[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] B [/dropcap]efore becoming a mom, the number one thing I did not want to ever do when I had kids was yell at them. I didn’t want to be a yelling mom. Fast forward to now being a mom of a 3.5 year old and a 1.5 year old, and I’m a yeller. It hurts my heart. I hate it. And I find myself losing my temper more frequently. I didn’t even know I had a temper until my firstborn hit the age of two. Now I know I have quite an ugly one. It’s embarrassing, humbling, and frustrating. I beat myself up quite often and promise that I’ll do better next time.
So I’ve been praying about this a lot lately. I’ve been trying to watch for the triggers. I think living in a 950 sq foot house that is full of stuff and makes me feel so claustrophobic and so out of my element as a perfectionist is one trigger. I also think that the fact that I am not a morning person yet have to get up early to get the kids up and dressed and ready to leave with me is another trigger. I would love to have an hour in the morning to not say a word to anyone but to just wake up; yet the first thing that my kids do at 6:45am is say they want to eat. I also think that the fact that one of my children hates to rush and almost goes into panic mode when rushed is to my detriment as I always rush. He seems to notice my stress and reacts by fighting against it, which puts us at odds against each other. And none of these are excuses; they’re just the things that I’m noticing that help to build up my frustration.
I’m out the door by 8am or 9am 6 days of the week, and truthfully, I hate it. I’m not well organized. I don’t have all of our clothes picked out before we go to bed, don’t have our lunches made, don’t have our bags packed, etc. and after 3.5 years of doing this, I should know better by now. I have learned to clean the house between the hours of 8pm and 9pm so as to avoid tripping on toys in the morning, a sink full of dishes to wash, and clothes to sort through. But that’s about all the progress I’ve made in my life as a working mom.
And I know that I’m not the greatest homemaker; my house is not clean. I’m not the greatest mom as I don’t do crafts with my kids or try all these activities to make them brilliant. I haven’t created this perfect living space for them at home. We just do our best to eat, stay clean, and try to have a good day. I do try to make outside play time priority as it’s crucial for my boys to run, jump, and climb. And we make book reading a priority as well as prayers. But that’s it really. Most days, I feel like a parenting failure. I’m still sorting through the question of is this feeling of failure due to expectations that I’ve put on myself or is it reality? Has social media been a detriment in that it’s so much easier to compare ourselves as moms and to beat ourselves up for not being one of the moms who has it all together? Or is parenting just one of the hardest jobs in the world? It’s probably a combo of those.
I just know that it’s only by God’s grace that I can do this job of being a mom. I wear too many hats, balance too many plates, and have stopped beating myself up for it as I can’t quit my job or stop cleaning the house. I have to do what I have to do, and there are many more moms out there who work full-time and have no help. I’m blessed with lots of help. I’m blessed with a wonderful husband who so easily picks up more than his share of the load, no matter how tired he is.
So today’s been a day of repenting for reacting to my kids, for losing my patience, losing my temper, being explosive, and just trusting that tomorrow will be better. I do know enough to humble myself and apologize to my children after I’ve yelled. We sit down and talk about why mommy lost her patience and why she’s frustrated. We end with hugs and on the right foot. Every day, I see how I want to change so many things about how I parent and how I’m completely dependent on His grace and help. I do realize that it’s one step at a time, I’m still learning as a parent, and I will get better at it. I’m also thankful for the grace that my boys extend to me all of the time. And I hope they never remember me as the mom who yelled . . . a lot. Hopefully, the knowledge of how much I love them will always be the thing that stands out most to them.
And I’m not writing any of this for any advice or comments; I just needed to process out loud. And I hope that it might encourage another mom who may feel the same that I do. God’s grace is sufficient for our weakness.