I claim (and complain) that I get the worst of you, but the truth is that I get the best of you.

I get the you who is on the journey.

I get the you who is slightly naive and curious.

I get the you who is learning and growing.

I get the you who is in constant transformation.

And, I guess, that all of this unpredictability, well, it kind of leaves me giving you the worst of me.

You see, I am someone who thrives on routine.

I like to have a plan, and I want to stick to it.

And, what is it that you like to do with those best-laid plans? You, my dear, you want to pull them out of my hand, crumble them up, and toss them away as if to say “To heck with it! Let’s do this on our own and together, step by step.”

While your impulsiveness is occasionally endearing and inspiring, it also frustrates me and prompts my anxiety to kick into high-gear.

So, what happens when Mommy feels muddled and distressed? She gives you her worst.

I give you the worst of me, isn’t that horrible?

Except for the fact that you don’t agree.

I claim (and complain) that you get the worst of me, but you tell me that you get the best of me.

You get the me who is on the journey.

You get the me who is an amateur but eager parent.

You get the me who is motivated and galvanized.

You get the me who persists and rides that hamster wheel of trial and error parenting methods even when it feels like I am going in circles.

You get the me who will absolutely refuse to let you be anything less than what God put you on this earth to be.

You get the me who pushes her own me aside for the safety, health, and happiness of three other mini-mes.

You get the me who is in constant transformation.

Far too often, moms (and dads) like to whine about how hard it is to bring up challenging children, and by most accounts we all are raising some pretty spirited beings. But, we also like to piggy-back off our initial parenthood gripe and then grumble to and about ourselves and contest that we suck at being in charge of those with sponge-like brains.

It may have taken seven years, but I have finally stopped believing that I am getting the worst of you and that you are getting the crappy side of me.

You see, when two or more people take a long journey together, the ride is not going to be smooth the whole freakin’ way.

There are going to be moments of confusion and times when we don’t know which way to go.

There are going to be occasions when we speed up and instances when we must slow down.

There are going to be periods where we don’t know who is driving who.

There are going to be points during the ride when we secure our buckle tight and hold on for dear life, as well as other moments when we roll down the window and embrace the wind as it hits our face.

There are also going to be accidents, and we may get hurt; it is simply inevitable.

BUT, this adventure, expedition, exploration, pilgrimage, trek, or quest—whatever you want to call it (because it is each of those things)—will at some point bring out the worst in you, and that’s OK. Often, the things and people who challenge, and ultimately change us (typically for the better) in life, well, they have that effect on us.

Luckily, members of a family—be it a nuclear, extended, or carefully crafted one—have the common understanding that sometimes we show our worst to those we love best, and as our journey co-travelers, they are often the ones willing and ready to explore and tackle the all-too-complicated adventure of life always by our side.

Originally published on the author’s blog

 

Nicole Merritt

Nicole Merritt is a mother of three and the Owner and Founder of jthreeNMe, an imperfectly authentic peek at real-life marriage, parenting, and self-improvement. jthreeNMe is raw, honest, empowering, inspiring, and entertaining; it’s like chicken soup for those that are exhausted, over-stressed and under-inebriated, yet still utterly happy. Nicole's work has been featured by Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, BLUNTmoms, Thought Catalog, Everyday Family, Motherly & many others. You can follow Nicole at jthreeNMe and on FacebookPinterestInstagram & Twitter!