Friday, November 13, 2009

some days

Some days are better than others.

Yesterday was an other.

As I read through my previous posts, I notice a tendency. I blog about things that are fun. Lighthearted. I post pictures. I remember the good moments. The upside of parenting.

I read a lot of other blogs. And I notice this theme there, too. After all, who wants to broadcast it to the world when they've had a bad day?

But I think sometimes the bad days are the ones we really need to be talking about. As a mom, there are so many things I wish other moms were talking about.

My kid misbehaves. He's naughty. Some days he drives me crazy. Are there any other moms out there who feel this way?

We jumped into parenting late in the game. Our son was six when we became his parents. When you meet parents who are expecting new babies, they get a whole slew of advice, admonishments, warnings. There are so many new things to learn, there's even a book called "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

I wish they'd written a book called "What to Expect When You're Adopting a Six-Year-Old."

Because there are so many things, when you enter late in the game, that nobody prepares you for.

Yesterday was not a great day. Macieo got in trouble at school. He came home with an "oops" note about his behavior. Our walk home from school was tense and silent.

When we got home, I sent him out to rake leaves as his punishment.

Then he came back in and told me a lie.

I sent him to his room for the rest of the evening and told him he couldn't go to Wednesday night kids church.

He cried.

I didn't care.

I was just glad he was in his room so I didn't have to talk to him.

We woke up the next morning. Macieo refused to cooperate and follow directions as we were getting ready for school.

I yelled.

He cried.

I yelled more.

The yelling and crying continued as we got in the car and headed for school.

I was furious.

He was late for school.

I didn't care.

And to make matters was out of town. So I had to deal with it all by myself.

Before he got out of the car to go to school, I caught myself. As a parent, sometimes it's SO hard to try to be rational with you kid when you're just MAD. But I knew I had to be the grown up and make amends. So we talked about it. I asked for forgiveness for yelling. He asked for for forgiveness for being naughty and disrespectful. I told him I loved him, and he got out of the car.

And I spent the whole day feeling like a horrible parent.

I spent the morning yelling at my kid, and then sent him off to school where I expected him to behave and have a good day. How can I expect him to behave when I don't?

The amazing thing is, he had a great day at school. Kids are funny like that. Resilient.

Looking at behavior from a parents perspective, it seems like it should be so easy. Your child does something wrong. You discuss their behavior. You give them a consequence. Logically, they should learn their lesson, and cease doing the unwanted behavior, right?


It's just not that simple.

So we muddle through. Most days are great. He's so sweet and creative and funny and loving. But other days he just won't listen. And those are the days when I stop and ask "why didn't anyone tell me it would be this hard?"

So I'm telling you. Whether you're expecting a baby, adopting an older child, or currently raising a child of any age. Even after they start sleeping through the night, it will be hard. You'll be more tired than you've ever been. And even worse than dealing with their behavior? Dealing with your own. You'll be forced to deal with angry, frustrated, yelling sides of yourself that you didn't even know existed. You'll realize that you're so far from "good" at parenting that it's scary.

Being a mom has forced me to take a long, hard look at my relationship with God. After all, he is God the Father, and I am his child. And when I look at it that way, I realize that I'm not that much different than Macieo. Oftentimes I don't listen. I screw up. I'm disrespectful. But God loves me no matter what. He is unendingly patient. He is completely loving. His grace is enough.

I desire to be a parent who displays those characteristics of God to my son. But sanctification is a process, and I've got my work cut out for me.

Thank God, literally, for forgiveness.

I still think this is the best job in the world. I love being a mom, and think my son is the greatest kid there is. But this job is hard. So hard.

Some days are better than others.


Jessica said...

Ahh, it's good to know the rest of us are humans, huh? I too have had a not great week, and can feel so dissolutioned that I'm the only one that seems to be messing up life. I'm really grateful that God introduced grace to us, where would you and I be without it?

Joanna said...

Yep, we have those days around here too...I yell and then before nap have to apologize to the boys. In fact, that happens more than I like to admit.
I can't imagine what it is like for you, starting out with a 6 year old. You're doing great!! He is lucky to have you.

Kiki said...

So true. Somedays being a mother can be so ugly. I have days when I yell and then am convicted and I don't want to apologize. Sanctification, no better way to be sanctified than to be a mother.

Shelene said...

Lindsay, thank you for this post. I really needed to read that today, as a reminder for myself as a parent and more importantly, as one of God's own children. His grace really is enough, and I want to become a wife, mother, and sister in Christ who can give grace to others more freely. Today was one of those days for me, and I'm so glad that you shared your heartfelt words with us..

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