When I was little, I dreamed of being a teacher. I had a little chalkboard that I kept in my closet along with a little bag of broken chalk. I would sit in my closet and do math problems and spelling words on my board for my stuffed animals…I mean, students to figure out. I could play teacher all day long.
I also dreamed of being able to stay home with my future kids, just like my mom did with us. This dream definitely outweighed the dream of being a teacher. Someday, I would stay home with my future kids, Triston and Shelby. Yes, I figured out that I would have one boy and one girl. We would make crafts. We would laugh. We would eat dinner every single night around our big table…always home-made, family recipe cooking. I would wear aprons and my kids would wear freshly pressed clothes. I would never get mad at them. We would never yell. Oh yeah, and my husband was going to be Tom Cruise. We would be a beautiful, perfect, “white picket fence” family.
Then, I grew up.
I went to college to become a (you guessed it) teacher. It was then that I met Tom Cruise! Just kidding, I met Ray. Who I soon found out was ten times better than my future dream husband. We dated, got engaged, got married and then found out we were going to have a baby. No, I did not have a Triston…I had a beautiful Emaleigh. She was way better than my fictional baby.
I never finished my degree to become a teacher. It was after we had our second child, Elijah, that I became a stay at home mom. Five years later, we had Eydan. Again, I couldn’t have dreamed of loving my husband and three kids any more than I did, and still do to this day.
I look back at my childhood dreams and just laugh because they are nothing like what I imagined…yet, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Being a stay at home mom (or just a mom in general) is tough. Soon after becoming a mom, and even a wife, I realized I am definitely NOT PERFECT. Not at all what the 5 year old Caiti thought I was going to be like.
Yes, sometimes I yell. I like to order pizza. I try to do crafts with Eydan, and he quickly loses his focus and the craft doesn’t work out AT ALL like I anticipated it to be. My kids argue. I have made my kids cry. My kids have made me cry. I often forget to do things for my husband because I’m doing things for the kids. I escape to the bathroom, just to get a few minutes of quiet. I sometimes take my own nap during nap time. We watch T.V. We get frustrated with each other. But at the end of the day, we accept one another for who we are. It’s not always pretty, but we also laugh, and have the best times together. Because, we are…together. I wouldn’t trade my life for anything…not even my childhood dream life.
I have days where I question my ability to even be a good mom. I think, “Surely, there is another mom out there who actually KNOWS what she’s doing…you know, a perfect mom!” Actually, I had one of those days just a few days ago.
The kids were arguing (had for most of the day) and I was at the end of my rope. It was then that I received an email from Ray titled You’re Not Perfect. Oh, thanks I needed that reminder. Here’s what it said.
I wanted to take a minute to let you know you’re not perfect. You have your flaws. You’re disorganized at times, you like to procrastinate, and don’t always have my shirt ironed in the mornings, or a breakfast and coffee to hand me on my way out…but THAT is what makes you the best Mom in the entire world…and I’m okay with that.
I could not have, in my wildest dreams, come up with a more perfect woman to raise my children. I do not deserve the love and attention you give them when I cannot. Women like you are a rare breed and I wanted to take a moment to tell you that I acknowledge all that you are in my life.
Seeing pictures of you doing what little things we can to entertain and show them love makes me happy and motivates me throughout my day to be just a little bit better. A day will come when you’ll get a regular “square” job, but until that day, I’ll make the sacrifices to allow you to do the most important job in this world–raising world-class citizens and people who care about others and learn to put others before themselves. This is something you have mastered.
I truly cannot wait to treat you to a week alone just the two of us in a sunny, beachy place where we truly won’t have anything to do or anyone to worry about. We deserve it!
You’re not perfect. Neither am I. But where I fall, you pick up the slack. And where you fall, I’ll do the same for you. I love you so much and just wanted to tell you that today. Thank you for creating memories with our children every day that they can cherish and hold onto the rest of their lives. Thank you for acknowledging your imperfections in their presence to show humility and a willingness to always be better. Thank you for showing them what loyalty, sincerity, and love can do for a person’s life.
I love you.
Yep. By the end of the letter I was sobbing. I’m not perfect, and that’s OK! Nobody is.But, I do my best each day, and I guess that’s what counts. There isn’t the perfect wife or the perfect mom. There isn’t even a perfect husband, child or picket fence house. There just isn’t…and I’m totally alright with that. We all have our flaws and our imperfections…it’s all about accepting them and loving each other through them.
One of my favorite quotes is “We may not have it all together, but together we have it all.”
When I became a stay at home mom and we went to a single income household, we had to learn to cut a lot of corners. We gave up a lot of stuff. But that’s all it was…stuff. We might not have all of the coolest things, or be able to eat our all of the time, or we might not be able to afford a brand new car…but that’s ok with me.
I can proudly say I have my dream job. No, it’s not how I pictured it in my dream, but I wouldn’t have it any other way because it’s way better. I’m still learning how to be a wife and a mother. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, if it wasn’t for Ray and my three beautiful kids teaching me about myself every single day. Thank you Ray, Emaleigh, Elijah and Eydan for reminding me that I’m not perfect…but we are just the perfect fit for one another.