“I’m so glad you’re my friend.”
As soon as my daughter happily spoke the words to some girl at the playground whose name neither she or I could ever remember, I cringed. “Friend? She’s not your friend. As a matter of fact, she’s kind of rude.” was my internal response. I’m a 28 year old who passes judgment on preschoolers. This is not my finest trait.
I realized that K’s demeanor to love others, to see trust as something that’s given and not earned, and to jump into any new situation with both feet is something she got from me. And I see her getting hurt over and over again as a result. It starts early, that rivalry and insecurity business. I see it with toy envy with my toddler and with Anna and Elsa envy with my four year old. Everything everyone else has is so.much.cooler. Heck, I’m even walking around wondering how people spend thousands of dollars on these space ship style strollers and am thoroughly unimpressed with my plastic contraption that keeps my
caffeinated goat kid in one place so I can take a four second sip of my Caramel Macchiato before I have to snap back to reality that I’m not currently alone on an island.
Somehow my stroller, my kids shoes, and their personalities are all up for debate as to whether or not they’re good enough. I pray I never voice these insecurities and, in turn, put them on my children. Instead of being thankful that I have a child who’s confident in who she is, who sees past clothing and race, and just wants someone to listen to her sing the same song twelve times, I get caught up in the fact that her outgoing nature will be perceived as abrasive.
What if the other moms don’t want their kids to play with her because she’s helping herself to their toys uninvited? What if her mismatched socks and bed head are putting ideas in the heads of those kids that conformity is overrated and soon they’ll rebel against what outfits Mama picks out all because of the girl with the rainbow knee high socks at the park? Then I’m that mom whose kid has their belly button pierced at 16 and let’s friends stay over on school nights and suddenly no one can be friends with my kid because I have no boundaries.
I’m a hot mess.
A hot mess who needs to shave her legs and cut back on the Blue Bell.
I guess this makes me a less than hot mess.
There’s so many aspects of parenting and even just being an adult (which is totally not as cool as I thought it was) that I just have no CLUE about. Like sweeping for example, or escrow accounts. This whole process is just chaos and I feel ill equipped to be responsible for the lives of two little people much less pour into them enough to make them thrive. At this point it’s the survival of the fittest and, honestly, there’s no guarantees anyone’s going to make it out without any serious issues.My poor kids are going to tell me stories asking if I remembered the time I let them wear shorts and t shirts out and about to run errands in the middle of winter because I was too focused on just getting out of the house to have regard for warmth. Or about the time that had to call poison control because some how one of them got ahold of the bottle of Benadryl and took a long nap afterwards. In my defense we now check the weather before we leave and all the medicines are in cabinets immediately after use. Something tells me that these things are common sense to most people. Sometimes I’m late to the party…
If there was a full time job to get paid to concern myself with things that are likely to never happen I’d be the front runner. My own people pleasing and insecurities are creeping into my parenting and it simply has to stop. I can’t parent out of fear and I can’t choose friends for my children much longer. Left to their own devices I’m sure they’ll choose much more wisely than I. My track record for the first 18 years of my life was nothing to envy, I tell you that much. I’m optimistic that being aware of my own pitfalls and shortcomings will stop the crazy, or at the least, minimize it to a more manageable level. Then I can lay off the ice cream and pretend for a second or two that I’ve got it all figured out.