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Article posted on Saturday, April, 14th, 2007 at 4:28 am

We got married young. And, I’ve always thought we had an easier road because of it: We fell into the same ruts over the years. We started dating at age 19. Married at 24 (he 23). We like the same things. We find the same things funny. We have the same hobbies. We have many of the same traits. Married nearly 11 years, together for 15, we’ve been alone together a long time.

Our lives are so different now. I think we’re both still in shock. After 15 years of coming and going as we pleased … Doing what we wanted, when we wanted … Sleeping in … Going out all the time … It’s been an adjustment. Sometimes a difficult one.

We had tickets to yesterday’s Thrashers playoff game vs. the New York Rangers. I absolutely couldn’t bear to leave Annabelle at home with someone I didn’t completely trust, so we stayed home. Andy and I have discussed our selfish tendencies. We can both be pretty selfish. This, I think, we’d both freely admit (and, in fact, have done so on several occasions lately). It’s hard to give up the leisure time we used to have — harder than we imagined it would be. I don’t regret it. I should say we don’t regret it; but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard. That it wasn’t a serious change.

You might be reading this thinking: “What an ogre.” Or, maybe, “some parents they are!” But I think we’re doing pretty good. It’s not easy for the blind to lead the blind down the bumpy road of parenthood. That’s one thing I know for sure now.

The road has been scary. The road has been long (long nights at least!). But there have been surprises around every corner. And we don’t regret taking this path. No, not in the least. Yet, the one thing I think I failed to understand before I became a parent is that you don’t suddenly grow a halo and become this angelic, perfect, idealized mom. I somehow expected that I’d be good at it overnight. That suddenly I’d be Mrs. Brady, Betty Crocker and Mr. Clean all rolled into one. That I’d never be grumpy. I’d happily give up my hobbies for the common good. That I’d sing beautiful songs like Maria in “The Sound of Music” and always have something amusing to say (or at the very least, a fun game in mind to play).

Indeed, I put a lot of pressure on myself, which is why I’ve felt like a failure as a parent so far. I am trying to be more realistic. In the back of my mind I still believe I can be this Super Mom that I always imagined I’d be. But I am slowly realizing that great mothers are made not born.

I’ve realized I have to surrender to a messy house. And accept that some things just aren’t going to get done. That’s one of the epiphanies that I had last year in therapy: That sometimes you just have to surrender to the current and let it sweep you along. Not everything is within your control…

Or, as Marian Hossa said (and this has become my mantra lately), “I don’t focus on things I can’t control.” He’s right. Just do 100 percent of your best and everything else is beyond your control.

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