All I Know

All I really know how to do is love them.

No, let me change that.  All I really know how to do WELL is love them.

Shower them.  Engulf them. Swarm them.  With love.

I know I give in. Give up.

I wrap my arms around them when I “should” turn my back.

And let them cry.

I kiss their tears away.

When maybe those tears were just for show.

I help a girl too old to put her socks on her feet

Even help her get the fork to her mouth

When I see exhaustion overtaking her.

I let a proud boy walk out with his pants on backwards

With a shirt far too small

Because it’s his Favwit

And he put them on himself.

I’m told to be strong.

Show them who is boss.

Don’t get walked on.

I try.

Really.

And I am.

Sometimes.

But it’s not what I do well.

I’m told my “way” is the easy way.

Showing this much love

Having this much patience

is the EASY way.

Maybe.

If spending 30 minutes adjusting the sock line

On her feet so she doesn’t feel the threads on her toes

Is easy…

If rubbing her back each night

Consoling her that her fear of throwing up

Is not reality

Is easy…

If holding her hand

Until she falls asleep

To show she doesn’t need to suck her thumb

Is easy…

If allowing them both to rest their fever hot heads

On my shoulders

For days on end

Because they don’t want to be alone

Is easy…

If not getting sleep for three months straight

Because he’s afraid of monsters

And shadows

And spiders

Is easy…

If making three meals

For four people

Because I prefer they eat

Instead of going to sleep hungry

Is easy…

If cleaning up their mess

So that they can play those extra ten minutes

With each other

Enjoying each other

Is easy…

If making up a song

Each night

About fire trucks

And race cars

To sing at bedtime

Is easy…

Then yes.

My way.  Is the easy way.

But it’s all I know I can do. Well.

Love them.  Give myself to them.

And I can’t apologize for that.

Because in the end

When the end of this mothering thing stares me in the face

I’ll know. I did what I knew how to do.

Right or Wrong.

Easy.

Or Not.

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17 Comments

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17 responses to “All I Know

  1. There is no easy way. There are parts of my parenting that I feel awkward in, not in my heart, but in explaining to others. But, it works, and it is my heart’s way. Thank you for reminding me of that.

  2. All we can do is what our heart calls us to do. Our children are what drives us to do so much…Easy way or not, it is NEVER easy to know if you are on the path, if you are doing the right thing. Plus, you can never give them too much love.

  3. This is my favorite post, ever. Thank you for writing this. I have been trying lately to be more of a ‘no’ mom, because I too take the ‘easy way’ all the time – I don’t want to see my children upset if I can help it. I too still dress my five year old. This morning, I gave my three year old three bottles of milk because that is what he asked for. It’s almost harder to do it ‘our’ way. It’s all love, though. It’s pure, 100% love for our children.

  4. By the way, I was just on a TV show (my last two posts on my blog talk about this) and I was talking to a parenting expert, Dr. Michele Borba, about learning now to say no. It was a good experience and she offered some good tips, however, I know it’s not going to be easy for me to implement them!

  5. Every day, we walk a fine line. To help them with love or with discipline? Do what makes them feel better or makes them better people? It’s a tough, tough choice. One we navigate every day, hoping that no matter what, they will turn out fine.

  6. ShannonL

    I loved this post, Becca. It brought tears to my eyes. Sometimes our kids just want, NEED a little extra love and attention. Giving it to them is not always easy. Actually sometimes saying No, or telling them they’re old enough to do it themselves, is taking the Easy way. Because we are too tired, too occupied, too selfish to give in and do somthing for them. So I don’t think you are parenting the Easy way at all. You love those kids and you show them. Nothing wrong with that.

  7. Your way
    Is the best
    Way

    My way
    Is the best way

    Her way
    Is the best
    Way.

    Xo

  8. This just rocked my world. Honestly. I love it. And you.
    xo

  9. I think we all do what works best for us. There can’t be a wrong way if our kids are growing up happy and healthy. I am on the stricter side, but I don’t have the endless patience. I need the order and rules and schedules. It makes me tick, and this way makes you tick. We all need to tick. :)

  10. Usually the easy way is the opposite of whatever the decision maker is doing. When you’re the one deciding what’s easy, it’s the other person’s way. And when it’s them, then your way is the easy one. I guess that’s because there is no easy way but we all think that no one could be working as hard as we are.

    Do what feels right. That’s the only way that matters.

  11. Liz

    I like how you wrote this. I think that’s the catch in parenting: do it the best way you can and hope it’s enough. I joke that instead of investing in their college funds, we should invest in their therapy funds, b/c no matter whether we put on their socks for them or make them do it themselves, they will need therapy to “get over” something we did.

  12. I’m so glad I found this. Easy and Motherhood should not appear in the same universe. Your way is your way is their way. The best way for you all to be a family.

  13. There is no easy way, no matter how we do it. I hate that we judge each other, based on what WE do. If someone does something differently, well, obviously their way is wrong and ours is right. I hate that.

    You are doing a perfectly wonderful job. None of us do it perfectly. But loving them, that’s the one thing we all do, and it’s the thing that matters most.

  14. Love this post. I may not do everything correctly. but i love my son and trust he will turn out ok!

  15. I can’t tell you how much I needed this today. I’ve been losing my way, and it’s time to get back on the path. Their way. My way. The not-at-all-easy way.

  16. So inspirational! We all have our own ways . . . I’m always telling friends and family to do what’s right for them. As a matter of fact, last night I was telling my oldest, who’ll be applying to colleges soon, that he needs to find a college that’s just right for him. Now that I write that, it looks like *pressure*, but in the moment he took it as I meant it: He can choose the college that feels right to him. Thank you for the important reminder.

  17. grossestgirl

    I read a post titled “Alone” and when I came here it was gone. boingerhead@gmail.com. Always here for another mother.

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