Worried Little People – or WLPs — have historically caused me much hilarity (& mocking superiority). You know the ones -the shaky, jumpy, nervous, skyisfalling li’l angels that suspect that doom and gloom are around every corner? Loveable though they may occasionally be (especially when one wants to feel zen and calm and glasslike), I have never EVER wanted to be one.
The parental counterpart to the WLP is of course the WLM (Worried Little Mom) and I SURE as hell don’t want be her. I don’t want to prepare vegan meals, homeschool, give my children only wooden toys, and teach them Spanish by age 3. And yet despite this determination to be calm and collected, I am occasionally gripped by an apocalyptic parental panic, the antidote to which is usually a cocktail of cool mommy complaint about The Things Kids Do to Drive Us Crazy mixed with Funny Things Husbands Do To Help Raise the Kids. In short, I survive by distancing myself from the overwhelming terror of raising these three children.
I go to work, I clean the house, I play around with them after work, I clean the house, I make them food, we run around screaming like maniacs, they go to bed. That’s how the day usually goes (plus or minus 8-10 time-outs, tantrums, and hitting–theirs, not mine).
But sometimes it sinks in. I am the Mother now. The. Mother. The beginning and the end of each day. And I worry… worry… worry… What if I’m not enough? What if what I give ends up causing them pain and sorrow? What if I can’t protect them from what lies ahead?
Driving into work this morning, I dug deep to try and find the resolve to be a better, stronger person, for them. And I meant it.
Yet when I got home, I was so exhausted and they were so happy to see me, and dinner was cereal (again) and my resolve flitted away like my promise to exercise after Violet was 3 months old (she’s now 22 months).
I have no doubt I would lay down my life for any of my children, but today I wonder if I’d lay down something more banal? Swear words? Wine glasses? Would I give up bad habits in order to be a better role model?
Goddess of WLMs, I hope so.