Sometimes, I have these moments where I think to myself, Oh ya, totally rocked that parenting moment. Score one for mom! That absolutely deserves a chocolate... or twelve.
Then I have those moments where I dejectedly plop my head down on the counter and simply accept the fact that I'm going to hell-in-a-hand basket, (I'm pretty sure there's no chocolate there) 'cause I down-right stink that this parenting thing.
Worst mom ever.
Why do I mess up all the time?
Who's the adult around here anyway?
Apparently not me.
Can I at least pick out what my hand basket will look like?
Then I have these "ah ha" moments where I briefly remember how things appear from a child's perspective.
It had been "one of those days" and by the time Hubby came home from work, I was fighting some serious cabin fever. Chalk it up to hormones but I needed to get out of the house for a minute! So we put the kids to bed early and since I needed to make a quick run to the craft store anyway, off I went.
By the time I came home I was feeling much better.
As I was moving something over on the counter, I accidentally knocked over a cup that still had some juice in it and down the side of the cabinets it went, onto the floor, into the drawers, everything.
Gah! Really? Really??
Feeling annoyed all over again, I set about cleaning it and as I did, I remember an incident from when I was a kid.
I was in the kitchen with my mom who was doing some dishes. As she went to put away a 9x13 glass casserole dish, she accidentally dropped it and it shattered.
As I watched her, I remember thinking how completely unfair it was that she wasn't more mad at herself. I mean, if I had been the one to drop it I would have been in loads of trouble and even went so far as to point that out to her.
She simply held up her hand and told me that was enough from me.
But I couldn't understand! It wasn't fair that she wasn't getting in trouble for dropping it when I know I would have been.
(that being said, I truly had the greatest mom ever, this is speaking from a child's perspective)
So as I was cleaning up the spilled juice, I was thinking about this and even remembered how I had felt at the time. I also realized that had it been one of my kids who had made this mess, I probably wouldn't be calmly cleaning up the mess and feeling only a little bit annoyed.
My frustration with yet another mess probably would have spilled over, making them feel bad about the accident.
Since then, I've been trying to be more aware of how certain situations might appear to them and am discovering that more often then I'd like to admit, their bad attitudes stem from something else entirely.
Not understanding the whole situation, not enough positive attention, too much television, not enough responsibilities, etc. And yes, I mean that last one. My children are SO much happier when they have regular, structured responsibilities that they know are coming, and they get a positive sense of accomplishment out of completing them.
Anyway, after mulling this over and feeling re-determined not to let the messes and mistakes made by little hands get to me and to simply let these unimportant things go, I went to peek in on my precious children.
The girls were all asleep, totally askew in their beds, making me smile.
Then I checked in on the boys.
Be still my heart.
I hope these precious little souls can put up with my mistakes and weaknesses as a parent long enough to turn out okay.
Perhaps I might even be able to put off getting that hand basket for a little longer.