Loving the Good – More than Hating the Bad

Do you ever have those days where you just sob most of the day and feel like you are FAILING at this mom thing? Like a big fat epic mom failure? No…? Okay, well, I have them. A lot. Let me tell you about my most recent one yesterday…

Yesterday started off at the 6am wake
Up call for Abi and Jackson. I come downstairs before they come down, make pancakes for J and put donuts on a napkin for Abigail, place their breakfast in their normal Spots, make their drinks with their favorite ghost straws, only turn on the dim lights because the bright lights hurt their eyes. Load up their lunch boxes with their favorite lunches and finally get them Downstairs – To which I’m greeted with grunts and Groans and really snarky responses when I simply ask them if they need more of something. I keep making that damn “shhhhhh” noise so they don’t wake Up their very moody two year old brother.

That failed. He wakes as they walk out the door. And not on the good side of the bed.

I’m gonna fast forward a few hours – it’s 11 and they’ve all been at school. Jackson comes home with yet another “bad note”. I’ve been getting them almost daily this year. I had a phone conference with his teacher and she tells me how sweet and amazing he is. How everyone likes him, loves him even. He smiles, he’s pleasant, he loves making kids laugh and is the best friend. But…he can’t quite sit still and is more “hyperactive” than most four year old Boys. I get this bad note an call Andrew. “What do we do?” We talk to him, encourage him, discourage bad behavior. Have rewards and consequences for school behavior…..it’s so discouraging – DAILY, to hear how your kid is “bad”.

But, as I am talking to Andrew about this, he clicks over to another call. Yup, Bens school. He apparently had been screaming all day in class (that high pitched OBNOXIOUS screeching that he does alllllllll the damn time) and when put in timeout for it – he hit. No surprise to us. He’s a challenge. So, he got kicked out for the day and we had to
Pick him up early.

Cue instant tears. Grumpy mornings, bad notes, kicked out of preschool. Sure, in the big scheme of life these aren’t life altering issues – but to me – yesterday, it sucked. I instantly sobbed to Andrew that we are “doing things wrong”. There is no possible way that more than one child is a Challenging child. Our daily life is loud. It is chaos. I have to yell a lot, feel like I’m Always coming down on the kids for not listening, and sometimes I just flat out give up and sit down on the verge of tears while
The kids carry – on in complete hot mess express mode because frankly I’m so tired of being the only one that hears my own voice.

I am failing, right?

Recently, (by recently I mean the past 8 years since I decided to have kids) I’ve been in random conversation with many different people…. I’ve gotten much “advice” – “tips” if you will, on Ways I should or should not be parenting or disciplining my kids. And, it doesn’t fall on deaf’s ears – but I do have to be honest and say some of those things just aren’t for me.

Sure, I certainly don’t want to raise little assholes, but it physically pains me to discipline in certain ways. It’s bad, I know, I know maybe I’m sucking at this mom
Thing. I know I’m too much of a pushover in most things and overly strict in other areas that I shouldn’t be…. I don’t have it figured out. I won’t pretend to.

And, perhaps your preschool kid doesn’t hit or Scream and maybe they pick up their toys the first time they are asked – does this 100% promise they won’t turn out to be rebellious teenagers or college dropouts who get caught up in the wrong Crowd? Will this promise that they will trust and call you one night at the age of 17 because they made a bad decision and drank – knowing you’ll be there for them first and ask questions later….versus get in the car and drink and drive? I mean, what really is the right way to parent? What are the key things to really Instill in our kids?

So, I am failing to some, probably most. And yesterday – I sucked at this mom thing. At the very least, my kid’s teachers probably thought that!

But, at risk of making this blog post too long….let me tell you a little bit more about my kids.

