“We don’t always get the kids we want but we get the kids we need.”
I often wonder why I have picky eating, back talking, rough and tumbling, never sleeping kids.
It seems unfair because I was such an easy peasey, go with the flow, broccoli loving sort of kid. At least that is how I remember it. (My parents also confirm this).
You get the kids you need.
What does that even mean?
Do I need kids that fly off the handle? Crazy, unpredictable little ones who cry over sock strings and constantly look on the dark side of things. Do I need kids with food allergies, extreme food preferences, and anxieties that make feeding them stressful and seemingly impossible.
Do I need offspring that bite, hit, fight, scream, and cry constantly? Kids who do everything BIG. Do I need kids that wake up before the birds and go non stop until nightfall? Kids who constantly spout potty humor despite my best efforts.
Do I need kids that are smart? Really smart? Too smart for everyone’s good-not just their own good. Kids that can probably change the world if they can change their perspectives.
Yes, I do.
My control freak side needs kids who cannot be tamed.
The peacemaker side of me needs sons who fight hard and dirty, but hug and play once the dust settles.
My “please everyone” side needs children whose behavior instigates less than fabulous teacher conferences and phone calls from the assistant principal.
The “never want to be wrong” side of me needs super intelligent kids who already challenge my brain. I would have given up on learning if I didn’t need to stay in line with them (forget one step ahead). And then I would just be really bored.
The “schedule please, not so flexible, we had a plan!” side of me needs little ones who require things to change on a dime. Oh, you had a different plan for today? Ha, sorry mom.
Our kids can teach us so many things about ourselves. We just need to pay attention.
It is easy to get caught up in the day to day exhaustion of parenting.
Yup. Been there. Guilty.
But what if we stop for a second and think about what we actually have in front of us? Maybe it is an opportunity to face fears of confrontation. The possibility to give up the need to control. A chance to tackle our own insecurities as we navigate the rough seas of parenthood.
I am learning from my children every single day.
I don’t always realize it, but the lessons are there. When I sit down with my gratitude journal I still list the obvious (sunshine, chocolate chips, etc.) but lately I note the things about my children that drive me totally bananas. For instance, today I am grateful that,
- My twins’ food allergies introduced me to cashew cheesecake and avocado pudding.
- Their sense of humor forces me to be silly even when it feels uncomfortable.
- My oldest’s thirst for learning encouraged to stand up to his teachers.
- They quickly squashed any expectations I had for motherhood. Not a single one panned out.
- My lists and schedules exist, but are rarely followed. (It is a constant challenge. Constant.)
Let’s be clear. I still make the beds exactly the way I like them, but I no longer wince when my littles decide to play sleepover party at 11:15, and my work gets unraveled.
80% of the time, I am rolling with it and learning from these strange and crazy little humans. The other 20% they are still teaching me things I am filing under enrichment courses to address later.