The Nevers I Never Knew I'd Love
NOTE: This post was originally published at Le Chateau des Fleurs. Before I became a mom, I had a long list of “Nevers”. Like, I would never let my kids in a store a) barefoot b) in PJs or c) in a swimsuit.
I would never let them jump on the benches in restaurants.
I would never bring snacks to church. (And thereby teaching them to…not want snacks in church? I’m confused on my reasoning for this rule.)
And I would NEVER have kids that threw fits at Target! I could keep going but I’ll spare you the list.
6 years later, with three kids in tow, I have broken every one of those “Nevers”.
Now I have quietly slipped off my soapbox of “Nevers”. Now I’m sitting in front of it, with my hands in the pleading position, begging for one thing.
Motherhood is teaching me to be a little less critical, simply because I’ve discovered how difficult and complex this job really is. The longer I’m a mom, the more I’m learning. For each “never” that falls to the wayside, I always feel like there’s a just purpose. I have every intention to have shoes on every child during each outing, but sometimes I can’t find the shoes. (And dag nab it, I’m in a hurry!)
I DO dress my kids, but sometimes PJs are the only article of clothing that smells half decent.
And sometimes errands have to be run on the way home from the pool.
I TRY to make them sit quietly in a restaurant, but they can only color on the kids’ menu (with the 2 crayons provided) for so long.
And I’m sorry, but when you have an exhausted two year old at church, kicking the poor woman in front of you, it helps to shove a fruit snack in their mouth. (The two year old’s mouth, not the poor woman’s.) If it keeps a tantrum at bay, I’m for it.
If there are good reasons to break my Nevers, there must be good reasons for other moms to break theirs. So I’m learning to not criticize. When I see a tantrum being thrown in the store, I give the mom a look, but it’s a look of, “Sister, I TOTALLY know what you’re going through. Here’s a lollipop. And if you need the lollipop more than your child, it’s all yours.” I’m learning that being a mother is a very personal journey. Each of us is in different places, learning different lessons, with VERY different kids. And for the most part, we’re all doing the best we can.
Although motherhood has made me lose lots of Nevers, there are other ones that I have discovered. Like I never knew I could love this much.
I never knew how much I would enjoy my nightly “snugs” with my daughter. I never get tired of kissing my baby. I never thought I would feel so much pride the day my son learned to dress himself. I never anticipated the giddy butterflies I would feel whenever I watch my kids laugh. I love these Nevers.
As my motherhood excursion continues I hope I learn three things: let go of the bad Nevers, embrace the good ones, and have compassion for the other mommies in the midst of their own journey. I may never perfect them, but…never say never!