August 3, 2013

perfectly imperfect childhood

it's funny to think that we all choose the flaws in our parents as we grow up that we vow to never repeated in our own character.... only to find that when all is said and done and hell has frozen over, we are more like our parents than we thought we'd be.

it's been a month now in vegas as a nanny and i truly love where i am and who i am with.

this last week as i was the sole caretaker of four children, with the parents on vacation, i found myself longing for a childhood i have acknowledged as imperfect. so many thoughts went through my mind and the lessons learned could fill pages and pages of a book.

--how in the world do people my age have more than one kid and keep their sanity??
(followed by: "oh yeah, i'm only just now getting to my actual emotional maturity :)
--will i ever be equipped to be a full-time mom?
(followed by: maybe not. i will just have a career that deals with families)
--it is surprising how many things you can accomplish with one hand and hip holding a heavy baby.
--tricking a child into doing or eating something is not technically a lie; you can still have a relationship built mostly on honesty
--i no longer judge anyone for using tv as a motivator/babysitter/entertainer --- not that i ever did and not that i use it frequently, but i have no idea how stay-at-home moms get anything done for themselves without a little bit of television being turned on.
--when they say potty training must wait for the child to be ready physically and emotionally, i had no idea how much emphasis was on the emotionally part.
--with the amount of poop i see and smell each day, i'm surprised the smell doesn't stay with me always.
--i didn't understand until this week how truly vital play-dates and playgroups are to moms, it totally kept me sane!!

as the baby grabbed a glass bottle of a1 sauce from the bottom shelf of the fridge and it shattered, i ached for the father i knew when i was younger --- who cleaned up broken glass and spilled milk and sang the song, "it's alright to cry."

as i rocked, sang, and read little ones to sleep i thought about what my parents must have felt when they were raising my siblings and me.

chaos and flaws aside, i have become the person i am today in large part because of the parents i have.
and what is life without its chaos and flaws?

through the topics i have discussed on this blog, i have honestly come to forgive and accept what was imperfect. this week i was able to reflect on how childhood doesn't have to be perfect to create a good person. none of my siblings had a perfect childhood --- it was chaos for all of us. but my two older sisters and my younger brother are truly some of the most amazing people i know.

yes, i try not to raise my voice and to manage conflict in a productive way.
sometimes i give up on the situation for a bit and walk away.
nothing is perfect and i am so very far from that mark of perfection.

but i guess to sum up my epiphany...

if i ever have a family of my own, i will choose to not worry so much about perfection and creating a perfect childhood. doing "everything right" isn't possible, but doing everything with love is.