Remember before you became a mama, how you envisioned life with your kids?
Maybe you predicted amazing family bonding moments, happy playtimes, collaboration and cooperation between your kids.
Sure, they might have the occasional good-natured argument, but their love would prevail, right?
Your visions of sibling closeness and satisfying relationships possibly filled you with excitement and longing for your future little humans and your new role as their mama. Those chubby outstretched arms. Their little smiling faces. The cuddles. Their giggles (cue the unicorns farting glitter and the pink bunnies dropping pink and silver pompoms of gladness all over your life.)
The fantasy was so delicious.
And then. (Ahem)
Take last Christmas. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!! I love delighting the girls (and myself) with brilliant ideas to fill us all with the magic of the season. Every year I look forward to putting up the tree as a family and filling the house with good cheer.
Except last year we didn’t get the tree up when the girls were hoping we would. They were naturally disappointed. No biggie.
Life happens, right?
When we finally got around to putting it up we picked the wrong moment. I must have missed a stink in the air because things quickly degenerated. Every ornament became the most important object in the world to fight over.
There were nearly blows.
Between my babies.
Over Christmas ornaments.
That day? And others like it when you can sub “Christmas” and “ornaments” with more mundane things like “toothpaste” and “turning off the light,” I feel flashes that terrified and plunged me into a crazy spiral of guilt the first time I felt them.
Those moments? Those days when it’s CONSTANTLY NOT LIKE MY FANTASY (didn’t they get the script, damn it??), sometimes I just want to run away.
The voice inside that roars “I DIDN’T SIGN UP FOR THIS!!!” wants me to grab my stuff, lace up my size 42s and get out of Dodge, because HOLY MOTHER OF BATMAN it’s intense and so. damn. painful.
So, I do.
Sometimes I go into my room and breathe. Sometimes I take the dog for a walk and shed a tear or three. A while ago I cleared out half of our garage to create space. That felt good.
You know what feels even better?
Loving my girls.
Reminding myself that no matter how awful it feels when they bicker, 80% of the time they’re delightful with each other. Reminding every one of us that we are ALL doing our best, even if it doesn’t look that way. That even though we might all feel totally justified in our behaviours, the other person’s perspective is worth looking at.
That fantasy families are just that: fantasy.
Reminding myself that their fighting is NOT a sign that I’m failing as a mama. That it’s not something they’re doing TO me. That it really is between them on every level. That all the HUGE feelings I have are mine, and not caused by them (these last few are the hardest to remember).
That we love each other.
That we’re fine.
Because we are.
We’re beautifully, wonderfully flawed. And we all deserve forgiveness, compassion and understanding. Because honestly, other than their fights in the car (because… ENOUGH, ALREADY!) I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And if you ever want to chat before you get to the cracking point (we all have them), book a Nurture Session with me: we’ll talk about what’s alive for you, give all those feelings an outlet and remind you how much you’re really, really, rocking it, mama.
So much love to you.