Deep Breath. This parenting thing is hard. Exhale. There, I said it. This parenting thing is hard.
And not in a smiling way right now. Not with a caveat, but so, so worth it (insert squeezing of happy baby here).
Yes. I am grateful for my children and the joy they bring, and yes I am overcome by the smallest moments with the tiniest hands sometimes.
But right now? If I am totally honest. It is just so hard. And I am struggling. I write a lot about purposefully raising girls that are wild and free like the God I hope they one day love. And I am still doing that, at least, I am trying. But if I am honest, there are days I would trade the wild and free for quiet and polite just to hear my husband while we attempt to have a conversation on our way to church.
I’m a yeller. I know this comes as no surprise with my inclination to use ALL CAPS ON TWITTER. I think it is genetic, though I don’t remember being raised in a house where yelling was the norm. I do know we were loud. It made my mother crazy. Sometimes, in the car she would put her hands over her ears just to hear herself think. My grandmother used to take her hearing aid out because we were all just too loud. It was her that taught us to yell to be heard. That one was a cycle we could never seem to break. I seem to be continuing the cycle in my own home.
But I also know, that the yelling was done mostly out of joy and being boisterous, that the hard teaching moments my parents passed to me came in quiet voices, sometimes both of us crying. (I’m looking at you dad.) I know that the lessons out of anger never stuck, and the ones out of love, I can quote them verbatim. (“We don’t hit people, people who hit people go to jail” He was a defense attorney, I figured he knew.)
I’ve been yelling too much and crouching down to see their situation too little. I’ve been hurrying too often and playing not enough.
Please don’t tell me that I will one day regret wishing away these moments. And please don’t tell me that mothering is my most important job. I am awesome at shaming myself. Trust me.
I am afraid to admit that this thing is hard. A room full of thirty-five teenagers and the six functions of a noun? Bring it on. An auditorium of a hundred people and a Bible passage, I would love to! But a two-year old, a three-year old a dress up box, and a reminder on my phone that I need to take them potty every hour and I am undone, checking the clock relentlessly as it slowly marches to bedtime.
Am I allowed to say that? Can I tell you that it is hard and frustrating and sometimes I meet screaming with screaming because I can be louder? Having a three-year-old look you in the face and tell you “please don’t talk mean to me” is a wake up call I would rather not experience again. But I probably will. I probably will need her reminder.
The more I bury this part of my life, that I am afraid you will hate or judge or shame, the more I smile and tell you I am fine and they are fine and there are no struggles because I am too busy being delighted by the fact that they find magical shapes in everything including their own poop, (Seriously, what is with that?), the more I yell and hurry, and not use my words to love them.
The more I try to hide my shortcomings as a mother, the more they rule my time at home.
I don’t think I am alone in this, in this space where it is so.hard. but I pretend it is so.good. and not the hard-good that it is but all rainbows and butterflies and glitter (oh have mercy my house is covered in glitter) and magic. It is. It is all of those things, but sometimes it is hard. So danged hard. And sometimes I need to hear that I am not alone. That I am not the only one who misses her kids through the day and comes home and wishes for bedtime. Not every day, not all the time, but some days, and sometimes there are three some days in a row.
I guess what I am wondering is, am I alone? Are you struggling through this to? Does it get better? Do your kids turn out okay, even if you have to apologize to them on the regular?
I just need to know I am not the only one.