Strapping up for 940 Saturdays!

I just read a blog post from Motherlode and it is worth sharing.  Here it is; http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/16/childhood-940-saturdays-and-youre-done/ I suggest you read it.

The article is in reference to Dr. Harley Rotbart’s No Regrets ParentingNo Regrets ParentingI have not yet read this book, but I have just added it to the top of my list.

My college roommate, Jummy, just had her third child this spring, just like me.  Over the past couple months we have exchanged many phone calls conversing mainly over the subject of “Mommy Guilt.”

  • “I don’t think I even had a conversation with my older kids today.”
  • “My son told me I was finally being a fun mom for once.”
  • “My boys wore their pajama’s all day.”
  • “The woman at the store looked at me like I was crazy trying to fit three kids in a grocery cart.”

And so on and so on…

The idea of never doing enough, never being enough, never having enough time mixed with this idea that we’re supposed to enjoy every moment, every second of every little day.  It’s like the Iowa humidity on a late July evening- you can’t see it, but oh boy, can you feel it.  And whatever you’re doing and wherever you go, you wear it.   My friend and I joke, just strap it on- thatMommy Guilt!

All joking aside, being a parent is a full-time job.  Yes, it is worth it, but it is also exhausting.  There are days when I have no food in my pantry, my 5-year-old will only say, “But I don’t waaaant that” in his most whiniest of voices, my 3-year-old is on this third pair of pants by 11 am, and my baby girl just wants to be held, and I look at the clock wondering how much longer till nap time.  Exhausted!  And then there are those moments when we’re eating lunch and my 3-year-old says, “Mommy, I just wuv you!” while taking a bite of his sandwich.  I look at him and think, my goodness, when did you get so big! Happy!

It’s the YEARS that are fast!  The DAYS can be slow and long.  Dr. Rotbart reminds us that there are 940 Saturdays from the time your child is born to the time he turns 18.  And 260 of them are gone by the time he is five!  Wow!  That is definitely food for thought.

Exhausted boy
I guess being three can be exhausting too!

My take on it is that, yes, there will be days I’m strapping on a large bag of Mommy Guilt.  There will be days where my kids don’t do anything right- throw a fit in the grocery store, poop their pants, spit up all over my brand new couch.  But there will be days where, while in the shower after an accident my son throws out his hands and states with such conviction, “Daddy, I told you, I already wash-ted my butt!”  Or my other son opens the car door for me, just so it’s easier.  Or my daughter rolls over for the first time and as I celebrate and try to document on my phone, my son comes and hurdles her.  Moments to laugh. Moments to smile with such pride.  And moments to roll my eyes at the blissful ambitions of my children.

I may have a lot of days left ahead of me in this parenting journey.  And yes, I will Enjoy them.  But every second?  That’s just insanity!  Those 940 Saturdays, though, I am willing to make them meaningful for my family.  I’m reminded of that phrase, “Parent is both a noun and a verb.”  I don’t want to look back on those 940 Saturday’s some day and say, “I wish I would’ve…”

There is so much “pressure” to be this perfect mom- this perfect parent.  In the midst of that search to be “perfect” it’s so easy to forget that parenting isn’t about us, it’s really about our kids.  Looking ahead to my 940 Saturdays, I’m caring less about perfect, less about “every second,” and more about my kids- learning who they are, what they enjoy and doing my very best to love them for that.  Even if sometimes it is exhausting.

I’m strapping up for those Saturdays, whatever they may bring me.  How about you?

XO- Erica


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