Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Smug as a bug...

I've always hated smug people. Anyone that even faintly whiffed of Sandi Toksvig or Jeremy Beadle had me running out the door. Yet, I confess, last night I smacked of smug. I'm not talking about sitting around counting my blessings smug, just a sort of self imposed authority on those around me.

I confess...I've reached the age where I sit as an adult and discuss my parents. I sat last night with my husband and we discussed why we thought our parents were the way they were, I looked at my daughter and realized that one day she will do the same. One day, this girl that I gave life to and will gladly die for will discuss me with her friends, her family and make idle suggestions and incorrect assumptions as to why I am the way I am. Now, not least I hope not. Dear God, I hope not. But, at some point in her adult life, she will, as I have, discuss, dissect and give weighted opinion on her parents. The way we all do.

I took my daughter swimming for the first time yesterday. My heart was full as I watched her fearlessly splash and squeal. I wiped her tears a day earlier when she bumped her head, my heart breaking as she sought to catch her breath between sobs. This girl holds the key to my heart. She is my heart. It's painful to imagine that there will be a time when she'll discuss my faults, my annoying habits, and share stories that she remembers from her childhood. Stories that cement our relationship good and bad. She will not remember that I forgot to pack a towel at swim class so dried her with my clothes whilst standing shivering in my own wet suit.
Her memories will of course be different to mine.

The more entrenched I am in parenthood the more I realize one thing - we are all just trying to do our best. That's it. I'm on a wing and a prayer and all I ask when my head hits that pillow is simply that - Please God, just let me do my best. It's hard to fault your parents when you realize just what unconditional love is.


  1. i've said this a thousand times... my single parenting goal is that my children leave my home one generation less damaged than i am.

    i want them to know that my motivations were good. when they sit and discuss me with their partners and friends, i want them to laugh about the ridiculous mistakes i made rather than lament the fact that they were entrusted to me.

    olivia has been entrusted to people who i would choose to raise the little girl that i was...

    she'll have wonderful stories to tell.

  2. I found your blog through my sister, Megan Scott. I love your writing and your honesty.

  3. Beautiful post as always my dear. I think you summed up your thoughts perfectly. I have been thinking a lot about this since our discussion. I don't know- my goal in life (for now at least)is just to be the most loving and good person I can be. As you said "Please just let me do my best!" That is all any of us can do, and Olive is one lucky little girl to have a mother like you.

  4. I love your last statement: "It's hard to fault your parents when you realize just what unconditional love is." So true.

    Just posted on "momisms" at Outnumbered Mom -- come on over for some mom encouragement and inspiration!

  5. Well said! While I have no experience in the mommy department, I can tell you that the realization that you are only human will eventually hit Olivia, but I think that will make her love you even more. It's tough for mortals to play superheros. Kudos!

  6. Hi, I found your blog on Mombloggers website. I love your writing and honesty...reading this post opened my own eyes as a mother...I didn't even think about the fact that someday my kids will be saying...WHY does mom do that?! UGH! LOL Mom is a clean freak...I guess there isn't much we can do about it though ahaha...thanks for the taking the time to share :)

  7. Nah, she won't do that. Because we're so much COOLER than our parents are/were. Ha, ha! Don't worry. Your daughter will talk about all the cool, funny, good stuff too. ;o)

  8. This is Blessing following from MBC. Lets get to know each other.

    Follow me at too!

  9. I was so filled with awe, blessing, and enlightenment toward my own parents once I became a parent. Grace. That is what I extended to them. Prior to kids I was so critical, now I realize they were amazing!


    Hey, I have a book project and think you might make a great contributor.

  11. My ten year old has gotten into the habit of telling me to stop over mothering him, the little bastard.

    But when I take a step back he has high anxiety and tells me that I don't care about him.

    As my husband always says, "You can't win for losing," whatever that means!

  12. I am also a new follower from MBC!

    It sounds like your daughter had a wonderful time swimming -- mine are part fish, I swear.

    I'm not actually sure who learns more through the journey of parenthood -- the child or the parent...

  13. I am so with you on this one. I think about this all the time because my mom lives with me and it can be really stressful. But then I think about the fact that she did all the things for me that I am doing for my boys. Wipe their tears, change their clothes, make them food, color pictures together, etc. And I feel terrible for having any negative thoughts in the world. Great post. You are such an insightful person. I always love reading your thoughts about parenting.

  14. Oy, I think the same thing often! I catch myself when I pick apart my parents' actions, and try to picture my two little boys doing the same thing! Lovely post.



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