Confessions of an Artist.

September 13th, 2011

paintI. Screw. Up.
(In case there are still a handful of you out there who hadn’t realized)
Ahh, that feels better. And I don’t mean just sometimes. No, daily, and most probably hourly if I am to be honest.

This motherhood gig is a lot harder than I thought it would be.

The wide-eyed optimism I once had has been blinded by a few chubby little fingers. Somehow my children didn’t seem to get the script I’d carefully written for them where I play the wonderfully patient calm mother and they the adoring children.

Before I had children I read just about everything that had “How to” in the title. “How to settle a crying baby, how to discipline, how to play joyfully, how to potty train, and how to smile while you’re screaming” (actually that last one is a book title I’ve been working on)

Don’t get me wrong; there are a few good books that have really helped me over the years. I’ve learnt the fine art of mixing a cocktail in under 20 seconds, how to change locks, and know at precisely what moment to take three children shoe shopping.

Lets face it. You put a group of people together, some smaller, some bigger; it’s going to get messy. The little people don’t quite act the way the big people want them to, the big people try to change that using various methods, and before you know it your life looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.

Then we all go to bed and hope to do better tomorrow. And mostly, we do.

But here’s where I’m in luck, the smaller people are really really good at forgiving the bigger people for screwing up. And because of that we create this thing together, it’s hard to tell what it is up close, you may need to step back a bit, but be careful, it’s still wet.

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  1. Hussein Mahomedy says:

    Beautiful advices :) Forgiveness is a masterkey – you are right – children do this better than us

  2. Betty VT says:

    Meg,  Your writing just keeps on being 1) extremely interesting even to “old” Moms, 2) it continues to have such real life flavor and 3) you just get better and better with each offering.  You are amazingly talented.  Keep on keeping on!

  3. I often wonder what parenting looks like from the father’s vantage point. But I guess I’ll have to stick to my area – motherhood.
    Indeed, motherhood has been much much arder than I have ever thought. For us, the launching years were plain bloody and messy. I find it harder asR Big People to forgive my Little People. I am grateul to God there has been continuing reconcilation.
    As a result of my motherhood experience, I blog about parenting adult children and have written a book for parents to show them how to let go and get on with life. I’ve just created a Facebook Page Moms PACT for these moms. It’s a place to build community. If anyone of you readers wants to participate, just search for the group in the search box.
    Thank you for your honesty in sharing about motherhood.

  4. shereen says:

    Interesting article, I  totally agree with you overcoming mistakes and forgiveness is the key, children are much better than us in doing so.

  5. Karen says:

    love it and truly had a couple of lol outbursts while reading this post and picturing my own Jackson Pollock life with a 17 year old daughter and 15 year old son – in some ways the paintings just get messier but I am actually getting better at smiling while screaming (write your book!)  thanks, Meg

  6. meg says:

    Book is in the works Karen. Children certainly offer endless material – I may never finish, either the book or the parenting :)

  7. Victor says:

    For dads it’s pretty much the same-with a slightly different twist.  Men usually look for things to be disciplined and in neat boxes-including parenting.  But you quickly find out that’s not the case.  I have a three-year old son who is his own little person, and is going to act like a three-year old in every area of his life.
    So much for neat little boxes…
    But you do your best, realizing that every parent is writing their own book when it comes to parenting.  I didn’t read all the parenting books in my library.  But no book will truly prepare you for parenting.  No “script” you draw up in your mind will prepare you.  And as the post says, you learn to forgive: although my son still is a better forgiver than I am.  But each day gets better and better.
    Thank you.

  8. Rita Bailey says:

    Great article! I’m not a mother – never wanted to be; it all seemed much too difficult – but remembering my childhood and knowing many friends’ children I agree that they are better at forgiving but, more importantly, they are actually wonderful at forgetting. At what age/stage do we learn to hold grudges?

  9. meg says:

    I suspect Rita that our grudges start to define us….we hold onto them in fear of not knowing who we are without them.  if we let them go, forgive, forget, we may loose a piece of our story, a piece of ourselves. maybe, maybe not. good question :)

  10. Mandi says:

    thank goodness the little people forgive! I never knew motherhood was so hard until I became one. I too read all the books and thought I had it in the bag. Not so much!

  11. sarah says:

    somehow remembering that the little people forgive is a reminder that we need to forgive ourselves too. thank you for your vulnerable and courageous writing.

  12. Mia says:

    very true. I have a 2 year old daughter and having a child teaches me a lot of lessons. She brings out the best in me every single day.

  13. janine says:

    I liked this. Thanks. And, I like Jackson Pollock too. Kind of drippy but awesomely beautiful in a seemingly disorganized way. Kind of like my life, too. Thanks for writing this. :)

  14. Julie Burton says:

    Thanks, Meg, for writing the introduction to my book, which is entitled “Unscripted Mom.” :) (Kidding, but you really make this point well!) It is so true, there is no script, and all we can do is keep trying our best every day and know that some days will be better than others. The little ones do forgive easily, but now that I have two teenagers, and two school-aged children, I have learned that the older they get, the less forgiving they become. And this can be difficult. But again, all we can do is try our best and keep loving our children unconditionally.

  15. Jennifer F says:

    I could lose everything I ever had (which is not a big expense right now) – but I will NEVER lose my integrity. Without that, I am truly poor.

  16. A lovely piece, thank you.  Thank goodness that those lil guys and gals are s forgiving!  As parents we rely on that…Do upi have a projected publishing date for your book?

  17. Petra says:

    Thanks Meg – again :) – for capturing in words what we all think as mothers!   I love being a mother and remembering what frightened, angered, bewildered me as a child has kept me in a space of forgiving my daughter – probably more than I should….and yes she could have become less forgiving as a teenager but when I apologise (which I do often) I do try to explain why and she has been amazingly more understanding and forgiving as she has grown up recognising that like her, I am still learning ….Grudges – mmm – probably only consciously when we think about why we are who we are….and want someone to “blame”…..

  18. Jules says:

    Love your very deep down, real honest words Meg. This reminds me of  Annie Lamott’s book ‘Operating Instructions’ about her experience raising her son. Lots of humor (we could all use a little lesson in laughing at ourselves and each other) and honesty about being human in the role of  being a mom. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world, we are all here to  learn from each other.  

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