We were rushing out to the van. I don’t know what it is about once you have kids, and how that somehow makes it impossible to leave the house on time. You can start getting ready hours ahead of schedule, but when it’s time to go shoes disappear, people gotta poop, and everyone loses their mind. Including mom. So there I am prying a four year old from the TV after calling three times, “get in the van,” I’m holding a sick baby on my hip (like got a chest X-ray to rule out pneumonia yesterday, sick), and holding my phone to my ear, waiting to speak with my insurance company, as the piercing music of an on-hold concerto drills into my skull.
“Come on! Let’s go! Get in your seat!” I cry passionately (and also manically).
This is the moment my six year old daughter chooses to pull out a secret box containing the world’s sharpest knives. She picks an especially serrated one, aims with precision, and drives it into my back in the form of these words, “_____ never freaks out, and she has more kids than you!”
She had spent the day under the care of another mother who apparently didn’t lose her marbles as frequently as I, and though I was under no illusion that this mom was perfect, in this moment I felt about as far from it as you could get.
To be honest I felt crushed. I slid behind the steering wheel of my less than immaculate minivan, and I felt too small to be at the helm. I definitely felt lower than the windshield; I felt lower than dirt. I considered the many times I lose my cool, and I realized once again just how short I fall on a daily basis. Why couldn’t I get it right?!
I had one job that was important to me, and that job was to raise my tiny humans. I wanted to do it really well, better than anything else I tried in life, but sometimes I felt as if my children deserved better than the lot they had been given when they got me as a mom. Just being honest.
I couldn’t keep a clean house like my little sister did.
I wasn’t always fun and easy-going like my other sister was.
I couldn’t seem to be organized like the many homeschool moms I knew.
My mind could go on and on with all the things I wasn’t, but all I could focus on at the time was what I was. I was not good enough for my kids. Not in my eyes.