Kids sure have a way of (figuratively) punching you right in the gut when you least expect it, don’t they? Their unassuming words can wash a blanket of guilt right over you in nothing flat. And before you know it, you’re feeling like the suckiest parent in the world and saving your pennies for the future therapy that your kid will inevitably need thanks to you.
Yes, sometimes, even when you dedicate over 98% of your day to your children, it’s still apparently not enough. My son pointed this very fact out to me one night last week while tucking him into bed. He was beyond tired and cranky and ready for sleep, and he blurted out an accusation so stinging that he might as well have stabbed me right in the heart. Through a haze of tears and snot, he said, “You like your iphone more than you like me.“ Ugh. That REALLY hurt.
Given that writing is my passion and that my ultimate goal is, in fact, to write a book some day, I am on my computer and phone a decent amount of the time. And yeah, I like to hop on my Facebook here and there to keep me in check with the adult world since Phineas and Ferb are swirling around the background of my home 24/7. And even though I know deep down in my heart that I bend over backwards and forwards to make my kids happy whenever I possibly can, my son’s weepy insinuation totally made me question every single one of my parenting skills. I couldn’t help but think, “Have I been a bad mom?”
I swallowed the ginormous lump that was trying to take over my throat and told Mr. Grouch that I would choose him over my iphone any old day. Naturally, he drifted off to Dreamland without so much as even a second thought, but I, however, stewed over this guilt all night long. Why, as parents, do we do this to ourselves??!! NOBODY is perfect (not even you, June Cleaver!), yet we kick our own butts over not being the perfect mom or the perfect dad.
I have learned lately that I am the Queen of Guilt-tripping. I take a new trip everyday, it seems. I made them eat cereal before daycare instead of eggs and toast. . .Ooops, we left the house before reminding them (a third time) to brush their teeth. . .It's pizza for dinner instead of some homemade casserole concoction. . .I really shouldn't have a Mommy's Day Out today, my stinker has really been clingy lately. . .It's almost never-ending the amount of added stress that we as parents pour on ourselves everyday. As I lose sleep, yet again over the words of my four-year-old tonight, one important fact spontaneously comes to mind.
On the seventh day, God rested.
Heaven knows His daily To-Do List rivals mine. Creating the sun and moon and stars and whatnot. (I would like to point out that He did not have laundry to keep up with. . .but I know that issue is a separate post entirely!) God walked with us everyday, but there were still other things to accomplish. Nothing necessarily more important than us, but the business of provision was still on His mind. And then, on the seventh day HE RESTED. I need to remember this in those moments that I beat myself up for having a little "me-time" when the toddler duo is banging on the bathroom door full-force. I especially need to remind myself of this when my precious Grouch decides to make mommy (unpurposefully) feel like a complete failure right before bedtime. Who am I to think that I can take on more than God? I need to embrace His example without guilt.
I never WILL be the perfect mom. But I strive to give them all I have everyday. I could continue to dwell on ways to sacrifice even more of my sanity and moments of “recovery time” so that I don't have to get guilt-ridden accusations like I did tonight, but at some point, my efforts would be worthless. Because kids will always demand more. And more and more. They are attention-mongers who cannot be satisfied. Especially my precious monsters. So, although I will try harder not to prioritize anything above them, I will resolve to the fact that I'm enough. My kids have the most awesome mom ever. They just don't know it yet.