2013 07/11

When my suspicions became a reality: I’m not a good mom

Tuesday. 7:45pm.

Tim has an evening meeting and I’m solo-parenting.

I’m knee-deep in the “bedtime routine” trenches. Not my favorite time of the day. Not a favorite according to most moms and dads.

Our routine is, well…routine. We do the same stuff nearly every night, with the occasional variation of shower vs. bath vs. go to bed stinky. So it should just happen like a well oiled machine. Should.

But we always run into some sort of issue. I’m exhausted and just want to move along to that time where I’m off the ‘mom clock’ and can veg with some good tv or sleep. Despite being tired, the kids are stretching every possible minute to stay up later. Talon wants to jump around the living room and not get ready for bed at all. Zoe is the master at taking forever on the toilet. And Abbi falls into this helpless child mode where she can’t possibly put toothpaste on her toothbrush by herself.

Me: Girls, PLEASE just ready for bed. It is late. I don’t want to yell at you tonight. Do you like when mommy yells at you? 

Zoe: No. Sorry mom. 

Me: Ok, then let’s just get ready for bed without any more issues tonight.

Zoe: Ok mom.

Abbi: Mom?

Me: Yes, Abbi. {getting slightly irritated because now we’re going to start a conversation that will undoubtedly prolong the bedtime routine because you can’t talk and brush your teeth, dear children}

Abbi: Sometimes I like it when you yell at me…..because sometimes that’s the only time you talk to me.

Shoot me. Someone shoot me, please! Make that pain that just took over my heart go away. I wanted to crawl into a hole at that very instant because all those feelings of me failing as a mom suddenly became real. A slap in the face, punch in the gut, real. Shoot me.

Now, the very small rational side of me knows that I talk to my kids outside of yelling or barking out orders and instructions. I ask each of the girls about school the minute they get in the car at the end of the day. Abbi reads to me every night and it often sparks some sort of conversation. Conversations happen.

But those conversations, long or short, funny or serious, are obviously being completely overshadowed by everything else I say or don’t say. Because that is what her precious almost 8 year old mind is remembering.

It’s difficult. My time with the girls is very limited with them being in school. Our mornings are focused on getting fed and ready for school. After school until bedtime we are traversing through everyone wanting mom’s attention at once but wanting to go play and needing to do homework and eat dinner and ready for bed. With the colder weather and darkness coming earlier and earlier, the four of us (5 once Tim gets home) are usually piled into the living room or kitchen and it’s hard to have a conversation about anything. Picture crazy chaos to the n’th degree.

And, if we’re truly being honest, brutally honest, my mothering ability kind of sucks these days. I go from zero to irritated in no time flat.I find myself counting down the minutes until bedtime when I SHOULD be wishing the clock would just slow down.

I know some of you are saying to yourself right now, Stacey, don’t be so hard on yourself. We all have those moments. You’re a great mom. Thank you. But I’m not. I’m not hard enough on myself. I’m not a great mom. I want to be though. Because my kids deserve great. They deserve conversations and patience and understanding and grace.

The kicker is that my kids are really good kids. Sure, they bicker and argue and have their moments, but they’re good kids. And the very least I could do for them is give them a good mom. Not a perfect mom. Just a good one. Still with her moments but one that is remembered for her conversations. Not her yelling.

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3 Comments

  • Gotta love a raw honest momma!

  • oh tears! it’s so hard when they are so blunt. :( conversation and quality time are so very hard. don’t beat yourself up momma. you will find what works. some weeks you will ROCK it and others…well, yah… :)

  • Thank you for your honesty, and being brave enough to admit in public what we all fear in private. There are so many blogs now – and so little transparency. I’ve had some pretty piercing statements from my kids too and some I can share and some I can’t because they are all convictions, and I don’t know how to resolve all of them. I think being a great mom doesn’t mean doing everything great – it means listening to your kids and hearing what they need and that, my friend, you have done.

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