Yesterday started out better than most Sunday's in our home. I was able to get both kids dressed and out the door early for church with minimal complaining. I thought to myself "boy if I could manage this every Sunday, we'd be in paradise!". The rest of the day was pretty typical of our weekly Sunday routine, all the way up to that evening when we started getting ready for our evening service. I started with my daughter because quite honestly, she's the easiest to get ready and she hardly ever complains. We have our rare occasions when she wants to wear her "pocket dresses" and they're not clean, but her complaints are pretty manageable. Where the majority of our Sunday struggles come from is in getting my son ready to go. Okay, I'll be honest here, getting my son ready to leave the house for anything that requires dressing nicely is a struggle. If you add in a time crunch, you've just set us up for a national disaster.
I promised "in the raw" so here goes, getting real here. I'm a pretty tough parent, whining, complaining, and mean behavior from my children are just unacceptable to me. Sunday's are the hardest for my patients because there is no remedy for my son's discontent. He hates getting ready to go. It doesn't matter how nice or how "tough" I am on him, his discontent remains present the entire time. Yesterday was especially hard, somehow time slipped away from us and we were immediately in a time crunch. My husband had music practice so he ended up having to leave before the kids and I. It didn't take long before I found myself in a loud, chaotic, cloud of frustration, discontent, and raw emotion from both myself and my son. When we were finally ready and I could breathe, we took a moment and hugged for what seemed like a lifetime. We took a few minutes to talk about what had just happened and we pledged to be nice to each other.
I'm sure these next paragraphs will hit home with all moms out there. I hope what follows brings encouragement to you during whatever cloud encompasses you during the toughest parts of parenting.
I'm constantly telling myself that I need to be a better mom, that I'm not what my kids deserve, and I need to be more for them. I tell myself that I don't spend enough time with them, that I get frustrated too easily, and I'm not doing my job to the best of my ability. During chaotic moments like my son and I had yesterday, these thoughts scream at me, They're a constant reminder of how I don't measure up. The truth of the matter is, we don't have to measure up to that perfect mom we think we should be. We just have to keep improving and do things better the next time. We have to learn from everything we face so that our kids see that we're human. If our kids have the perfect mom who never makes mistakes, they never a have a role model to show them how to improve. They'll grow up thinking they have to already be perfect and if they need to adjust then they're a failure. All of the imperfect moments, all of the struggles we face as moms, and all of our "failures" are ways for us to model the behaviors we want to see from our children. I lost my cool yesterday, and though I wish our evening would have gone differently, I'm actually thankful I was able to be a model for my son. Looking back at it now, I realize that I was able to show my son that I'm not perfect, that I make mistakes too, and that mistakes are okay as long as I learn from it, apologize, and try harder next time.
Don't be so hard on yourself, mama! You have a little human and he/she needs a human role model. Show your kids that you make mistakes, but more importantly, show them how to handle the mistakes properly.