I have three kids- an eighteen year-old, a five year-old, and a one year-old. K, Soybean, and EE are the key to my heart. I love them to pieces. Every single piece, but I know they are borrowed. They were given to me as a gift and I am so grateful, but they are borrowed.
I try to remember this when I don’t feel like reading a third book to Soybean who insists on reading at least half her bookcase every night. When my husband or I refuse to read one more story, she pulls out her children’s Bible. Like how can I say no to that?! Talk about guilt. She may be five, but SHE KNOWS what she’s doing. (New post coming soon: The Soybean Chronicles) Knowing she is borrowed, I sometimes say no and continue with our bedtime routine.
Or the times I wish Lenny could put on her own socks, but I force myself to live in the moment because she too is borrowed and one day won't need me to do that for her.
K is off at college and though he is borrowed too, he keeps telling me he is coming home to live with us for the rest of his life. (Part of me smiles uncontrollably, but the other part tends to cringe. I tend to lean towards the latter.)
I have been a parent for a long time and the one thing I can say is they add A LOT OF COLOR to your life, but they should't be your life. Let me say that again. CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE YOUR LIFE!! No one should be your life for that matter, so I don't feel bad when I am not focusing on them. I don't feel bad when I don't show up to a game or school play. I don't feel bad when I miss a milestone. I. DON'T. FEEL. BAD.
I do feel bad for the parents who place high expectations on themselves because it leaves no room to human. Yes, human. "Humaning" requires being a bit selfish at times, failing, and doing it all over again. And for me that means I am loving them to the best of my ability.
Now excuse me while I go human.