Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mommy Dearest

Sometimes I think that if my children were to write a book about me right now, I would come across as Joan Crawford.

I openly admit that I have my "crazy" moments. Times when I am seemingly talking to myself, out of exasperation, because it feels as though no one else is listening. Times when I let my internal monologue out and say things I know I shouldn't. Times when I have LITERALLY heard the recorded version of myself in a rant when Jack was simultaneously playing with the web cam application on our computer. (Not a proud moment and true to crazy, I approached him afterward and said sweetly, "honey could you please erase that...oh, and I LOVE YOU!") ugh...

I overheard an interaction with some mutual friends recently where one friend was unhappy with the discipline choices of a babysitter and opted not to use her again. I think we could all agree, no one else could love or parent our children like we could. But I wholeheartedly also believe that if we are truly honest we could admit that we, ourselves, can often feel inept in our role as parents too. How many times in a moment of chaos with your child/children do you feel an absolute "????" and not know what to do? For me, it's more often than I'd like. It's in these moments when I allow myself to stop and pray and allow God's calm over myself that I usually respond better. But unfortunately, in the thick of it all, when I react- I fail. Now, I haven't beaten anyone with a wire hanger or cut their hair off while screaming, "Why can't you give me the respect I deserve???????!!!!???" But I have worn face cream and a bathrobe...which scares my children no matter what I am saying. :)

Parenting is not easy. It's not like you get a practice round or anything...they actually call that your first child. And maybe by the time you get around to your last, whether it be your second or twenty-second child, you're more relaxed and have learned a few tricks. But I think it can also be said that your LAST child sort of gets a more tired version of yourself. For my firstborn, I had the room ready three months early. I recorded all the details in his baby book. I was careful to read books, attend classes, watch birthing videos...yadda yadda yadda. By my third, I was like..."Hey, back in colonial days babies slept in empty drawers!"(I didn't do this) I was way less structured. In fact while potty training, though religiously consistent with my first, I was more like, " long as he gets it before high school."

I've had the crazy-can't-find-the-keys moments in the morning when we are, of course, running late to school and I've morphed into this frenzied maniac tossing coats and backpacks around in attempts to find them and then am shamed when I find them in the bathroom where I had left them only 15 minutes before. Honestly whenever I hear another mother share a "crazy" moment, I actually love her more and my soul "sighs" relief that I am not alone in my psychosis.

Thankfully, unlike Joan Crawford, I make every attempt to apologize and reconcile and learn from my mistakes. It's in these moments when I can teach my kids about humility, about forgiveness, taking responsibility for ourselves and God's amazing grace. To exemplify that, even I, am a work in progress but that I am pursuing to be teachable and moldable. I pray for God's work in my life to change me and bless me with patience, self control and wisdom to parent in a way that honors HIM.

Prayerfully my children won't require "too much" counseling when I'm done parenting them, but maybe by then...I will. Ha Ha.


  1. Rick Warren said "The end product of child raising is not the child, it is the parent." It makes me wonder at what God is trying to teach us in this parenting adventure. I am truly thankful for friends who provide me with encouragement and support. I can relate to everything you shared today. I too, pray for patience and everyday, it's tested and often times I fail. Sometimes, I wonder if it's a wise thing to pray for :) I am thankful that everyday is a new day and a new opportunity to try again. We're in the trenches together, Melinda