I often beat myself up over the way I mother. I know that I’m not the exception, most mom’s have a seriously flared-up case of mommy-guilt. We feel bad when we focus on our kids and not the house. We feel bad when we focus on the house and not the kids. We feel bad when we take time to take care of ourselves. We feel bad when we have a career and put our kids into care. We feel bad when we have to discipline our kids even though they’ve disobeyed. We look at other families and falsely tell ourselves that they don’t ever yell or want to strangle their children. We feel bad, we feel torn, we feel like we’re horrible mothers.
I was suffering from a momentary case of ‘woe-is-me-ism’ while standing in the kitchen this evening. I had blanked-out in front of my fridge and I’m sure I was thinking about something I’d done wrong earlier in the day (you know, reactive parenting) and when I ‘came to’ a few things stood out to me. The first thing that I saw was my kids chore chart being (somewhat) faithfully filled-in. In fact, Rhys had just taken a break from his video game to walk to the neighbours house to pick-up his sister then he was coming home to take the garbage out…all without complaints or a fuss. Just a “yes mom”. The second thing I noticed were all of the little pictures of our family that Amelia likes to draw. I’m depicted as having pink hair with long spindly fingers and James has a huge balloon head with a curly moustache, but she spends time drawing all of the people she loves and she gives her pictures to us with pride.
For some reason, tonight these two things spoke volumes to my mommy heart. So I lose my temper and react more times than I probably should…I’m a work in progress. The important thing is I see clear evidence that my kids are being taught and nurtured and cherished. I see them loving and serving their family, their friends and, most importantly, God. If I take a second and think back on the week, I see my so much to be proud of in my kids. Rhys made the whole family breakfast on Sunday morning without being asked. Amelia washed a whole sink full of dishes just to help out. Eli, well, he mainly just plays on his tummy.
There might be days where I need to take a deep breath, apologize and start again, but I need to stop beating myself up. I stopped my pity-party in its tracks and told inner-Bria that I AM a good mother, something that I should probably do more often.