Having three young girls is work. Long hours, often missing meals or neglecting myself. No privacy. Headaches and lack of sleep. Yelling and laughter. Sacrifice.
I chose to be a mom. With that comes specific obligations. Dedication and responsibility.
I have not changed in that respect.
I don’t force my oldest to buy lunch on the days she wants to pack because it is an inconvenience. I look at it as a chance to throw a special treat in her bag so she can be surprised at lunch.
I take my time with my girls, help them bathe and get dressed and ready for bed. I don’t send them off on their own, let them go to bed with wet hair. I read them a story or have my oldest read to me. We talk. I tuck them in, give them kisses and check on them before I go to bed every night.
I sit down and color with them, play games with them, cuddle with them and we laugh.
I also discipline and take away their cookie as a treat when they don’t eat their meals or act out. I tell them “no” when it is necessary.
I make promises and keep them.
I give them the world within limits, because that is what they deserve. It is my job to leave a lasting impression on them, to help them learn and grow and flourish.
I am mom. Nothing is an inconvenience. Life has changed for sure, but I haven’t changed as mom. I still uphold the same standards as I did before my divorce. I owe them that balance.
It pains me every time I hear about the let downs from the other side. I know life isn’t perfect, but after all the disruption, they are my main focus, now and forever. They will remember those times, the little miniscule details that were left broken.
I will not be a part of those memories.
I have a job, it doesn’t pay well, and is often stressful, but it is so worth it. They didn’t ask to be here. So as mom, it is my duty to give them my best.
Now that life has changed for me, I am confident now that I can be just that for them.