Monday, April 6, 2009
Failing as a Mother
So yesterday we went to church, had the family over for lunch and dinner and had a great day. Until about 4:00p.m. when my sister-in-law wanted us to go out and look for my son and her son. They were playing in the woods. She was getting a little antsy, so off we went to search. Meanwhile, the older girl cousins were telling us that the boys had a stash of pop and gummie worms in the woods. Pop and gummie worms? Where would they get that? We find the boys and I start questioning Grant, but in a way designed to see if he will come clean.
"What did you do with your birthday money?" I ask. "What are you talking about?" says Grant. "I want to know what you spent your birthday money on?" "I gave some money to Jonathon (his friend)" "To do what?" "Mom, what are you talking about?" "Did you go to the dollar store and buy candy and pop?" "NO", says Grant. "Did you go to the dollar store?" "NO!!!", I did not. Then my sister-in-law asks her son and he confirms that they did indeed go to the dollar store. So in front of his friends, I yell at him to get his bike, get his "stash" in the woods and get home.
Upon further questioning, we find out that he has been going to the dollar store since last summer. Something he has asked me to do on numerous occasions, but feeling he was too young, we said no. Not a maybe, not a someday, but no. No means no.
All I could do once we left his room is cry. We stress honesty in our home. It is to be valued and upheld with all our children. And how could I, as a mother, not know when my kid is running off to do things he is not supposed to do? Last summer? I have missed this since last summer? Really? I pride myself on being on top of things, and I missed by a mile. Yikes. What if he was sixteen and drinking? What then?
So, down came the chopping block. He is grounded until we say so. If and when he becomes ungrounded, he can only go out to play if it is at someone's house. The child he was doing the lying with and sneaking around with he is not allowed to play with outside of our home. He has to do a bible study (which I am off to find today) about honesty and honoring your parents. He is going to miss math club and possibly drums and possibly youth group. I don't know what else to do, but then I felt guilty about punishing him too much. That being said, if we don't get a handle on this now, when he is almost 12, it could spiral out of control.
So, today, as I face myself in the mirror, I feel as if I have somehow failed as a mother. Why would he lie and sneak around all these months? Why? What have I missed? What have I done or not done? What have I not prayed over this child? Where did I miss the boat on this one? I feel horrible, just horrible. My wonderful mother-in-law is telling me that all kids do this at some point and that we are doing all the right things and that I am a good mother, but somehow, I feel I am lacking in some way. I don't expect perfect kids, but I just want the normal screw up stuff, is this normal? Maybe I do expect perfect kids, which is not fair to them or me. I am off to pray some more over this.
God bless you and yours.