Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Frustration of Motherhood
From toddlers to teenagers, kids can be so frustrating. They do things you do not understand for reasons known only to them and trying to figure it out only makes you crazy. We have all had those moments where we lock ourselves in the bathroom to cool down. If you have not had a moment like that, I will assume you are a mother of one small baby who still is too cute to move around and talk back to you. Have you ever been so mad you see red? I have, and it scared me. I had to send my son to his room for an hour so I could calm down. I thank God I had the sense to do just that and not raise my hand to my child in anger.
I still remember my first "red" moment. I was pregnant with Grant and resting, Tyler was supposed to be quietly watching TV and I got up to check on him and he had sliced five straight lines right down the back of the couch with a knife. He was trying to reach something under the couch. I flipped out. Why would he do that? I had to send him to his room or beat the crud out of him. I waited and worried what my husband would do and say. In the end, when I had calmed down, I spanked him for getting a knife. He knew he wasn't allowed to touch knives, the couch thing I could almost see his little reasoning. He needed to get the sock under the couch, he could not reach it, he could not move the couch, so he sliced through it. Perfectly logical to a three year old. But he knew he could not touch the knives, and I explained this to him before I spanked his little butt, calmly and with reason. Luckily, we had a friend who worked for a furniture store who had a friend who did knew how to fix the back of the couch.
I had a friend of mine say, while our kids were three to four years old, she understood child abuse, she did not do it, but she could wrap her mind around it. Munchkins can wear you out, wear you down and break your spirit. Especially if they are smart or strong willed. If you have a strong willed child, I highly recommend the book by James Dobson, "The Strong Willed Child", it will change your life and your child's, all for the better. Another discipline book that helped me so much was Kevin Lehman's "How to make your children mind without losing yours." Very good. Both authors are Christians and have wonderful insight on handling your handfuls.
Never be afraid to ask for help, share your stories with your girlfriends. Trust me, anything your kid has done, her kid has done something just as weird and complex and wrong. If you have a friend who unfortunately has a perfect child, stop hanging out with that friend, she is delusional. No kids are perfect, not one out there, they all mess up. We are charged, as mothers, with keeping our cool and doing our best in the stress of the day. We can do it. If I survived three in diapers and eight years of diaper changing (I added it up one day, eight years, tragic), then you can do it too. Read your bible, pray a lot, then pray some more, share with friends, read some responsible literature on parenting, and keep plugging along.
Because just as you are about to break, the do something so cute, so wonderful, so loving, they mend your broken heart. It is worth it. I am still plugging along, and there are good days and bad days, but in the end, I would not trade it for the world.
God bless you and yours.