Abigail is a force to be reckoned with. She is beautiful. She is smart – like so so incredibly smart. She is the BEST student and her teachers ALWAYS comment on her integrity, her passion, how she’s a great citizen and an amazing friend. She is honest. Like for real, this girl cannot tell a lie – nor does she want to. Her love language is gift giving. Abigail would literally give you the shirt off her back. She loves people. All people. We recently moved across from a family with four kids. Their oldest is Adopted from another country so she is African American and the rest of her family is white. Two months after spending every day with this family which we have become amazing friends with we bring up in front of Abigail a comment about the little girl being adopted. Abigail knows what adoption is. Her one cousin was placed for adoption and her other cousin was adopted into our family. Abigail says “wait, she is really adopted?” The sister replied to Abigail a comment about noticing they looked different – and Abigails response was so pure and awesome. “Yeah, I guess but I thought skin color didn’t matter”.
Yes baby girl. You are right. Skin color does NOT matter. For that moment, I was so proud of her. She looks past hate, color, size, poor/rich, and just loves. Blindly. I love her heart. I love her heart more than I hate her sass and disobedience – which I do hate!!

Jackson, my four year old love. My little fighter from day one. He is hands down, the most genuine and loving kid ever. He is so much like me it’s scary! He hates to be hugged or touched but just wants you near. You will never see him without a smile on his face. He giggles, he laughs, his charm is a killer. He waves and shouts hello to EVERY one and he has never met a stranger. He can’t sit still to save his life and is hardly quiet but he will do anything to make a friend and I have been told by complete strangers his hello and smile has made their day. He makes best friends daily and I will always always be in complete awe of the total Pureness of his heart. I love J’s passion and zest for life. I love his passion and zest more than I hate his disobedience and inability to sit still.

Ben, well, he’s two and the jury is still out on him – but he sure is cute to look at and I can’t wait to see what he becomes.
But for real, I love that he still has the baby innocence. I love that he wakes up with a little squeaky “good Norning-time” and asks to “nuggle you mommy” at bedtime. I love that he can play for hours in solidarity with trains and he fights to let go of my hand as he attempts to foster his own self security and independence in this big wide world. I love his sweet “soft kisses” as he calls them and his baby giggles more than I hate his screams and the fact that he can be such a bully! And, trust me – I hate that!!

So, all that to say…yesterday I felt like a failure. I felt like I was raising little assholes and was convinced they’d be in the “special”
School by 1st grade and have a criminal record by 16 because I’m not throwing away their toys as a punishment or not making them sit down for the whole meal and eat all of their dinner until it was gone even if it was cold….

Yes, I know I have a lot of growing to do in this thing called mommyhood. My kids could probably – errrr – definitely be better – but I have to just pray for them and myself really. Pray that I make the right decisions daily in the guidance of their little lives.

The things that I feel are important in life – being respectful, being happy, being blind to hate, loving others, being honest, being tolerant, being good – not the sit at the table for the whole meal good, or the pick up the toys the first time I asked you at two years old good – but the good that will stand up
For what’s right and wrong, the good that will call me when they or a friend is in trouble, the good that will love people and make friends. Just good hearts. I want that for my kids. I want them to have good happy hearts. So, with that reflection – today – I feel like less of a failure. I actually feel like a great mom, with great kids. The chaos and handful, and the two year old bully Ben….. Make me Want to quit most days – but I have this big faith that these kids will grow to be extra-ordinary lovers in this world that hates.

Don’t be so hard on yourselves mamas. I don’t know if I’ve ever met the perfect mom yet and we are all just doing the best we can.

Honest Confession: I’m NOT the perfect mom, heck, I’m not even a good mom
Half of the time, but I love my kids, and they love me – and I am passionately teaching them to have morals and values and love unconditionally – and I’m SO proud of their hearts.

957 responses to “Loving the Good – More than Hating the Bad”

  1. Great blog!!
    Yes I feel like a failure everyday when I let my 23 month old watch 4 hours of electronics (cellphone or iPad).. then when he gets bored in a store or in the car I give him the iPhone to keep him quiet and patient..I know that can’t be good for him but yet I do it anyway because he loves it.. also he doesn’t care for books.. we don’t have storytime before bed or ever.. so that’s my mom-failure