First of all, let me start by telling you—because I know it’s been on your mind–your boobs do bounce back, and you will age gracefully. At 50 you still tell people you’re 29, and they believe you. Well done!
Listen. I know what you’re going through right now. The kids are little. You’re exhausted. You’re overwhelmed. You’re working your absolute hardest. You’re doing everything you can to make sure those kids are getting what they need, the house is getting cleaned, and that guy you live with is reasonably happy. You’re drained. You’re maxed out.
You’re feeling like everything you’re doing is wrong.
It’s not. It’s not. It’s not.
Yep, you’re making mistakes. OF COURSE YOU’RE MAKING MISTAKES!!! You won’t stop making mistakes. Even when the kids are adults you’ll continue to mess up.
You AND your children learn from those mistakes. They help you grow. They contribute to the person you become. They allow those kids to see that you are a human being. If you were perfect all the time you wouldn’t be doing those little people any favors. They’ve grown up having a realistic idea of what the world is like: imperfect. Your mistakes have allowed them to understand that THEY are allowed to make mistakes. Your mistakes have given them the ability to understand their own mistakes, acknowledge them, and move on as better people, not making their same mistake twice.
You’re thinking you yell too much right now. That you cry too often in front of the kids. That you aren’t effectively disciplining the kids. That you let them watch too much t.v. and eat too much junk food. That you swear too often.
All of the above is true.
They lived! What’s more, they lived AND they’re successful, well adjusted adults. Again, they are learning that you are a human being. You have feelings. You have strong moments and you have weak moments. You are normalizing these things for them. You still think you’re sentencing them to a lifetime of therapy.
You’re not. You’re not. You’re not.
You have regrets. Most of those regrets don’t go away, and there’s many more stacked on your (already) long list. You eventually learn to forgive yourself, though. Once you learn to forgive yourself you are able to fully understand that wonderful job that you did as a mother. I’m telling you now so you don’t have to wait that long: You are doing a wonderful job as a mother. Give yourself credit now. You feel empowered when you finally acknowledge what you’ve accomplished, and the beautiful people you’ve raised. Allow yourself that amazing feeling NOW. It will make this time with your children that much sweeter.
There were bad times. Your children remember those.
They remember the good times even better: the movie nights every Friday. The baking in the kitchen. The gardening. The adventures you went on. The walks to school. The bedtime hugs. The activities you drove them to. The sleepovers they had with friends. The marshmallow roasts. The shopping sprees. The (occasional) trips to the candy store. The chats about their love interests in high school. The birthday parties.
Above all, they remember the unconditional love you showed them. They knew it then and they know it now. That’s all they needed then and that’s all they need now.
Guess what kind of people they have become?
Gentle, generous, compassionate, empathetic, caring people.
They remember you following the rules of motherhood. You sewing and crocheting. You taking off to yoga, or out with your friends. You reading a book or writing while they played at the park. You taking care of you so you can be the mother you desire to be.
Guess what kind of parents they have become?
They’re loving to their children. They have the utmost best intentions. They strive to do and be the absolute best for parents to your grandbabies.
They use YOU as their example.
I won’t tell you any more. You have a long journey ahead of you, and you must figure the rest out on your own.
I’ll leave you with one thing to remember:
Love those babies.
They truly won’t be small for long. Before you know it, you’re, well, 50 (with amazing breasts, don’t forget that!), and your “babies” are grown.
You’re doing wonderful. Believe that and remind yourself every single day.
P.S. You’re going to need to find a better hiding spot for your wine and candy. They figure out it’s all in the laundry room pretty quick here.