Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mere Motherhood

There are days (weeks, months, years) where I feel like I will never be the mom I want to be. It's only Tuesday and I'm ready to give up on the week. I know what I'm supposed to do.

be patient
talk kindly and with a soft voice
make nutritious meals and make them on time
read more to my kids, let them watch less tv (or movies for us since we don't have cable)
play enriching games with them so they will learn and know that I want to spend time with them
use a time out method instead of spanking
be consistent
encourage questions
encourage messy play
when one of them has a problem, be a child psychiatrist and help them figure out the answer on their own, or make them think they figured it out
schedule play dates for them with their friends and then return those play dates by inviting their friends here
let them help out around the house and give them responsibilities, helping them follow through on those responsibilities
read from the scriptures with them every day
have family prayer every day
help them make forts
help them play their video games
help them play boardgames
be imaginative with them
encourage them to discover their talents
when one is disobedient, know exactly what to do to help them see where they went wrong, what they should have done, and how to fix it. and do it all with the soft, kind voice and without the spanking

The list could go on. Some of these things are just a matter of making myself do them: playing more, reading more, encouraging messy play--and some of these things are downright confusing: such as being a child psychiatrist (oh my goodness, Jeremy makes we wish I'd stuck with psychology as a major), getting them to accept responsibilities, getting timeouts to actually work. . . .

Others it seems like the world works against me: family scripture study and prayer

Some I do really well with one day and awful the next (consistency problem). Others, I'll be honest, I simply don't want to do: encourage questions (only sometimes), video games, forts, (gasp) invite their friends over.

These days I have a really hard time getting past these failures. I know I should try to look past them, say I'll do better tomorrow, or get myself involved in some service for others, but I've tried to look past them, do better tomorrow, and if I get involved in service for someone else then I've got one more thing to tell my kids to not bother me over because I've got to get a meal made for someone else or bring something to some activity or whatever it is.

How in the world is this to be done and not end each day feeling like crap?


Anonymous said...

I have been having these same thoughts run through my head so much the last few days. Just feel like I'm not measuring up. It was comforting to see I'm not the only one. In fact, I know many moms feels this way. To be the perfect mom in all things all the time doesn't seem possible, because we have kids throwing us curve balls everyday. My hang up comes when I compare with what other moms do. Yourself included, since you always go on fun outings as a family, your kids are geniuses and you sew. How do you do it? Anyway, my point being. You're an amazing mom. I hope that amidst the doubt you can recognize that too. Lots of love. Just remember, there's a mom in Utah that is thinking the same thing.

Leanne said...

It's not. You do the best you can each day and hope that they get something good out of it.

I took a Love and Logic "class" about a month ago, and read this really great book: Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood. (which I am purchasing) It's amazing!! It's been working wonders for Danny and me with our kids. I suggest you check it out!

katie said...

I find myself dwelling on all the things I'm not doing. Usually someone has to drag me out of my hole and remind me I am doing something well. I'm right there with you today. Just from your previous post I know you're doing great.
And I want to know whats up with serving someone else and it cursing your family insted of blessing. I don't know. Guess I'm all about blessings for the receiver and the giver.

Cicely said...

Every mom feels like this. Except for me. I am perfect in every way.

Kellie said...

I guess I didn't explain the service thing well. It isn't that it wouldn't bless my family, it's just that while doing it, it would be more time spent doing something other than spending time with my kids and I'd be standing there in the kitchen making dinner or cookies for someone or something and my kids would be fighting or begging me to help Indiana Jones get to the next level. I'd just keep being frustrated. I'm sure there would be eventual blessings that I'd be grateful for though.

Cicely, I'm so grateful that someone really is perfect :) Now when I'm frustrated I can just think, What would Cicely do?