Yall...tomorrow I will have been a mother by birth for 13 years! (I've been a mother by love for about 20.)
Nothing in life could have prepared me for the past 13 years. See, my oldest was only with us during school breaks and, once we moved closer to home, every weekend. The newly minted teenager has been rocking and rolling, day in and day out. And let me tell you...this ish right here? Ain't for the faint hearted.
We have this idea of what parenting will be like. The things we will do like our elders did, and the things we will change. And then the kid gets here, and nothing works. Why? Because you aren't raising a mini you. You are raising a mixture of you and the other parent that shows up how it wants to show up. It's up to us to not screw it up.
And then kid #2 comes along and they are NOTHING like kid #1. Then kid #3 is nothing like the first two.
So we start over. Again and again. Then they get older, and they are nothing like they were when they were younger. You see where we are headed? This ish is harder than anything I've ever encountered. Harder than marriage. Harder than middle school. Harder than losing baby fat, and hell, the "baby" is 7.
But when I tell you they have grown me. I remembered that I don't have to do things by the "book". I can parent in a way that feels natural for me and also meets their individual needs. I can be fun Monica and show them that life doesn't always have to be rules and regulations. Does it always work? Hell no, but we strive to do better everyday. So cheers to 13 to my art loving, big hair rocking Reibug!