Instead of being the "Dr. Oz" of parenting, Jessica Johnston knows that she's no childcare guru. As she sees it, being a parenting pro would require figuring out how to get her four kids to stop acting like wild animals in the grocery story — which she doesn't think is ever going to happen.
Rather than focusing on her shortcomings, Jessica is finding power in accepting who she is as a mom. "I am not very perfect at parenting, but I do love my kids enough to cuddle with them while they smell like pee, and I feel like that's kind of a lot," she wrote on her blog. "I'm not perfect, but I am enough . . . and so are you."
She focuses on enjoying her kids enough on both the good and bad days because neither represents her completely as a mom. "Sometimes I smell their hair and I kiss their cheeks. I laugh at their jokes and I marvel that I am so blessed. Time stops in moments like that and everything is perfect and worth it," she wrote. "Other times I am unsure if I will survive the hours of 4:00 to 8:30 p.m., and if one can die of overexposure to bickering."
Whether she's a bedtime hero providing endless snuggles or is racing through the routine, running out of the room "like it's a hostage situation," she knows that she's enough. "They cry out after me that their water is old, that their backs itch, and their underwear is twisted," she wrote. "This is when I hide behind the freezer door shoveling cookie dough ice cream into my mouth, wondering who will give up first . . . me or them."
The school papers she loses and events she mixes up don't outweigh the meals they eat together and the love they share. The things she takes too seriously, like crumbs and clutter, don't erase the adventures and pajama dance parties they have. "I have an out-of-body experience while I am lecturing them and I wonder if they will remember anything other than me being grumpy," she wrote. "Other times I laugh so hard with my kids that my stomach hurts."
There are days when she is the ultimate wife, encourager, and housekeeper, while others she's imagining the Health Department coming to her house and posting a D in her front window over the status of her bathrooms. "Sometimes I cannot recall my last shower. I go to the grocery store with a pillow imprint still on my face and a pair of sweats that the 18-year-old cashiers never wanted to know about," she wrote. "Other times I wear makeup and I brush my hair, and nothing, not a thousand rabid hyenas can keep me away from a ladies' night."
This mom realizes that it doesn't matter that she goes from organic health kicks to much needed pizza nights. What is essential is that she loves her kids and that they know she's trying. "I love them in all their messy, smelly, ridiculous, and hilarious glory," she wrote. "I love them . . . and that's what makes everything else I do enough. It makes everything you do enough too Mama."