You started the day with a plan. You had your coffee, spent a little quiet time in the Word (okay a couple minutes, but still…it was something). You got the kiddos dressed and ready to face a bright and shining new day. You told them your expectations…like, “When we go to the orthodontist, we use our inside voices.”
You got every one into your awesome minivan and went to your first task of the day–the orthodontist. You shuffled everyone in there and found a cluster of seats to fit your whole brood, sent off the one who was there for the doc, and gave the littles a healthy snack that you gathered that morning and wisely placed in the diaper bag.
You even got out devices to allow them to play a few games while waiting on their sibling. This was a special treat, so you were sure it would make things go smoothly. And, it seemed to be working.
Ahhhh….you exhaled as everyone seemed to be occupied and you got out that book you’ve been waiting to read for months when all of a sudden…
EVERYTHING FELL APART.
Maybe it was the baby screaming, or the toddler whining profusely for the other device that his brother had, or the food flying through the air from the upset baby who is still crying–because you were busy tending to the whiny toddler.
Maybe it was whiny toddler huffing and puffing and squealing loudly when you placed him in timeout and took away his device until you finally had to physically pick up your toddler in one arm while pushing the baby in the double-stroller through the waiting room, the entrance, and the bathroom doorway while bumping into every other seat and saying “I’m sorry” over and over to the nervous onlookers.
Maybe it was the fact that said toddler screamed at the top of his lungs in the bathroom–creating a bloodcurdling echo for everyone to hear–while someone else anxiously knocked on the bathroom door and the baby starting to cry because the whiny toddler decided to be extra strong-willed today.
Maybe it was the ten minutes it took for you to finally get your whiny toddler to listen and calm down–for two minutes.
Or, maybe it was YOU.
It may have been the stares you felt on you–like arrows to a bull’s eye.
It may have been the crazy feeling you get whenever your kids blatantly disobey and don’t listen, and it just makes you want to scream. But, when you do raise your voice at them, you feel guilty and terrible inside. Then you apologize, and they do it again the next day. And then, you start fantasizing about being in a solitary room for a few hours where no one wants or needs anything from you and any request you have is granted THE FIRST TIME with no back talk or discontent. Sigh.
It may have been the embarrassment you felt inside because “good kids”–kids that listen to their parents and don’t whine and don’t have to be told something more than once–don’t act that way.
And, yours wouldn’t act that way if YOU were a “good parent.” At least that’s what you tell yourself in stressful moments like this one.
As you sat in the waiting room wondering why in the world this appointment was taking so long, you finally had a few minutes to read your book–another book about parenting to add to the twenty other books you’ve read about parenting.
Tears filled your eyes as you read the title of this particular book,
“You’re Kid is a Brat, and It’s All Your Fault.”
How fitting for a moment like this, right?
It is your fault, right?
Wrong. Dead wrong, Sweet Mama.
Sure, you’ve made mistakes like every single other parent from the dawn of time, but you can’t blame yourself for every little thing your kids do wrong. Sometimes, kids don’t listen. They mess up like we do.
So, what do you do in these stressful moments?
You do what YOU can do. You stay as consistent as you can and follow through. You do the very best you can every single day.
You are trying your best here. And, trying your best as a parent is super hard some days–especially on days like today.
So, step off of that ledge, Sweet Mama. Take a breath. A deep one. Step away for a few minutes if you need too.
Say a prayer that God will give you the patience and peace you need to be the mom He’s called You to be–a loving, caring, hard-working, humble, fun, and completely imperfect mother who REFUSES TO GIVE UP…even on those days when she’s on the edge.
Thank you for reading, sharing, and responding. Be blessed!