Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Musing: The Toughest Job On the Planet... Motherhood. Yes, I'm having one of those days.

I sometimes receive emails or comments from people who assume our lives are perfect. Generally speaking, I don't write about sibling squabbles or mother-daughter tensions, as I've no wish to embarrass my kids. However, such squabbles and tensions certainly exist; we have our share of familial bumps and bruises just like everyone else.

Motherhood is the most difficult job on the planet. You're raising a human being, someone who will one day look back on his or her childhood with either nostalgia or horror. The responsibilities are endless, the worries are constant, and the hours are 24/7. Trying to be a decent parent is more difficult than anything I've ever done, qualifying exams at Harvard included.

It sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm not. Well, okay, perhaps I am, just for today. As I wrote before, I'm having one of those days. Without going into details, I'll admit that I've been eyeing that bottle of red and counting the hours until dinner. I'm sure it goes both ways -- the girls probably can't wait until bedtime, when they can get me out of their hair for the evening.

It's not their fault. The girls have never done anything that isn't completely normal for two strong and healthy girls their ages. Kids are kids; it's the parents who need to change and adapt from day to day to meet the developmental needs of their sons and daughters. I try to remember that it's up to me to guide my girls, and it will be difficult for them to find their way if I react like a highly anxious and red-faced baboon.

Dinnertime approaches...

To the mothers out there -- cheers and Godspeed.

To the kids out there -- be patient with your moms. You change so quickly, you grow so takes us a while to catch up and understand where you're coming from. We're doing the best we can.


Family Wilds said...

We hope you enjoyed your wine. Keep up the great work, Mom! It is an incredibly difficult job, and no doubt, the most important there is. Your a great example and a great inspiration!

Patricia Ellis Herr said...

Thanks. Wish I knew how I was doing. There's no meter to compare yourself to -- wish I could take a bad day and compare it to some national standard. This way, I could tell myself, "You weren't really all that bad," or "Wow -- chill out already!"...whichever the case may be. Seems we moms sometimes have to flail about, make our parenting mistakes, and just hope our children don't need therapy when they're older.

Dennis Paul Himes said...

Well, here's a data point. When we did Marcy you apologized a couple times because the girls were squabbling, even though, as a parent, I thought the squabbling they were doing was really minor stuff. I remember thinking, "if that's behavior Trish feels the need to apologize for, those kids must be really well behaved most of the time."

Patricia Ellis Herr, Alexandra Herr, and Sage Herr said...

Dennis, thanks. This is true, the girls are, most of the time, very well behaved. Like all kids, however, they have their moments...and I certainly have mine! Mary Poppins I ain't. ;) Wouldn't trade a second of it for anything in the world, though. Motherhood is the toughest job on the planet, but it's also the most rewarding.