I realized something very recently. I’m scared of my kids.
I know I have a tendency to be silly and joke around about a lot of ‘mom-ing’ topics, but I say this in all seriousness. My children terrify me.
I’m not afraid they’re going to slaughter me in my sleep or anything like that (although I’m sure I will be having that nightmare soon). And it never occurred to me that I was frightened until the other day.
Adaleine and Judah had brought some toys upstairs to play with. We try to keep all of their toys downstairs so that area is theirs. Ideally, the rest of the house is fit for adults and we’re not tripping over Lalaloopsy dolls and Rescue Bots all the time.
So the two kiddos were playing with their toys on the train table and I was hanging up clothes in their room. When Ada hollered in asking if it was almost time for lunch, I caught myself taking a deep breath. I felt my stomach tighten up and my heart started beating faster. Then I said the words I was scared to say, “Yes, we’re eating soon. So I need you guys to pick up those toys off the table and take them back downstairs.”
The eruption of whining and crying that followed was expected. “Why?! I don’t want to pick up! I’m still playing with these! I’m not doing it!” I knew it was coming and a part of me gave up as I hung another little shirt on another little hanger.
Now, before you start up the choruses of “this is how you’ve allowed them to treat you” and “consistency is key” and “you can’t tolerate backtalk,” I want you to know that I know all of that. I know I’ve trained these little buggers to do exactly what they did.
There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not berating myself as a mother. Not second-guessing every single choice I make. Did they not get to bed early enough last night? Are they eating a good enough breakfast? Cute enough clothes? On time to school? Did I not teach them to brush their teeth well enough? Should they be able to tie their own shoes? Should I have enrolled them in more than one after school program? Are we practicing their spelling words enough? Should I be walking them in to school every day? Am I scarring them for life by not getting up early every morning to put myself together? And this is all before we even walk out the door in the morning. I think this is true for a lot of moms.
Here’s my hang-up: sometimes it’s just too hard. Sometimes you know it’s coming and you know it’s only Tuesday and it’s close to bedtime and if you can just make it two more hours without anyone getting hurt, you’re in the clear. Sometimes Mr. Bug goes off to work for two days and the second they hear that door shut they start crying about missing Daddy. Sometimes they wake up, roll out of bed, and just vomit attitude all over the house.
Sometimes ‘mom-ing’ makes you want to cry. I know I should insert a line like ‘but these beautiful blessings are so worth it and I’m grateful for every minute I have with these little gifts from above.’ That’s all true, but sometimes it doesn’t feel true.
Training for a marathon is hard. You know there’s a goal at the end that you hope to achieve, but there will be blood, sweat, tears, vomit and times you want to give up. I don’t think being a mom is any different.
There’s no turning point or advice offered here, I just wanted to send this out into the blogosphere, hoping it will find someone who needs it. It’s okay if some days you just want to cry because they’re still awake and you’re simply spent. I’ll say that again. It’s okay. Get some rest if you can and just start again tomorrow. You’ll make it.