Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chicken and Fries

I can't recall how many times my children ate McDonalds this summer. I'm pretty sure chicken and fries were consumed at least 2 times aweek the whole summer starting in May. A few weeks in there I'm sure we had it at least 4 times. Also, my babes are quite familiar with Donatos pizza, Papa Johns whole wheat pizza (at least it has fiber right?!) and Subway. Let me not forget the large amount of macaroni and cheese that was consumed, sometimes whole wheat and sometimes not. I've become the momma I didn't want to be.

I yell at my kids-loudly and obnoxiously sometimes (I like to call her Ghetto momma). The yelling seems to come when stress increases. I discipline my kids as well and sadly I've disciplined them in anger a lot more as of late. I've become the momma I didn't want to be.

I sing to and with my kids most days. I smile at them often and laugh with them. I enjoy hugging them and holding them daily. I pray for their character and their future a couple times a week. I also pray for the ability to love them unselfishly. I've become the momma I did want to be.

I just read something online that struck me. Mom-101 says, "The best advice I ever got about parenting was from my own mother. She told me that every decision you will make as a parent is right, and every decision you will make as a parent is wrong. Once you learn that, you're golden.And boy, she nailed it.There is no one right way to do anything. Hell, we could find out in fifty years that the levels of mercury and lead in our own bodies is so high that breastfeeding is actually far worse than formula. Science changes, parenting theories evolve, new experts spring up with ideas that we never considered before.

I realize that in general I'm very judgemental, I don't like this about myself. I realize too that the person I'm most judgemental about is myself. I have a feeling I'm not the only one that feels this way about themself. With all the parenting theories/suggestions/commands out there I'm often left feeling exhausted, anxious and overwhelmed about the "right way" to raise my babes. I read something or hear something and immediately evaluate my ability to mother well. I'm so done with feeling this way. Something I've realized in my journey as a mom with 3 babes 3 and under is that some things are really not that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things. Dirty faces, clothes,house, losing your shit sometimes in anger, yelling, tv watching, unhealthy food at times, mommas at home, mommas at work, etc, etc.

What I've also learned is that communicating love to my babes through hugs, snuggling, smiles, kind and patient words, singing to and with them, praying with them and for them and providing them with food, clothes and shelter and having a humble heart towards my kids as well as continually working on my marriage to keep in healthy are all incredibly valuable.

I've also taken a liking to the adage, "It takes a village to raise a child.". Love and correction from family & friends to our babes has been such a blessing for the Hub and I. During times of intense stress and difficulty over the last 3.5 years others loving our babes has been such a blessing. This is true as well when things are "normal" and others just spend time with the babes and engage them in play, conversation, singing, etc. They learn so much from others and they also learn to be self reliant (versus having momma and daddy around all the time).

It is truly challenging being a parent. At times I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to have met these babes and to have learned so much from them and to have the privilege to raise them. But other times I'm overwhelmed by the task and question what I got myself into. I guess it's probably a mixed bag of these emotions from here on out. I'm just really happy I'm not the only one out there raising kids and that there is a whole lot of others that are in the same spot as I.


BoLOGna said...

yes. everything you just said. and you said it beautifully. i keep waiting for that day when i handle it all with ease...i dont think that day is coming. this is as good as it gets. thanks for writing this-i needed it! hugs.

Amanda C. said...

Amen, sister! Couldn't have put it any more eloquently myself. Thank you for the words of wisdom and the realization that none of us are alone in this thing called parenting.

Glass of Whine said...

I think all mommies come down too hard on themselves. I don't know ONE mommy that feels they do things perfectly, doesn't want to change or simply feels that they give enough to their children day in and day out. I feel that the power of love and the power of loving ourselves has much more of an impact than we realize. Thanks for such an honest post.

Lynn said...

I can totally relate to what you said! I hate that I sometimes REALLY lose my temper and get annoyed so easily, and it pains me when I see the girls follow in my footsteps and do it with us or each other. I get so mad at myself, but you're right - at the end of the day, the girls go to bed knowing that I love them, no matter what, and with lots of hugs, kisses and usually a lot of cuddling. I'm really glad you shared this...