Updated January 16, 2017
Yesterday was a really rough parenting day for me. I’m just going to chalk it up to a bad day and move on.
When toddlers are 2 and 3, bossy and demanding may be cute (never really was to me). But when your “sassy, bossy” toddler turns 4, it’s never cute. Kennedy has always been so bright, smart, funny, and loving, but with that also comes some major attitude.
This is completely new territory because I am never sure how to deal with it. Am I being patient enough? Showing enough grace? Keeping my cool? Standing firm but showing love?
It’s funny how these things are so silly, too. After not taking no for an answer, she called me “mean ol’ mommy.” I’ve got to tell you – it stung. I’m not used to her back talking to me yet. It wasn’t funny to me, even though taken out of context it may warrant a chuckle. I know she’s just a kid, and it’s just something she said. Yet somehow, it made me feel like I had failed.
I’ve made a lot of mistakes as a parent, and definitely am constantly learning, but why did I let that moment make me think I had failed? My ability to parent is not defined by this.
We’ve all been there. Something happens and we feel like we’re failing our children. The truth is, we’re doing the best we can to raise tiny humans to be acceptable members of society. That’s no easy feat, folks.
When I’m in the midst of a mommy low, I usually search on Pinterest for uplifting quotes. They pull me out of my funk real quick and remind me I don’t suck.
These particular quotes stuck with me.
Being a mother is learning about the strengths you didn’t know you had, and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed.” – Linda Wooten
This quote may seem ominous and not very uplifting, but it’s actually very comforting to me. I’ve learned that there are things I greatly fear that I never thought I would. But with this comes great strength and the ability to do things I have never dreamed of doing. That is the beauty in being a mother. Fear produces strength. I guess I’ll just say that to myself when I have another irrational fear.
“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.” -Unknown
Such a simple reminder. But how often do we really say to ourselves “I really embodied strength today”? Or how often do we try to see the good? How do we take a tough time with our children and turn it into a teachable moment? It’s not saying “Well, today sucked but I guess I got to watch the latest episode of House of Cards.” It’s saying “today happened and I grew as a parent.” So hard to do, but so necessary.
“Mama: The glue that holds everything together even when she feels she may fall apart.” -Unknown
My kids need me. They need me to be present, and my broken pieces are mended by them. Being with them and being their mother heals me, too.
Moms, we’ve got this. We’re doing the best we can do. Sometimes these kids drive us crazy, and some days we just want to forget about it all and fall asleep on the couch watching YouTube videos. (No? Just me?) If we continue to let ourselves be “failures” we will get nowhere. Let’s be the glue that holds everything together, even if we have to fake it a little bit.