Are you the parent you want to be?
Not even close.
Do you have any idea what kind of parent you WANT to be?
I do. I have all these ideals and dreams of what I want to be...what I feel I should be. What I believe God is calling me to be.
But, I don't live up to a single one of them...heck, most of the time I'm not even in the ballpark.
I'm not patient, or encouraging, or wise, or loving, or diligent enough. I know I'll never be perfect. I don't even want to be. But, the mark is somewhere North of where I am.
Most days I tell myself that if I'm concerned about being a good mom then I'm probably better than I realize...yeah, that's a lie. JC made that clear tonight.
Don't you hate it when your kid says or does something that is like them holding up a mirror in front of you? One that allows you to REALLY see yourself...and catch a glimpse of how they see you?
Today was one of those days that I just feel like I beat my kids up all day. Of course, I don't mean I laid a single hand on them. I beat them up in a way that leaves scars you can't see, and that don't heal nearly as quickly as the visible ones. It was just one of those days...this child did this, that child broke that, if the other child doesn't stop doing xyz I'm going to scream!
You have those days, right? It's not just me...right??
So, while I was cooking supper I sent all the kids outside to play. When I had supper in the oven, I went outside so I could keep an eye on the little ones. I don't remember now what prompted this, but at one point I yelled, "Ok, everyone's in bed early tonight...I can't take this another minute!" They were already supposed to be going to bed early because of their behavior at bedtime the previous night, but I had just had enough of whatever they were doing at the time, so I felt the need to remind them..I guess.
JC pipes up and says, "We know, but why the little kids too?"
I said, "Because I need a break today! I've had enough!"
...and this is the moment that the mirror went up...
JC says, "yeah, that sounds about right. It's always that. You always need a break...or a minute of quiet. You have to get out of the house for a minute, or go to the grocery store alone. Mom, it's like you don't even want to be around us..."
Well, I'd like to say that I immediately felt convicted and asked forgiveness, but that's not what happened. Not exactly, anyway. I immediately felt it, but that's now what I immediately reacted out of. My first thought, (and what came out of my mouth...or some semblance there of...) was more like.... "grr, let's recap, shall we? I am home with yall 24/7. I don't have a hobby, don't go out on the weekends, don't have date night with your daddy. I don't work, your little brother and sister aren't in daycare, you're not even in public school for crying out loud! If I didn't want to be with you I would be working, someone else would keep your little brother and sister, and you and Grace wouldn't be homeschooling! I am here because I want to be, but I've had enough of the disobedience and disrespect today and you're going to bed early!"
He mumbled something else about them only not being in daycare because it was probably too expensive, but by this time I was seeing red and licking emotional wounds. So, I went inside to check on supper.
While I wouldn't usually allow him to talk back like that, I knew he was right...and I couldn't stop thinking about what he said.
"It's like you don't WANT to be around us."
I KNOW I want to be where I am. It has always been my dream to have a house full of kids...to stay at home...to homeschool. BUT, what do my actions say to my children?
Does my temper...or my cutting remarks...or my heavy sighs at having to break up the same fights a hundred times...or my irritated glances at being asked the same question a hundred times....or my raising my voice constantly communicate to them that they are my biggest blessings? That I feel so grateful that they have a daddy that works his butt off so I can stay home with them...so I don't have to put them in daycare? That I desire above all else to be the one that gets to speak into their lives, nurture them, and witness all their milestones and achievements?
Not even close.
Ugh. I'm so disappointed in myself.
Some might tell me I just need to relax...that I'm too uptight about this. (Actually, I could name a few that will.) But, I need to get this right. There is little else I will do in my life that is more important than raising my children. There is a right and a wrong way to do this parenting stuff, and what I'm doing now just isn't cutting it.
God has called us as parents to do more than just get them to 18, graduated, and out of the house.
I know that...and believe that...so why can't I DO that??
Ugh, yall pray for me, I'm so disgusted with myself tonight...
P.S. The rest of the DAD story is coming, I promise...just had to get all of this out of my head tonight.