Feeling Defeated

While the Green Bay Packers are getting defeated in reality tonight, (insert crying face) I’ve been thinking about how I’ve felt defeated lately as a mama.

Mothering teens is rough. Mothering period is rough. The fact is children are going to be children. Do we expect too much from them? Probably. Do we get frustrated too easily? Definitely. Do we still love them unconditionally no matter how much they mess up? Absolutely.

The truth is while I believe that I am putting too much pressure on the kids… I’m actually putting too much pressure on myself as a mom. I am constantly worrying about whether their rooms are clean, whether they’ve done their homework, did they remember to take a lunch today, have they brushed their teeth… when really… I end up worrying myself to pieces and I STILL find myself failing at something.

I try to tell myself to let it go… they’re only children for such a short time. I read reminders daily all over the internet about how the dishes can wait and we need to take advantage of the time we have with them. I’ve read the mom blogs where other devoted mamas are inspiring women to shake it off and enjoy the simple things. I’ve read stories of parents who have lost their children and would give anything to have these parenting problems again. Tomorrow is never promised. All of that is SO TRUE.

But when you’re in the moment.. it is hard to remember all of that.

When you’re tween daughter gets the award for Miss Attitude of the South or when your five year old is throwing a tantrum because his Legos won’t stay together. When one of them decides to spill an entire cup of apple juice on your freshly mopped floor. Or how about when your middle schooler believes he is God and makes an argument about every little thing. It. Is. Hard. It is hard not to just want five minutes of peace in the bathroom. It is hard to not want them to go to bed at 7:00. It is hard to NOT yell and scream when they are pushing your very last button.

So how do you handle it all? Just take it day by day and one day they’ll be all grown up and then you’ll feel guilty all over again because they’re gone? The guilt cycle is fierce!

Choices. We have choices. We have to choose when to lose it… do I want to lose it in the car because they won’t stop hitting each other or do I want to lose it later when they’re fighting in their bedroom? We have to choose what to stress about.

Learn to let things go even when it feels impossible to. There are always going to be other factors that are weighing in on how you react as a parent. Parents are loaded down with stress from finances, jobs, relationships… the list could be endless! The stress isn’t going to disappear but we can control our stress levels by how we react to situations.

That is huge in parenting. Our reactions are not only shaping our children’s personalities, and teaching them values, but our reactions are also completely controlling our own happiness.

The ups and downs of parenting are just a part of it. We aren’t going to do everything perfect. God knows I make mistakes daily. We will be wrong sometimes. Just know they are children and they are not going to think or act on your level. They are going to make mistakes whether they are five or fifteen. They don’t act responsible because they aren’t yet. They need our help to get there.

When the going gets tough and the tough gets going… think about your choices. Know they will love you no matter what. While you are in bed contemplating how you could have handled that argument with your nine year old differently, she’s probably already forgotten about it. Children forgive and forget much easier and faster than we do.

Those mom bloggers are right! With each new day, know that it’s another chance to love your kiddos. You are everything to them, too. Sometimes we just forget how significant that is.

Xoxo,

MK

For a Little Bit

We get up, go to work, come home, fix dinner, pack lunchboxes, do homework, bathe kids, get them in bed… all before we can go to bed ourselves. And just when we get to bed, lay down… snuggle under the covers and push the thoughts and reminders running through our minds to the side… we finally drift off to sleep.

Until…. our motherly instincts wake us up when the pitter patter of little feet come running down the hallway to our bedside.

“Mommy…”

“Yes Brady… what’s wrong?”

“I want you.”

Famous words from a toddler.

And as he climbs in bed and wedges his tiny body between us, I say, “I want you too Brady. I always want you.”

Even when it’s 2 AM and I can barely open my eyes. Even when you kick us in the side all night long and I have about 2 cm of space to sleep on the very edge of the bed. I still want you.

I want you now and tomorrow and ten years from now when you’re 13 and don’t care about me anymore. At least on the outside.

I will want you when you hit your first homerun. I will want you when you get your first girlfriend. I will want you when you drive your first truck and when you graduate high school.

I will want you when you find a woman who is worthy of you and you decide to give our family name away to her. I will still want you.

I will always want you to be my baby. And you will always be my baby.

We give this away. We are exhausted, and stressed… we live the day to day without giving any extra thought to the fact that time does not stand still. We pray for bedtime to hurry. We pray for them to fall asleep sooner. And we naturally wish the days away.

But… every now and then… we get a subtle reminder that we don’t always want it to be bedtime… we don’t always want them to be able to walk so we don’t have to tote them anymore… we don’t always want them to be able to eat on their own so they won’t nurse 24/7…. we don’t always want them to sleep in their own bed (especially at 2 AM)…

These reminders… they are the sweet part of life. They snap us back to reality. We then realize for a split second that time doesn’t slow down. Our kids won’t be babies forever. And we hold them tighter… for just a little bit.

-MK