It was about two days into being a mother of two when I realized that I am not the parent I thought I’d be.
I always envisioned myself with a boy and a girl, but I never thought mothering them would be so demanding. I just assumed I’d float from one task to the next, taking care of my children’s needs and keeping them entertained with the magic and ease of Mary Poppins. But simultaneously caring for a newborn and a toddler has me in full-on survival mode. My younger, more vain self would be appalled at how often I look totally disheveled or leave the house without even checking the mirror.
In my head, my kids were always going to be perfectly dressed, nutritiously fed and the house, showroom ready.
In reality, I run around multitasking until I come inches from collapsing in exhaustion. I am at the beck and call of Cash and Ruby around the clock, fulfilling their every basic need and I still obsess over keeping a tidy home.
In my head, I would parent consistently with gentle discipline and turn tears and tantrums into giggles and guffaws.
In reality, my emotions swing to extremes I never thought imaginable from tearful frustration to astonishment to adoration. I submit quickly to loud demands to avoid confrontation and resort to silliness as a cheerful distraction.
There is just no room for perfection in parenting. I know this state of existence is temporary. No matter how different the real version of motherhood is compared to my ideal, I am still in awe and so proud that I made them and that they’re mine forever.