I’m so sad. I don’t want to be a bad mom. I want to be patient with my little girl all the time. I don’t want to raise my voice. I don’t want to be visibly angry with her. I want her to be a sweet, obedient child.
But I find myself losing patience. There are all the reasons in the world to justify it, of course. We’re all tired and cranky. She’s not listening. She’d rather play, like a normal toddler, than go to bed. She’d rather throw a tantrum because the stuffed animal isn’t doing what she wants it to do, than rationally see my point when I say “You’re fine, calm down, here’s the bear, right here!”
Will there ever be a time in my life when I’m not treading water, keeping my head only slightly above? My strength wanes as I keep treading anyway. Because life is merciless in its endless demands for more. More work, more hours, more time, more money, more bills, more chores, more diapers, more tantrums, more CLEANING.
I know. No one wants to hear other people “complain”. I guess I don’t see this as complaining. I’m simply being real. Who actually enjoys the sucky things about life? Anyone? Bueller??
Didn’t think so.
What I have to learn through all of the crappy pieces of life, is to give myself some grace. To see my faults, decide they’re unacceptable, give my best, most valiant efforts to change them, and if and when I fail…to let it go.
Frozen’s popular song can teach us a thing or two. To let it go is one of the most important lessons we can learn! I want to let go of unrealistic expectations. I want to let go of guilt. I want to let go of fear, anger, sadness…melancholy.
You know what I think melancholy means? Seeing life for its stark reality and nothing more. No hope. No beauty. Just endless, endless TOIL and HARDSHIP. Never a happy moment to be had, and if so, it’s fleeting.
I simply WON’T persist in being melancholy.
It’s just too sad, and there is SO MUCH to look forward to and hope for.
So if you’re in the midst of a “Mom Fail”, and you downright despise yourself because you haven’t been the perfect June Cleaver mother…STOP RIGHT NOW. Give yourself grace. Write down some ways you can make it better, and let it go.
You’re not a failure. You love your kids. They love you. Tomorrow is a new day.
A few things I want to remember and maybe they’ll help you, too.
1.) Praise your children ten times more than you correct them.
I should post this everywhere in my house, it’s so important!
2.) When you’re losing patience with your child: LOWER your voice instead of raising it.
I’ve actually done this one. And while it may not stop Olive’s meltdown in its tracks, it definitely has a calming affect on me. So it’s worth it.
3.) Spanking only works if you’re not angry. Even then, it’s doubtful.
To spank or not spank is totally a matter of opinion and I don’t judge people who spank, because I do it. But to be honest, I don’t want to do it, and it’s only as a last resort because how the heck do you get your toddler’s attention sometimes without a swat on the bottom?! But I hope to phase it out, because I feel it’s counterproductive.
4.) Don’t underestimate the power of involving God in your family.
This may sound cliche and you may have skimmed over this part. To be honest, I probably would have, too. I hate cliches and platitudes. But I feel that the simplicity of actually putting this step into practice can CHANGE OUR LIVES. Praying about our families, praying WITH our families, searching our hearts to see if there’s any mean ol’ selfishness hiding there, and rooting it out and giving it to God…becoming more aware of others’ needs and choosing someone else’s happiness over ours. These are all things that can truly change our lives. And I want to do them more often. Not in a religious way…but in a very real, “God, I can’t do this without You” way.
It’s Monday night. I still have a long week ahead, full of any manner of frustrations, mishaps, pull-my-hair-out moments. But once again, God has centered me. He has brought peace. And I revel in this moment in gratitude. I’m thankful for my life, my family, my beautiful Olive and my handsome husband. Happy Monday, indeed. 🙂