I am impatient. I yell at my kids. I get frustrated. I use threats and often resort to bribery with my children. I am a mom who makes mistakes daily, and I feel bad about it. There are so many books and websites out there that encourage all sorts of lovely parenting philosophies about how to be the perfect mom who never yells and has endless amounts of patience. Hmmm… perhaps if I had actually read them entirely I wouldn’t writing this post right now. This is my way of telling all you moms out there who have lost your patience… you’re not the only one.
Scenario 1. I am trying to clean up from dinner, after working all day and rushing home in time for my husband to go in for his night shift. The kids are doing laps through the kitchen and living room area. I try to get the last few dishes into the dishwasher when I realize that the footsteps have stopped pounding and it’s a little bit too quiet. I go into the living room to find the laundry, that had been folded earlier, sprawled across the floor and all over the couches. The kids are nowhere to be found. They are in the bathroom and have poured the bath soap onto the floor and are buck naked rubbing themselves with the soap. They think it’s hilarious. This may seem cute to some, but I am exhausted and patience is the last thing that I have. There are no deep breathes, or moments of reflection… just yelling. I send them to their rooms and start the cleanup process. I so wish I had a personal clean up crew of imaginary little gnomes that would just show up when I needed them. Why gnomes? I have no idea, perhaps I have officially gone delirious.
Scenario 2. A necessary trip to the grocery store leads me into my next outburst of mommy weakness. My three year old daughter is very strong willed and when she decides that she wants to do something… there is not much room for negotiating.This particular day, Jocelyn decides that she wants to push the cart, which is against the rules. So when I tell her that she needs to get in the cart or walk and hold on to the side, she decides that these options are just not suitable for her. After multiple attempts of putting her in the cart, I get hit, kicked and my hair is pulled. I put her down and she starts knocking things off the shelves. I so wish those little clean up gnomes would show up and carry my daughter kicking and screaming back to the car. I know.. I’m delirious. I leave the cart. I carry my daughter in a football hold out of the store while I threaten her with taking away her favourite blankie. Meanest mom ever.
Scenario 3. I normally would never rent those overpriced strollers you see at the mall, however this particular day I’ve forgotten ours at home. So there I am pushing this ridiculous oversized double-decker fire truck stroller through the mall while the kids fight over who gets to sit on the top. After taking the kids to the bookstore, out for lunch, and to an event going on, it’s now time to head home. I get them out of the enormous stroller, and push it back into line to get my deposit back. I look at my son and I see a meltdown happening in real time. I have no idea what’s going on… he’s crying too hard. It turns out that he never got a turn on the top level of the double-decker disaster. I refuse to rent another stroller just to give him a ride on the top, and it turns into a total war zone. I end up carrying Jocelyn in one arm, and dragging him with the other arm screaming the whole way to the car. I tell him we are NEVER coming back the mall ever again. He is devastated.
The kids testing my patience with finger paint.
The fact of the matter is that all moms have their own scenarios they deal with daily and we all handle things differently. I have showcased the times that I have handled situations poorly, because its important to me that as mothers we are honest with each other. Does that make me a bad mom.. maybe… but I can’t take it back now can I? Should I try to be more patient… probably. But the reality is that, all mothers have faults, and we all parent differently. And while I’m not the most patient mother in the world, I am probably one of the most honest ones. When I’m wrong I admit it… to my kids. When I’ve lost my temper… I apologize to my little monsters. When I get angry… I explain my emotions to my children. When I’ve been unreasonable… I correct my mistakes. And while I always work on being just a little more patient… I’ll probably still spend more energy on teaching my kids what it means to love unconditionally. That’s the one thing I know I can do effortlessly. To all the moms out there who have ever lost their patience… you’re still a good mom and you’re not alone.