It does my heart and mind so much good to have all three children here with me. I am enjoying the girls being out of school for a four day weekend. While I do admit my anxiety can get really out of hand when they start fighting with each other, for the most part I do a lot better. It’s the only time I feel whole: when all of my children are under the same roof. The heartache comes after, when they have to go back home to their father. Then it’s just my son and I, and even the nonstop noise of a two year old can’t fill the emptiness in the house when my daughters are gone.
No amount of time will ever lessen the grief I feel over losing the privilege of being full-time present mom in their lives. I have wasted too much time wishing for a way to get that time back, to erase the mistakes I made that led to it, etc. It’s useless to do that, of course, but what parent doesn’t when living part or all of their lives without their offspring? But despite pain and regrets, I can only move forward. I cherish every moment they are here. I know what a gift it is, and I don’t ever want to take it for granted. I also try to remind myself of this when my toddler son is being “less than cute”. Parenting is hard, even for the most level-headed people. Mental illness adds a lot of problems to the arena. I experience burnout a lot. I wrote a post about that burnout not too long ago, but I refrained from posting it because I was pretty harsh. I may post it sometime when I am in a bad mood. We’ll see! Still, as stressed as I get, I love my three children more than anything. I try to be the best parent I can, knowing I fail repeatedly, terribly, shamefully. But then one of my girls will write a card saying I’m the best mom ever, or my son will give me a hug and kiss my belly (he’s fascinated with my fat belly) and it makes me think I must be doing something right. And nothing in the world brings more hope or joy than those moments when I feel like my children see something better in me than I see in myself. I will always strive to make them feel the same way. To me, they are the most beautiful, amazing people in the world. I never want them to doubt that, not for a second.