I have to tell you one of the best kept secrets of parenting: NONE OF US KNOWS WHAT WE ARE DOING.
And there is no such thing as a parenting expert. I have a hard time believing anyone who claims that they are. I think that maybe instead we should get t-shirts like the ones they sell at amusement parks and instead of it being “I Survived the Super Dooper Looper” it could be more along the lines of, “I barely made it through the toddler stage,” or “I’ve been to 18 elementary school string concerts and all I got was this T-shirt (and ear plugs).” Or better yet they could be punch cards that we could redeem for free coffee at Starbucks. “Oh, you made it through colic, that will be a venti on the house.” Now that would be a punch card I wouldn’t lose in my purse.
Think about it, just when we think we have anything down the parenting goddesses are like, “Oh yeah, try this on for size.” We can never ever get too cocky. You think your baby is easy? JUST WAIT. Have an amazing sleeper? JUST WAIT. THEY WAKE UP. I have seen the toddler years wear even the strongest among us to tears in the aisles of Target. I have personally witnessed a naked two-year-old try to jumpstart a four-wheeler and he was successful. Want to have a night on the town? That will be five tantrums and one four am wakeup call in exchange. The kids can sense our getting comfortable and trying to live our best lives and they will take us down. Think you mastered childhood, HA! Welcome to the teen years momma. We hope you are caffeinated. Get your punch card ready.
That’s not to say we don’t love our kids, that is the best part of it all. WE LOVE THEM MORE THAN ANYTHING POSSIBLE. We would literally do anything at all to keep them happy and let them know how proud we are of them even when we are tested to every possible limit of our sanity.
So maybe that’s just it. We are experts in unconditional love. That is what we come to master through this rollercoaster of the bringing and raising humans in the world experience. And what a journey it is.
So, we show up. And we know that doing it all imperfectly and full of flaws is all that we can do. Make a four-course meal or make four calls a week for takeout- it doesn’t really matter. Start your own traditions of embracing the chaos and finding your own type of joy. During the school year, I bake break apart cookies on Fridays that take 15 minutes to make including the 15 minutes of cooking time and what do my kids remember? Warm cookies are love. It doesn’t matter whether or not they are baked from scratch.
Let’s take some pressure off ourselves, shall we? Let’s not compare (unless it is wild stories of the things our little angels have done because we all need the reminder that we are not alone). Let’s share the laughter and the chaos and let the kids be kids. We are all going to mistakes. Let’s not the pressure of perfection be one of them.
Katie has a new book out that is a collection of quotes and mic drops to embrace your inner warrior. “Girl Power” is available now on Amazon and is the perfect gift for all the warriors in your world. You can find out more details and book signing info on her instagram @katieyackleymoore. Endless thanks for reading. Xo
Katie Yackley Moore is a freelance writer, real estate agent, yoga instructor and a momma of four navigating life and a separation and finding herself in the process. She adores coffee shops, laughing until it hurts and impromptu dance parties. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamalode and HuffPost Parents. She has published a journal entitled “Dream a Bigger Dream” and the children’s books “You Are a Warrior” and “We are Family” and just finished her first novel. Catch up with her between tea breaks at The Naked Momma and on Facebook.