Last night, I was staring at my daughter as she slept. Because that’s what mothers do. We stare at our children while they sleep. And our hearts break into a million tiny pieces with the weight of our love for them. It’s both scary and exhilarating to know that I can love so much.
I never realized it was possible. It’s funny how ridiculously naïve I was when I found out I was pregnant with my first daughter. I was certain that I’d never cut it as a mother. I was too selfish, too childish, too busy, too inexperienced. I was too-everything-but-ready to have a baby.
And then I had her. The minute I laid eyes on her, I was in love. She was everything and more. I was certain that I could never love like that again.
Until I had my second.
And it was love all over again, just as intense and just as head-over-heels.
I am so in love with my children that it terrifies me.
The world is a terrifying place like it never was before. Things that were insignificant before are being analyzed in a new light, a wide-eyed with fear sort of light.
The swings at the playground? Scary. Have you ever noticed how dangerously high you can push a child and there’s nothing — nothing — holding them to their seats except for their own strength.
The stove top in the kitchen? Scary. How can I let my daughter help me with the cooking like Pinterest tells me I should when there’s danger all around?
The chopsticks at the restaurant? Scary. Don’t you know how many children put out an eye with easily overlooked objects?
This consuming fear makes me want to safeguard my children by whatever means necessary. To enclose them in bubble wrap to prevent any harm from coming to them. To protect them with all the force of my love.
But every day, I concur this terror inside of me. I take a deep breath, say a silent prayer, and let the worry go.
Instead, I let my daughter explore the world that is awaiting her. I let her uncover all the wonder that is around her so that one day she will be ready to concur the world head on. I let her natural curiosity lead her to her own discoveries.
It’s not easy being a mother. My life is in the tiny hands of two adorable little girls who are already growing up way too fast. I might not have felt ready to be a mother all those years ago but I’ve realized something along the way. I’ve realized that I’ll never be ready when it comes to them.
I’ll never want to push them higher on the swings like they want me to. I’ll never want them to help me make daddy’s favourite soup like they beg to do. I’ll never want to let them try out the chopsticks like they are positive they can use.
But I’ll do it anyway.
I’ll swallow my fear and I’ll let them fly like they’re supposed to.
I love my life. I love being a mother and a wife.
Sometimes I find myself longing for a break from this responsible parenting thing.
I miss being young.
I miss those little things that I took for granted when it was okay to take them for granted. It was okay because it was all I knew and it wasn’t all that exceptional.
But now I know better and every once in a while, I find myself missing those not-so-special memories.
I miss sleepovers with my friends.
I miss drinking Coke.
I miss not knowing that Coke is the devil’s work.
I miss being able to stay up all night.
I miss watching music videos on Much Music.
I miss going to Denny’s in the early mornings of the hour.
I miss getting asked for ID.
I miss spending hours getting ready for a night out.
I miss watching sad movies without automatically thinking about my children.
I miss road trips without diaper change breaks.
I miss spontaneous dates.
I miss wearing colourful makeup and really short skirts.
I miss eating ice cream without worrying about my diet.
I miss wearing high heels without knee pain.
I miss listening to gangster rap.
I miss mistakenly thinking I was gangster.
I miss being so misguided.
I miss reading a book uninterrupted.
I miss eating penny candies from the corner store.
I miss watching Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place.
I miss jelly shoes.
I miss my ridiculously permed hair.
I miss the Sweet Valley Twins.
I miss the Babysitter’s Club even more.
I miss skipping class.
I miss the experience of learning in a classroom.
I miss drinking slurpees.
I miss going on roller coasters without getting sick.
Most of all, I miss the freedom of the young.
The freedom to be selfish. To not always have to worry about those small lovable children in my possession.
Would I change a thing?
No, not ever.
Not on your life or mine.
Not even for a second.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t miss a few things.
Like sleeping in….
This parenting thing is hard work.
Wait, scratch that. I feel like I’m not doing it any justice.
This parenting thing is insane.
Ah, much better.
Parenting isn’t for the weak. But luckily for me, I have a helper. She might only be three but she’s been my constant ally in this parenting thing. Albeit when she’s not being parented herself.
Meet my not-so-hired help, Seanna.
She’s a natural.
It’s like she has a gift for understanding just what the baby needs. It might be because she can relate but I’m not one to get hung up on minor details.
In theory, I’m totally against child labour and would never, ever promote such a thing. Unless it’s my daughter, in which case, it’s all fair game. I birthed her after all and labour is no joke and she completely owes me for those torn stitches.
It all started so innocently.
I only wanted her to run and grab her baby sister’s pacifier from the kitchen counter. I’d have gotten it myself but the baby was sleeping in my arms and there was no way I was moving until that pacifier was in her mouth. My baby loves to fall asleep while nursing and the Playtex OrthoPro Silicone Pacifier provides a familiar source of comfort. More importantly, it means I can put her down without waking her up. That’s the sort of thing that mothers kill for.
Anyways, Seanna ran happily to grab the pacifier and was so proud of herself for being able to help. I mean, it would be cruel of me to stop her. And one thing I’m not is cruel. And that’s how it all began. Judge me if you must.
Seanna loves to help change her sister’s diapers. She gets a kick out of throwing the dirty diapers into the Playtex Diaper Genie, that magical black abyss that absorbs all those gross germs and abysmal odour. Oh man, that odour but Seanna doesn’t even mind. She thinks it’s hilarious. Hmmm, makes me think she has her dad’s sense of humour.
And her absolute favourite activity to help with? Washing dishes. Seanna loves to wash dishes and she absolutely loves to rinse out her baby sister’s bottles. It makes her feel like a big girl whenever she gets to use the SmartBrush Bottle Brush. It has an awesome non-slip grip that makes it easy for Seanna to hold, which means less mess for mommy to worry about.
My little mommy’s helper has been my saving grace in this parenting game and I’d be lost without her. That little pair of extra hands is sometimes just what I need to keep my sanity intact.
Except when she’s the one trying my last nerve.
Then it’s a whole other ball game altogether. And Lord help me on those days.