My four year old, Chase, is a lot like me. Let's call that problem number one. Problem number two is he is almost five. There is eye rolling, crying for no apparent reason, screaming, foot stomping, throwing toys, not picking up toys until told for the tenth time, refusing to share with his brother, biting his brother, hitting his brother, laughing when he is reprimanded, and simply just being annoying. Yes, I did just say my child was annoying. Don't you dare tell me you haven't thought it once about your little princess or prince!
One moment we are doing something so amazing and fun, the next it all goes to hell. I yell, I cry, I hide away feeling incredible guilt. In those moments I feel like the worst mother! I close my eyes and say I am sorry and promise to be better and try harder. I pray to God to give me strength and forgive me. I pray to be better. I do try, EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I would like to say that each day gets a little easier, that I become a better mom. Truth be told each day is different. I do try and I will continue to try but not every day does it get better. Some days it just gets worse.
It is not every moment that I am baffled at this thing called motherhood. Most, but not all. I do love being a mom, I can't imagine my life without children in it. The four year old monster boy is also very sweet. I may have painted a picture of the ideal bratty child, he is not that. What my son is reflects a typical toddler. There are so many amazing things about this child. He can talk our ears off with stories and ramblings of nothing, yet he can make them sound so alluring in his little voice. He is a wonderful helper, always eager to do something for mama, daddy or his grandparents. He is artistic, the boy loves to play with paint and create a project. He is adventurous and curious, he loves a good walk in the woods. He is has an electrifying energy that I envy. At the end of the day, no matter how awesome or ugly it has been, he always wants to cuddle.
I seem to have been struggling the past couple of weeks. Parenting surely has its ebbs and flows to it as we all know. A few months ago we had a rough spot and I was feeling out of control with my own feelings and most days down right helpless. I was angry at myself for my reactions and shitty parenting skills. No mother wants to harbor feelings of guilt and shame.
So of coarse when my husband went away for a weekend this summer and I was home alone with the kids I found myself getting lost in the wonderful and evil world of
The next night I sat at my computer eager and ready for the live webinar. I had my pen and paper out to take notes and was even a little nervous. I felt like I was right back in high school taking that important test that would allow me to graduate if I passed. This webinar had a live chat feed so you could see all the comments from other parents who think they too suck at this parenting thing. I was suddenly in a sea of other moms who were desperate to change their ways and be a better mom. There were several "I do that's" followed by "I am crying right now". I never participated in the conversation but truth be told, I was crying too. Nothing like a live webinar to make you feel even shittier than you already do!
After the webinar I attempted to use the strategies suggested and make some changes. It wasn't long before I realized that it was just like high school, I was again failing the exam. I was envious of this woman who promised to help all us moms parent better and without yelling. I was also pissed off that she could successfully do it. Oh, and for a small fortune you could sign up to get regular advice to help you be successful at parenting just like she was. This pisses me off to be honest. We are surrounded by parenting books and those who are "qualified" to tell you what you are doing wrong and how you can fix it. To me each family is different, each child is unique, and no one should be allowed to judge or throw stones at how one parents unless they are causing harm to a child. I am not saying that some parenting books do not contain some useful information, what I am saying is no one can say they are an expert at parenting someones child. Sometimes we are looking too hard at the big picture. We can always try harder yet are our expectations unreasonable? Maybe it is that we expect too much from ourselves.
This is part of my problem, I envision a mother I thought I would be rather than accepting the mother that I am. I am not the best mom, nor am I the worst one. I am the mom God gave me for these children. No matter how bad of a day I have had one thing will always be certain when I close my eyes at night, I wouldn't change one thing about my life. I wouldn't trade a moment of what I have been given. I struggle, just as many of us do, and that only will make me better and stronger. I am a mother to two amazing creatures, for this I am blessed.
I want my children to grow up and always know that I love them. More importantly, I want them to feel my love. I am not perfect, but I am trying and will never stop trying. My children may drive me absolutely batty at times, I may swear under my breath and occasionally yell a little too loud, but my love for them is the truest and most honest thing that I have to give them.
This parenting thing is hard. It can down right suck the very life out of you some days. It is also the most amazing ride I have ever been on. There are bumps and roadblocks. Mountains to climb and waters to swim through...but the destination is all the same. No one said it would be easy. But it is sure damn well worth it!