As I’ve written before I was born to be a Mom. I enjoy my children. I take parenting seriously. I invest time and effort to it. And up until couple months ago everything was going pretty well.
I’ve had a challenging fall. I’ve felt inadequate as a parent. I’ve had unloving, impatient and even angry feelings towards my children (like that night when Beth was screaming uncontrollably for what seemed like ‘forever’ for no apparent reason and I so wanted to throw her down the stairs). I want to assure you that I haven’t acted on most of these feelings that have been racing through my head but just the realization that I am not always (this fall very seldom) that kind of mom I aspire to be has been a humbling (and maybe even a good) experience. Humbling because I don’t like to ‘fail’ and good because no growth or chance can happen if there’s no need perceived.
I’m not entirely sure why it’s suddenly been so difficult but my guess is that it has to do something with having 2 three year olds in the house. (I don’t understand the talk about ‘terrible 2’s’ .. it’s the ‘almost unbearable 3’s’ that get you) .. but whatever the reason I pretty quickly realized I had to make some changes so that I wouldn’t dread every day when I stayed home with them.
The first change was to make sure I get a ‘quiet time’ in the morning to read the Bible and pray. In those times my heart and mind was gently conformed from angry-to-neutral-to-kind-to-loving towards my children.
Secondly, I decided to push back starting some online courses as well as continuing my sign language classes so that I would be mentally more available to my kids. (I’m excited to be starting this month!)
The third change was not to care so much about the appearance of our home but rather spend time on the floor playing with the kids like I had for the first three years of Nathan’s life ..( and had really looked forward to the time when they would ‘self play’ and I could get ‘stuff’ done.) So play I did, and with the decision not to stress about much else, I found that I quite enjoyed it. And the kids loved it!
In few weeks it seemed we had found the harmony that I had gotten accustomed before. Not to say that our days are not interrupted with fights over toys or space on Mom’s lap, intentional instigation and bugging of each other or full blown tantrums over ‘NO’s. But most of the time we enjoy the days we have with each other and when the children get out of control I take time to listen and be involved .. you know, like a good mom would.
I for one am much more content and happy. So I think I’m going to continue like this until we hit an other challenging phase .. which I’m sure there will be in the future.
(And in case you were wondering how I handled that desire to throw her down the stairs … I carried her downstairs, asked softly what she would like (at 3am!) and then watched her eat her yogurt. She said she’d like to go watch a show and I said that would be fine but I was going to go back to bed. She chose to go back to her bed also. I tugged her in and she told me she loved me).
What are some challenges that you have dealt with or are in the middle of now? How did you pull through?
Hanna is a mother of three, Nathan 4, Beth and Joshua 3 and is learning to cherish and enjoy every moment with her children. Her awesome husband doesn’t have the struggles she has but that’s because he doesn’t get enough time with the kids .. or that’s what she tells herself anyway 😉