Hey, mama. How are you today? If you’re here reading this, my guess is that you’ve had a rough day. Don’t feel bad, I’ve had a pretty terrible day myself and to be honest? I feel like a bad mom to my toddler.
And after putting my son down for his nap today, I went to my room and laid on my bed, shoes an all (what a freak, right??) and just stared ahead.
I simply needed a minute to let my mind just relax, wander, and to be honest – cry my eyes out.
Once I had my cry, I thought about my other fellow mamas and got up and came into my office and sat down to write to you.
Yes, you. The woman on the other side of this screen holding her cup of coffee for dear life with her hair in an obscene pineapple on top of her head, wondering if she’s doing this whole ‘mom thing’ right. The one that thinks “I feel like a bad mom to my toddler”.
The very fact that you’re wondering these things, tells me that you’re on the right track.
I’ve always been told that if you’re not tired being a parent and if your children like you, then you’re probably doing it wrong. To which I always thought was the stupidest notion in the world. Why wouldn’t my children like me? I’m pretty cool, right? Why would I have to be tired all of the time? I thought this was an idiotic notion.
Until I had my child.
My sweet, baby boy that I would quite literally give my last breath for right now if I needed to.
You see, my child is about to be three and has one of the strongest wills I’ve ever seen in a person. Which is saying something because of who his mother, father, and maternal grandpa are… Well, really both sides of our families are pretty stubborn. So, he got a nice big dose of strong will.
Since he was born, my own will, patience and determination have been pushed past the limit I never knew existed.
There have been days where I’ve thought, “I’m totally screwing this child up.” Or “I’m the worst mother in the world.” Or “What are we doing wrong as parents? Why is he acting like this?”
Answer? He’s a child.
And, it’s okay that he’s a child. Should he be disrespectful? Of course not. That’s where explanation and discipline come in.
At the same time, he doesn’t understand why he’s not supposed to speak really loudly in a quiet doctor’s office. He doesn’t understand why mama and daddy have to tell him no, he can’t play in the lightning storm, because all his little eyes can see is that there is water falling from the sky; and he loves water and outside and it’s not naptime or bedtime – ergo, he should be able to play outside. He doesn’t understand the need for bedtime, or why he needs to mind mama and daddy, or why throwing a tennis ball at the TV is wrong.
It’s our job as the parents to teach him these things with patience, love, and respect.
Yes, respect. He has feelings too.
Does this mean roll over and let him run the house? Nope.
But, he is a human being that we will get much further with if provided respect as a human while keeping the proper parent-child relationship.
His innate nature is to do wrong because of the fall of man with Adam and Eve. With that fall, God gave the responsibility of teaching each and every generation to the parents.
Not the schools, not the government, not the nanny’s or babysitters, not even to the church… He gave it to the parents.
This translates to utter exhaustion from trying to raise a decent human being who loves on others in the way Jesus would have him love on them, respects proper authority and challenges wrong ‘authority’ and knowing the difference between the two, and who works hard to provide for himself and his family.
Raising an adult (not a child, you’re raising an adult) also translates to your child not liking you sometimes simply because they don’t understand why you have to do the things you sometimes have to do for their own good, because you love them more than the very air that you breathe.
Being a parent is also about finding the balance between giving them responsibility that is age appropriate and allowing them to be a child.
Our society expects WAY too much out of our children and our children are losing their childhood. Which translates to another layer of exhaustion because you’re afraid of giving them too much at once or not enough.
I’m writing this after one of the worst days we’ve had in a long time. The tantrums, tears (on both sides), and screaming have been so real.
So real, that I feel like a bad mom to my toddler
My hair is so greasy that we could end the oil crisis. I’ve got an energy drink on my desk because I’m about to just fall out of my chair. My face is streaked with mascara and my shirt has holes in it. I cried to my husband at lunch while his steady voice and hand soothed me and reminded me we’re doing all the right things and that we have to trust our Father to honor our effort and will grow him into the man that He wants him to be, we just have to be consistent in our guidance and loving our boy through the hard stuff.
It was then that I realized that I shouldn’t have the “I feel like a bad mom to my toddler” mentality, I needed to change my focus to “I am a mom to my active little boy”.
So, mama. This is to you.
The mama who has been pushed to the limit, you feel like a failure, you’re overwhelmed, the dishes in your sink are probably starting to smell, and have greasy hair… You’re not alone. Hang in there. And while you’re at it, grab another cup of coffee because, you might as well, right?
And besides, the cup of coffee that you left in the microwave yesterday is probably bad now anyway. 😉