The ugly days of parenting
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Most of the time on this blog, I try to keep parenting upbeat and positive. I try to encourage and uplift. But today I just feel so raw in the motherhood experience, I just wanted to show the other side of the coin.
Some days are just HARD!! The sleepless nights that may or may not be coupled with illness, the hustle and bustle of getting the kids out the door to school and other various activities (and especially on time), the sass and whining (I just can't bear to hear one more complaint today), tattling, sibling rivalry, crying babies, messes, and never being able to get things done. I feel like the past few weeks since school started the kids have been on revolt.
Then you throw in the emotional struggles whether they are your own or your children's; anxieties, fears and depressions. The feelings of not measuring up, whether those be in your role as a parent, your weight, not being able to spend enough time doing your work, or just being spread too thin in general. I haven't even accounted for the heaviness that comes with a broken heart, stressful life experiences, or loss of a loved one. Whether you have 1 kid or 7, just juggling the needs of another human being can be extremely overwhelming.
I've been trying to get back on the healthy eating bandwagon...again. So that means it's me and my vegetables, trying to figure out how to fit in more protein, eating whole grains (which just don't sound nearly as appetizing as chocolate chip cookies), and adds one more area my brain needs to focus on that I don't have the energy for. I've been off soda this week, so that friendly Diet Dr Pepper hasn't been around either. But as much as I grumble about the healthy eating, when I eat the junk, I feel even worse about myself!
How do you keep going? What pulls you through these days when the kids are screaming, the house is a wreck and your energy is at zero? Last night I definitely didn't go about it in the most honorable way. It wasn't pretty. By dinner time I'd had enough. I stormed off to my room to leave my husband who had barely walked in the door from work (who had a migraine), to handle the dinner madness. I came out briefly to tell my husband how rotten the kids had been during the day, read a few verses of scripture (I'm sure that was quite the spiritual moment, huh?! I hope you hear the sarcasm in my voice), have family prayer, and retreated back to my room huffing and puffing until I had to work (I work from home, so I wasn't even getting away from the madness). Now what kind of example is that??
The battle raged on through bedtime. I sent all the kids to bed immediately after dinner. I'm sure you can imagine how that went at 6:45 in the evening? No one was tired enough to sleep, so they were just going crazy in their rooms (lesson learned for me- total back fire). The confrontations continued to escalate- probably even worse than if I had just let the evening go as normal. Not my finest parenting moment (or evening).
As a result all today I have had major mom guilt. I've been wracking my brain for a solution. What could we put into play to have things chill out around here? You know what I've come up with? It's not them at all. It's me. Yes, they may be sassy and complaining and ignoring me when I ask them to help out, but it's my reaction to all of it that's making everything so much worse. They can see they've bested the beast, so the chaos in sues.
So what is to be done? I've been tried meditating several days this week. But every time I close my eyes, I just fall straight to sleep. Maybe exercise is the answer? I've been getting up at 5am every day to make sure I fit it in. Reading scriptures or having pondering time? Doing that, too. The self care is happening, but this mama is still in overwhelm.
I think what is comes down to, is today I have a good cry. I hug all my babies, apologize, try again to get to bed early, and try again tomorrow. That's just it- I just keep trying. I remind myself they really aren't always little monsters (or big monsters), I really love all my people. I'm just worn out and probably more than anything need an understanding ear, a good laugh and a full night's sleep. If the sweet chases the bitter, then chances are I'm due for a really great day tomorrow. I'll keep hoping, keep working on how to say kinder things to myself, keep praying, lower my expectations of others and love my family the best I know how.