This is going to be a really hard post for me to right, but I feel like it’s something that more moms need to hear. So many times we browse Pinterest and Facebook… and we see what other moms out there are doing and we judge OURSELVES for it. WHY do we do this? Why do we feel the need to compare our lives to theirs? Ugh! Anyways, here goes nothing…
This past weekend, J and I decided to take the kids on a vacation to Pigeon Forge, TN. We left Thursday afternoon and came back this morning (Monday). It was fun… but more than fun, it was stressful. We had lots of fun with the kids, we went to the zoo, went shopping, played outside, and just had a good time spending together as a family. However… I think this weekend was also a huge wake up call for me.
I won’t say that I think we’ve done a poor job of parenting, my kids are very well behaved most of the time… in public and for other people. When we’re alone, things get ugly. Both of my children are as hard headed and stubborn as J and I are… so that’s two whammies from the genetic pool. Boogie can pitch one like you wouldn’t believe. She’s also a master manipulator. Bubby is attached to my hip, and when he’s not he can be the absolute monster that he got his “Monster” nickname from. I’m not saying this to be harsh, truly… it’s my life.
The kids and I spent the morning at my inlaws on Thursday, during that time J went to work and the van was at the shop getting a tune up before our trip. Those 8 hours were hell. Small space, hyper kids, big mistake on mommy’s part. Bubby was into everything, and every single time that child is told no or is scolded, he throws himself in the floor and pitches an absolute fit. Boogie was fine until it was time to go, she loves spending time with both sets of grandparents… which means when it’s time to go it’s a battle. So, on Thursday afternoon we needed her to go to the bathroom so that she didn’t have an accident during the trip. There’s a long strip of interstate where there is NO where to stop, seriously… nowhere. She refused. She screamed. She flung herself on the floor. She threw a fit. End result…. I wrestled her into a diaper and shed many… many… tears.
Saturday wasn’t so bad, my in-laws came down and J and I were able to go on a date to the Melting Pot (our favorite restaurant). We had never been by ourselves, so that was a nice treat. The next day we planned on making a trip to the zoo, but getting there was a battle and a half. Thankfully, once we arrived and the kids were settled and enjoying the animals, it wasn’t half bad.
This morning getting Boogie up and going to get home… wasn’t fun either, but we managed and now we’re home. We had errands to run today… and that wasn’t much fun either. So I can’t say our vacation was a blast, but it was nice to get away. I don’t look forward to getting the kids back into routine, but hopefully once we do things will go a little smoother.
But back to the topic on hand… as I said, this weekend was a huge wake up call for me. Today especially. Bubby screams ALL the time. He HATES his car seat (so imagine the screaming we heard on vacation). He HATES to be told no. He HATES being told he can’t have mommy milk right now. He HATES pretty much everything. Ok… maybe that’s a little drastic, but sometimes it totally feels that way. He just seems SO unhappy, which is crazy, because generally he’s SUCH a happy kid… when he gets his way. Boogie is such a fun, happy go lucky little girl, and so incredibly smart… but boy she can get mad.
My moment of truth came this evening at bedtime. I had nursed Bubby to sleep, unlatched him from my breast and he just flipped. Flung himself backwards, whipping his head back and forth, head butting, scratching, smacking. I had to hand him off to J to try to get him calmed down. While J did that (to no avail I might add), I had the fun task of trying to get Boog ready for bed. This resulted in her throwing herself on the floor and me basically ripping her clothing off of her body to get her jammies on. In the midst of that, I broke down. I was screaming and yelling, Boog was in tears, screaming and flailing around. Here I was fighting with my child to put pajamas on. Screaming and yelling… just being downright ugly. To MY child. Why? Why was I doing this? How could I treat my little girl this way? She’s THREE Sarah. THREE. I kept telling myself that. With her fighting and flailing, her nightgown halfway on, I pulled her close to me, held her like a baby and sobbed.
I cried. She cried. I told her how very much I love her. That I don’t like making her sad and that I don’t like it that she makes me sad. I told her that we both have to stop being so ugly to each other, and those big brown eyes looked up at me and she said, “I love you mommy.” I can’t tell you how thankful I am that God has given me this little girl, who despite the way I have treated her, she can still tell me she loves me and MEAN it. My husband brought my still screaming son into Boog’s room, and he sat down with him and asked me, “What is wrong with our children?” My answer? “It’s not our children… it is US. WE are the parents. WE have to do better. WE have to show them how to act.”
After that, Boogie did what she was asked, she finished getting dressed, brushed her teeth, brushed her hair, and went to bed and waited for me to get Bubby down so I could read to her. Bubby wasn’t as easy. He screamed and flailed, and for once I didn’t lose my cool. I sang. I worshipped. I praised my God while my child did everything to make me stop. I didn’t get him to sleep, but I got him calmed down enough for J too.
This night was both awful and liberating. And ironically, I knew it was coming. I knew I was going to breakdown soon. I knew it. While shopping in Knoxville I found this book:
The moment I saw it, I had to buy it. I couldn’t walk out of that store without it. I do not like the mother I am becoming. The once patient woman is no longer here, and I have to change. I have to change before it’s too late to change. I have to do better so that my children can be better. I have to do better so that my children will know what a Christian woman is supposed to act like. I have to do better so that I can teach my children how to treat other people, including their future spouses and children.
I HAVE TO DO BETTER. It’s on me, and I’m laying it down at HIS feet. Pray for me… pray for my children. Pray for my husband…. We ALL need it right now.