature roller coasters, the Rebel Yell and the Loch Ness Monster. I used to love to ride the roller coasters and the combination of terror and fun that went along with them. I would have never guessed that parenting would provide many of those same feelings on a daily basis. I think mothers are often their worst critics, with the possible exception of their kids. There is nothing like a preschooler, pre-teen, or teenager to keep you humble and tell you exactly where you stand.
I assure you that I am not an expert in parenting, but am happy to share what little I have learned, sometimes at the expense of my kids. I currently have a 27 year old daughter, 25 year old son, 14 year old son, and 9 year old daughter. They are a combination of biological, step and adopted but I love them all, and am thrilled to be their mom. When my oldest was around 11 years old, she began begging for another sibling (I was divorced at the time, with no plans to add to our family). I told her that I had a son and a daughter which offered me a complete parenting experience. She calmly and logically told me that I did not have the full experience because “You don’t have twins, yet”. Needless to say, it was that one 3-letter word that brought the most laughter, because she was clearly convinced that it was only a matter of time. Well, I still don’t have twins and think that ship has sailed, but I have added step-parenting and adoptive parenting to my repertoire – which just means that I have that much more to learn, and my kids are happy to be my best teachers.
All that to say, I hope you’ll follow along with me as I share the best and worst moments in my parenting journey and what I learned along the way.