I like my routine, I hate being late, I am not a messy person, I am not a morning person, I value my alone time, I like things to be just so and I'm not very patient. I am also a mom to a four year old and an almost two year old and they don't mesh well with any of this! And they aren't supposed to. Having kids has been both the hardest, and the best thing, that has ever happened to me. But I don't always handle it well.
Like most people who have blogs, I don't blog about everything which happens in my life. I like some things to be private, not for public consumption. Well today, here's the honest truth about me as a mother. I am not a perfect mother. I am not even close to a perfect mother and often I feel like I fall way short of my standard of a good mother. My son is stubborn and likes to "do his own thing" (and we have NO IDEA where on earth he could get THAT trait from!!! Did you read my second paragraph?). Often his "own thing" includes making a huge mess without cleaning it up, wanting to play when we need to go somewhere, or not eating what we've made for supper but still wanting a treat afterwards. He doesn't go to bed easily but when he doesn't want to do something he says, "I'm too tired." We butt heads a lot, and I usually end up yelling. Loudly. Sometimes my throat hurts afterwards. Yesterday I was so frustrated with him not listening that I swatted his butt. Once. And not that hard. But my husband and I don't (didn't?) spank our children.
My daughter is not quite two. She has her own independent and stubborn streak (again, NO IDEA where it comes from!) and, did I mention, she's almost two. She also doesn't talk a lot so she expresses her frustration with really loud screams. (Wonder where she learned that from???) The kind which are so loud your ears are ringing afterwards, since you're usually right next to her when she does it. She's a little easier to handle right now because she isn't as physically strong as my son. If you put her in her crib she can't climb out yet, whereas my son opens the door to his room, even though I've asked him not to.
I don't always lose my cool. Some days seem to flow really smoothly. I think getting a good night's sleep helps a lot. Although, with a four year old who likes to crawl into our (double) bed at night or a toddler who wakes up at night once in awhile, that isn't always within my control. I also feel like if I haven't let the household tasks get out of hand (stayed somewhat on top of dishes or housework or laundry) than I feel better equipped to deal with grumpy children. I take breaks. I give myself time outs. Often. I'll just go outside or go to my room and read a chapter of my book. My husband is awesome in that when he comes home I sometimes just go to our room for half an hour to an hour to get some space. I remember that all of us parents are in this together and, likely, none of them are perfect either. (Misery loves company, right?) And I try to remember that there were years when I prayed for a husband and children and there are people who would give anything to be in my situation, and I try to count my blessings. And I remember that the good times far and away outnumber the bad times.
After I've lost my temper, or yelled so loud my throat hurts, I always, always, always apologize to the kids. And my husband too, if it's been with him. I tell them "I'm sorry" and that "Mommy shouldn't have yelled." I tell them that "I love them" and then we all hug. My children amaze me in their capacity for forgiveness and their abilities to forget and not hold grudges. I could really learn a thing or two from them.
So there you have it. That is the behind the scenes look at my mothering, "the bad and the ugly." The rest of this blog is usually about "the good."
I'm linking up today with the "Build 'Em Up" bloggers -- Kelly, Erin, Courtney and Jennifer.
Also, this devotional from Proverbs 31 appeared in my inbox yesterday and includes a link to a 5 Day "Pause Before You Pounce Challenge." Talk about timely :)