I woke up, went into Baby Danger's room and grabbed her from her crib, brought her downstairs and set her on the couch, made her a bottle while putting the dog's collar on, hooked the dog out front for his morning business, went inside to see that my 1 couch child had multiplied into 2, finished making Danger's bottle, concocted a cup of chocolate milk, let the dog back inside before his barks woke the neighbors, delivered the beverage orders to the children, washed the coffee pot, stacked the dishes we managed to accumulate after I had cleaned every dish last night, put new grinds into the coffee maker, searched the fridge for the coffee creamer I KNOW I bought the other day but WHERE THE HELL DID IT GO????, changed Danger's diaper, put big brother's pacifier up on the shelf for the day, poured myself a cup of coffee, called to check in with child #1 at her place of residence this week, added 2 things to my calendar app for today, and passed out cheerios for everyone to eat.
AND THEN I had the epiphany!
I was sitting on the back porch totally not smoking my morning cigarette (of course I was smoking my morning cigarette because HOW DOES ANYBODY EXPECT ME TO QUIT WHEN I HAVE ALL OF THIS GOING ON!!!) and staring out into the woods behind our yard. I looked at the new "enclosure" I had made for Baby Danger over the last 2 days. I looked at the toys strewn about the lawn all around it. I looked at the hose connected to the silly flower sprinkler that makes the water shoot out in 8 different ways. I looked at the water table with my son's matchbox cars all lined up on the ramp. I looked at the kiddie pool with the magnetic fishing game that broke 2 seconds after we brought it home, but that the kids still play with regardless. I looked at the sign screwed to the outside of the gate that says, "BEWARE DANGER BABY!" And I listened to my son laughing inside as he and his little sister chased the dog around the living room.
I'm a good mom.
I don't even know where the voice in my head came from. It startled me.
I'M A GOOD MOM.
So much of the time, I belittle myself. I question each decision I make, every time my kids are crying because they are sad or angry or frustrated. I tell myself I am doing a bad job. I am not trying hard enough. I am lazy. I should clean more. I should sign them up for more sports and after school clubs. They should have more friends. I should play barbies with them more often. We should go for more walks. We should do art together. I should let them "help" me cook. I should let them stay up later. I should make them breakfast from scratch instead of just pouring cereal into a snack cup. I should make them lunch instead of letting them buy from the school cafeteria. I should, I should, I should......
I never stop to acknowledge any of the good things I do.
I buy them special donuts at DD when we go to pick up my necessary large iced macchiato every other day. I rock them to sleep every night, sometimes for an hour or more - standing up, sitting in the rocker, sitting on the ground....whatever is necessary to get them to doze. I make them special clay creatures to add to their imaginary games. I build baby-safe fences so that even the most adventurous baby can explore the outside world without getting herself stuck up a tree. I sing and dance when we wait in the checkout line at the grocery store so that it isn't so boring. I teach them to smile and say "hi" to make someone's day a little brighter. I calm them when they freak out. I give them pep talks when they are down. I buy them books that I know they will someday love. I draw them pictures of their favorite Disney characters on demand. I buy them random ice cream treats on hot days when we are heading home from running errands. I put suntan lotion on them and completely forget to put it on myself and then end up burnt to a crisp that night. I spray them with the hose to make them laugh. I hug them and kiss them and love them fiercely.
I AM A VERY, VERY GOOD MOM.
Stop wasting time listing all of your downfalls when you can get lost in the ridiculous amount of things you do right.
You're such a good mom.