Monday, April 29, 2013

The Kid Commitment

It's only taken me about 12 years, but I think I'm finally ready to commit to my kids.   All three of them, even.

I always wanted kids.  Always knew it'd be a mom.  It was no problem for me to get pregnant and I had three "easy" and wonderful birth experiences.  Then all of sudden I had three kids.  And I fought it.  Most parents I admire have a real understanding of surrendering to parenthood.   And at times I felt fully engaged and happy to jump feet first into my mother role.  I kicked ass at throwing birthday parties and making Halloween costumes and any sort of event that required my creativity.  But for the last 10+ years,  I can say that I fought fully committing to parenting.

Of course, I kept my kids safe and healthy.  Would I throw myself in front of train to save one of my kids?  Without question.  Would I catch the flu because they cough all over me while I'm tending to them?  Always.  Will I skip the newly-released Oscar-contending movie because we don't have a sitter?  Um....yes, but I will feel annoyed.  Will I miss out on dozens of party invitations?  Yes and I will feel resentful.  Will I go years without vacations because we have to afford daycare and school? You bet I will, and it will be a constant source of irritation.  Will I wake up on Sunday mornings and lament the fact that I have to entertain my own kids all day?  Yes...and my anger will probably ruin everyone else's Sunday.  And has.

I'm not sure why I started fighting committing to parenting.  My kids are pretty great and definitely fill my world with more life than I could have imagined.  But I started to agonize over all of the demands and sacrifices that come with choosing to have children.  I want to go to happy hour on a sunny afternoon with friends and not worry about picking anyone up.  I want to take a weekend trip with my husband without a thought about who we could even call to watch the kids overnight.  I want excess money in my bank account so we can take some vacations or buy a new car.   I want to check Facebook on my iPhone and not read Spiderman vs Dr Octopus for the 17th time.  I want a clean house with a guest bedroom that's not filled with Elmo and stickers on the ceiling.  I want...I want...I want....  This was becoming exhausting.

Finally, and mercifully, my heart adjusted to what I really want (I can't define exactly what happened other than the universe tapped me on the shoulder - or maybe hit me with a frying pan - and I realized my job and responsibilities were way beyond my selfishness).  I want a happy home with a ton of laughter (I know everyone says this, but most things are clichés for a reason).  I want these people I chose to have and raise to feel confident and that they always matter.  I want them to know what
Way cooler than any happy hour.
unconditional love feels like so that they know how to give it.  I want my youngest son to know how to blow bubbles.  I want my middle son to feel awesome because he can spell his name.  I want my daughter to feel especially cool because she won the spelling B.  I want them to always feel that we are listening.  I want my kids to be raised by a mother who 100% wants to be their mom.  So...I commit to these three kids (and to their dad), and I surrender to the responsibility I signed up for over these last several years.  And I accept, with great love & pride, my role in these lives.  Without fighting it.  I'm exactly where I need to be and the payoff will be a thousand times greater than sleeping in on a Sunday. 

I still want a vacation and will get one soon enough when these kids grow into their  lives and away from us.  Until then...I am committed to loading them up in the old mini-van and taking them wherever we go on this crazy ride.