On this day my five year old had a melt down about toast. Despite my attempts to help him find a solution. He kept interrupting me and finally turned his back on me to ignore me completely. I snapped. I could almost feel myself turning into a giant green Lou Ferrigno (Incredible Hulk). To my shame, I grabbed him by the collar of his sweat shirt and dragged him down the hall to my room. On the way his head bumped the door jam. I set him down on my giant pillows and used my "angry mommy voice" to try and get him to hear me. It's a challenge, once he gets something in his head he's almost like Rainman...unable to let it go and work toward a solution. I calmed down. He calmed down. We spoke in normal human voices to each other until we solved the problem. Five minutes later he came to me and gave me a big hug and told me he loved me. It was as if he was thanking him for keeping the boundaries even when it means going head to head.
At that point I lost it. There is nothing I want more in my life than to love the Lord my God, be a good wife and good mother. I felt like a horrible mother, a complete failure and not even worthy of the title at all. Of course I feel like the only mom on the planet who has ever lost her temper. I called a dear friend with little ones and she consoled me:) I called a dear friend with grown children and she laughed and said, "with all you have to work with it's a wonder it hasn't happened more often." <
Just a little while ago I had to face someones wrath that was pointed toward my boys. My lovely, childishly foolish, boys used newly purchased sling shots to shoot pebbles OVER OUR FENCE INTO OUR NEIGHBORS YARD! The neighbor was not too pleased about his and yelled at them over the fence and even went so far as to use profanity! They hurried into the house to tell me what happened and I told them the neighbor was absolutely right to be upset. They could have hit a window or a person or damaged something the neighbor valued. An older man came over to make sure I knew what had happened and I apologized for their actions. But I also did something else my boys needed to see. I asked the man not to use foul language with my boys and to let me know if there were ever any problems. You see, they had to see that while what they did was very wrong, it was not appropriate for a grown man to use that kind of language with children. They lost their sling shots for the night and gained a rule of adult supervised slingshot play only. They went outside to goof around again and the neighbors yelled at them to go inside. There entered "Momma Bear". As politely as I could I apologized again to the other adult members of the neighbors family but stated that as their Momma it was MY responsibility to discipline them and monitor them. The man was quite worked up and yelled some things back to me but I stood my ground. I was so frustrated and really would like to have been that contentious woman tearing down HIS house! But I didn't. I went inside and cared for my home.
So what did I learn today?
1. Momma needs more sleep
2. Momma can NOT be perfect, but our perfect Lord is the one I'm supposed to be imitating.
3. It is important to apologize when Momma has been wrong
4. It is important to impart the same grace I hope for from my children when I've made a mistake on them when they make a mistake.
5. It's good to discipline your children when they do wrong and defend them when they are wronged.
6. I learned that all the ups and downs and ins and outs...all those "bi-polar" moments are Worth it because each of these crazy, wonderful, silly, challenging children is worth struggling for.
May the Lord have mercy on all us Mommas...our children truly help us work out our Salvation with fear and trembling (some times extra fear or trembling or both! :)