It’s an interesting thing, Motherhood. It’s a constant roller coaster of ups and downs. Of cuddles and chaos. Of war and peace.
The last of which is certainly true if you have an almost 18 year old who is ready to “be a Man” yet still needs your help and usually doesn’t want to ask for it.
Your advice is most definitely not welcomed a lot of the time (even when they take it) and it’s easy to slip into a dark place and wonder “What did I do wrong?”. Or, “Why am I so bad at this Mom thing??”. Mainly it can leave a Mama feeling like a bit of a failure on some days and, believe me, that’s no fun.
There was a particular evening recently when I felt like everyone was fussing at everyone else about EVERYTHING. The Littlest ruffian was bothering the Middlest. The Middlest was, in turn, yelling and protesting loudly.
The Teenager was fussing at both of them for being “too loud and annoying”. Then he was fussing at me for not making them Shut. Up. And, in typical teenaged fashion, it was then my fault for several other things too. Next, I was suddenly fussing at ALL of them and then I found myself also fussing at The Husband, who was probably doing something productive and helpful like laundry, but in my mind the chaos and calamity was somehow his fault.
So, I went to bed feeling dejected and slightly depressed muttering something to my Husband about how they were all three on a downward spiral and how they would probably all end up in jail and how I was sure it was somehow all my fault. Over-the-top? Yes. But sometimes it just feels good to say something dramatic and utterly ridiculous and dare someone else to argue the point.
And of course, in his typical good natured fashion, The Husband disagreed with me and said something sweet and uplifting. I just turned out the light. ::grumble grumble::
The next day, of course, it was easier to put things in perspective over my devotional and a cup of coffee (AKA nectar of the Gods). I mean, let’s be serious. The odds are that only one of them may end up in jail, not ALL of them.
The reality is that, unless you have perfectly angelic children and a perfectly clean house and a perfectly, perfect life, you have had days like that too. It’s easy to let things spiral out of control and just lose it. But that’s not the best way to handle the problem at hand and it’s certainly not a great example to my children. It also doesn’t help them to feel loved and protected and secure either and isn’t that my main job as a Mom?
Of course there will always be times when discipline is needed and necessary. Our children need those boundaries and that is just the “tough love” part of parenting. Proverbs 22:6 reads ‘Teach your children to choose the right path, and when they are older they will remain on it.” Sounds simple enough but it’s just not. Because we WILL have bad days and our children WILL watch and analyze how we deal with tough situations. They are great imitators.
So I remind myself once again to be consistent and to work harder on handling the frustrating moments with grace and love, even when it is hard.
And, when times get DO crazy and “calamity” strikes – and it will again – I will also make an effort to remember the GOOD times, of which there have been more than plenty.
Here’s hoping that you all have a wonderful weekend and that you make some good memories while you’re at it!