Two spankings, a time out, sent to her room a few times, and multiple corrections, peeing herself…all in one late afternoon/evening. It’s draining. Makes me think am I such a horrible parent that I’m just doing it all wrong? Have a slacked so much at discipline that now it’s just a nightmare. Correcting and disciplining all the time is just consuming and I don’t want to do it anymore. It takes everything and the other kids are left looming around trying to stay out of the way, missing my attention and longing to play with their big sister in a friendly, non-instigating fashion.
Last night as I cried the stress out and talked to God about it I asked what I was doing wrong? Was I just a horrible parent? Did I miss it altogether? Is it all because of the trama she has experienced? Surely after nearly 3 years it would be getting better not worse. But then I am reminded that someone close to me once had a dream about my little girl a long long time ago and that everything would be ok. The purpose of it was she would be ok. I cling to that. I am also reminded that God is by my side in this specific “adventure.”
She may drive me a little crazy, she may be way more independent than most 7 year olds, assumed by most people to be 10 instead of 7, she may be more stubborn than most, more opinionated and set in her ways than many, more instigating then I prefer, more dramatic then I prefer as well, impulsive and bossy. I wonder what I did wrong as she storms off yelling, “I don’t want to hear what you have to say! You don’t love me! I don’t want to hear it!” Wonder why her rude disrespectful words come shooting out at the flip of a switch and if it’s my fault because of bad parenting. But then I am often reminded of how awesome she is.
The most avid book reader I’ve ever met. Gifted when it comes to how things work and building and creating. Athletic, fit and healthy. She is an awesome big sister when it comes to taking care of her little siblings. The first on the scene with an icepack or bandaid. The first to offer to read to them, to teach them how to do something, to “babysit” if I’m busy, to hug them, to cook, to rock the baby to sleep. She genuinely loves her siblings and people. Always ready to help someone that needs it. Her independence is a blessing. She can clean the bathroom, do the dishes, sweep all on her own. She can cook, prep, help with potty and baths, is a fantastic organizer (her desk drawer is immaculate…just don’t die getting to her desk! ha!) She can walk to the mail, walk her sister home from the bus and make me the sweetest gifts… the list could go on.
Sometimes the struggles overwhelm and start to erase the big picture of how wonderful she is. Sometimes I get so focused on why she just had the tantrum, so drained from giving her the hug of restraint so she doesn’t hurt herself, from correcting her for the millionth time for not doing as she was told, that I forget that she is an amazing little girl.
That sounds horrible, but as I spoke on Sunday at church, be real, don’t be a cheese ball. That’s my real life. In the midst of the crisis the big picture, the good sometimes vanishes for a moment and it’s ok. It doesn’t make me a bad parent. It makes me real, human. I am human afterall.
Today I am thankful for my daughter. I am thankful that she will be ok. That her future is bright and full of possibility. That she has a kind heart, that she is smart, that she is brilliant. I am thankful for that moment as I tucked her in bed last night of giggles while reading some of my childhood school work. I am thankful that God made me her mommy and that when He did He gave me the tools and gift and patience necessary to be her mommy. I’m thankful for my girl.
Keep your chin up fellow parents, we are all human.