Friday, July 22, 2011

You're my best mommy ever!

I have had a couple of things on my mind recently and maybe what I need to do it hash it out online to be able to get back to sleep. So for those of you who don't know, I am the mother of 2 beautiful children, Elijah and Ariana. I love them so much! Ever since I can remember I have been preparing, planning, and hoping to become a mother. I have known since I was a young girl that my main callings in life would be teacher AND a mother to a (hopefully) big family. Once pregnant with Elijah, I anticipated the transition into motherhood to be fairly natural. I have worked with children most of my life so the general caring of a child did not seem frightening/unknown to me. I figured that one way or another my child would be physically taken care of. Here is what I didn't anticipate:

  1. Raising a child isn't so much about whether or not they are eating, drinking, sleeping, etc
  2. Being a mother will test your abilities to stay calm and focused when you are exhausted, frustrated, and least patient.
  3. Many times--you will make the wrong decision or act in a way that is childish, selfish and/or embarrassing. Not intentionally....but wrong nonetheless.
  4. You are needed by EVERYONE ALL THE TIME! (This includes the husband, dog, cat, etc)
  5. Children are beautiful and forgiving. 
  6. At the end of the day, if you have made more good decisions then had a good day.
  7. You will never stop thinking, planning and preparing for their future. Most events throughout the day cause you to wonder about "how this will turn out?" OR "Will this help them in the future?" OR "Have I ruined them for life?" OR "How can I do this better for them next time?"
  8. It doesn't matter how much money is being put into the bank account. There is still more to pay for so as a mother I am always trying to think up ways to supplement the income, stretch the dollar, and put money away....all without making everyone feeling penniless or poor.
  9. When I am at my best, I am a great teacher to my children. When I am at my worst...I am a horrible example!
  10. I don't always have the answer. I don't always know what to do. I am not always proud of my actions. I am never done being a mom. 

This list could go on and on.

The reason this has been on my mind is the other day, I was hanging out with the kiddos in their bedroom and it became time for the cleaning of the room to happen. I very nicely asked my children to get cleaning. (We clean all the time so they knew what was coming and what I expected from them...right?) They put 1 or 2 toys away and then started to get distracted. So again I reminded that they should be cleaning up their toys. I offered some suggestions of what needed to be cleaned and told them to get moving. Again, 1-2 toys got put away and they got distracted. At this point I could feel my level of frustration rising. This was not my mess and I should not be expected to clean it all by myself. In a stronger tone I reminded my children that we should be cleaning their room and to do it NOW! I think you can see where this is going. Eventually I told my kids (in more of a yelling fashion) that if they would not do it when I asked them nicely that I would yell...and I did. I through a grown-up tantrum. I used a few (semi) mean words and threatened to throw the toys away, etc. until the room finally got cleaned.

Later that night, I had time to really reflect on my actions and I was reminded that while I did begin with the right had gone sour because my expectations for my little kiddos was too high. Elijah is 4 and Ariana is 2. I should have been able to find a way to calmly get them to do what I asked. I should have offered more specific directions. I should have taken time to settle down before involving yelling because my kids don't deserve "mean mommy." I will cut myself a little slack because I didn't erupt right away and because "being a mother will test your abilities to stay calm and focused when you are exhausted, frustrated, and least patient." Aside from all of that...I should have reacted differently.

So while I was reflecting on this moment and feeling like i am just the worst mom ever. I was reminded of what Ariana said to me not even 30 minutes after this bedroom ordeal. We were eating lunch together and she leaned in to me and said, "you're my best mommy ever!" I had just yelled at her and yet she still thinks that I am her best mommy ever. That warms my heart.

"Children are beautiful and forgiving"


sariqd said...

You know, she said, "You're MY best mommy ever!" Emphasis on the MY! You're the best mom for your kids. Just like I'm the best mom for my kids.

We've all had moments where we lose our cool. I'll tell you something since I've got a few (not much!) years on you... they still happen. In fact, I don't think they'll ever stop! The important thing is, you realize what went wrong and you try, try, try again.

As for the cleaning... I did the same thing. Oy! Then I remembered how my mom would get us to clean. She would play the piano really fast or really slow and we had to play in tempo. It was awesome! Then she also did it by colors. "You pick up everything that has red! You - purple!" Then took it to texture. "Soft! Smooth!" Etc., etc. She was quite creative by the time the youngest rolled around!

Your kids love you and I see that by the way they look at you, the way they reach out to you and touch you. You THEIR best mommy ever. Be proud of that.

sariqd said...

Note - not PLAY in tempo. PICK UP in tempo. ;)