I'm feeling inspired today by some drama on my favorite drama-seeking message board. Last week I checked in for the first time in weeks and saw that everyone was all in an outrage over a post made by the woman who writes this blog: http://1000reasonsimabadmom.com/ . I think her blog is cheeky, self-deprecating, and full of life's lessons to those of us travelling down the new motherhood path virtually unprepared for the stones that will be thrown at us. I doubt she is a bad mom, or even considers herself a bad mom. But, writing this blog has given her an outlet to vent those frustrations that we all come across from time to time when we turn our back and life surprises us.
Unfortunately, many members of "The Bump" did not feel this way, and therein ensued a riotous thread of threats to call CPS and wishes that she would give her beautiful son away for adoption because she obviously didn't deserve to be a mom. Really? Loosen up a little, ladies! We all have our moments, and we all need a way to get out the emotions that we can't wear on our sleeve daily for fear of actually having Child Protective Services called. She is not abusing or neglecting or even failing to celebrate her child. She is just pointing at the things in life that make it worth getting up, dusting ourselves off, and trying again.
Now, the one thing that has surprised me most about parenting thus far is how easy it has been for me. Easy is a relative term. My life is still much more hectic and stressful than before, but the rewards I've received for my hard work in the last 356 days has far outweighed the emotional and physical stress I've been through. I'm also lucky: my kid has had relatively consistent sleep patterns most of his life, is amazingly loving, smart, and independent, has remained very healthy with only an occasional bout of croup, and I escaped without a hint of the dreaded PPD (other than crying at the Pampers commercials and when he peed on the living room wall once, I have held it together somewhat).
But this morning, we had a mishap. A mishap of Bad-Mom proportions.
Jacob can climb stairs. He's pretty much been able to do this for about 3 1/2 months now, yet my husband and I have been extremely lazy about installing the gates and while there is one at the top of our staircase, the gate for the bottom is still sitting in a box in the garage. I'm not pointing fingers, but the "bad mom" in me (or is it bad wife) has a habit of sighing and rolling my eyes at my husband any time something is not done on time, like he's the only one responsible for baby-proofing, mowing the lawn, and car maintenance. I use the "but I do so much already" excuse a lot in our household.
So imagine the ice-cold grip in fear on my heart this morning as I was standing at the kitchen counter mixing formula bottles, half-listening to what my husband was talking about and too half-asleep to notice that the living room no longer contained the babbling and banging sounds of Jacob playing. Then the questioning "uunnnhhhh?" that is usually how baby boy tries to get our attention when he's unsure about something, coming from way too distant a place to be anywhere close by. My husband bolted, while I was frozen to the spot. The next thing I hear is heavy clomping up the stairs and "hey, buddy," before breathing a big sigh of relief.
My son, my not quite year old, 28" tall peanut, was standing at the top of 14 steps, trying to figure out why he couldn't open the gate and go into his room.
Sometimes, you just have to take your lumps and count your lucky stars that someone is stronger than you give them credit for. Thank God for this kid's balance and agility, because my Monday could have turned out far, far worse because of my own laziness.
I thank God for a lot of things every day, but today especially, I am humbled. And greatful.