Usually when my kids act up, get in trouble, and or just are plain bad, I take it personally. I feel like it reflects on my parenting. After the dust settles of me losing my temper for the millionth time I reflect back on the latest situation and see where I could improve, where I needed to walk away, or take a deep breath. By the time I commit to changing my behavior something happens and I am back to the crazy mom-yelling, swatting, and losing all my marbles.
Yesterday was no exception. We trying to potty train Lucy, and it's no easy feat. She is not like her sister, at all. I think she could care less if she pees and is wet, it's no big deal to her. It becomes very frustrating, she is stubborn, I am stubborn, and we both have a battle of the wills daily. Lucy also is having a hard time sleeping. She is my sleeper, she loves sleep. So this no sleeping thing during the day and at night, it's rough. It makes me not a nice mommy.
So yesterday when Lucy kept getting up during nap time, even when I parked myself outside her door, and put her back in bed at least 30 times in a 2 hour period, I felt like a bad mom. I kept thinking what am I doing wrong? Why won't she cooperate? All I want is for her to take a nap! I yelled, I whispered, I cried, I even tried laying down with her, but nothing worked. And finally I gave in, and nap time came to an end. Lucy even lost the chance to the go to the Halloween parade with the rest of us last night. It was awful.
I felt like the worst mom ever. I hate when things don't go planned. I hate that I can't control how my kids will react or behave. I can set boundaries and consequences, but it's up to them to do the rest.
I think this is a lot like how God is with us. He has given us free will, and he sits back and watches us abuse that freedom daily. I don't think we intend to abuse it, but we usually do, and we usually abuse it a lot.
In both of these instances we need God's grace. I needed his grace yesterday to know that tomorrow is a new day, I can start over again, and try better. Even though I have probably lost my cool like 50 times already today, each new minute is a new start. I pray that I am not messing my kids up, and that some day they will be productive citizens of this country.
Parenting is really hard, it's the one thing I doubt about myself on a daily basis. There are so many fine lines in parenting, and so many if's, what's, could's, and umph's. But on the other hand parenting has brought me some of the biggest blessings and biggest accolades that I could ever receive. I love watching my girls play together, I love listening to them talk to each other, I love all the home made cards and necklaces I get on a daily basis. I also love that I have a small part in shaping Molly and Lucy to be who God created them to be. And that is a big job that requires a lot of grace.
Here's to living in grace while in the trenches of parenthood.