Sunday, September 19, 2010

My Own Box

Entering the grumpy stage...

the crabby stage...

the mean, nothing-will-satisfy-me stage...

I don’t wake up ready to fight or ready to yell, but lately, it just seems that when it comes to managing this household of mine and hearing 2 pre-teens and 2 teenagers go at each other and at me, I just can’t help myself when the words come spilling out...

I have never called myself the most gracious and tender-hearted mother. I have a difficult time showing compassion to children that whine, complain, make rude remarks (and smile when they get the reaction they were waiting for), and have to be told (7 times) to put back what they just got out!!

See, I look at mothers (you know who you are) that undeniably were born with that certain extra gene, which allows them to be in a constant state of patience. They smile with loving eyes to children that are having a meltdown over having to take a shower………they pick up each and every toy, sock, towel, video game controller that has been left nonchalantly around the house, without so much as a complaint or comment. They happily clean every dish, wash each and every piece of clothing, and cook every meal with heart-felt joy. I look at these mothers and all I can do is laugh…….because I know my reality.

I know I have that big, long, disgusting list that holds everything I am not, everything that I SHOULD be, everything that the ideal mother strives each and every day to become. See, I’m nothing near that. I’m not that mother, nor do I pretend to be. Does it weigh on me sometimes? Sure……..Do I compare myself to that ideal? Yes………but out of guilt……..not out of realistic expectations.

If I changed that LIST of motherly attributes that I do not possess, it would look something like this:

As a mother, I need to work on:

****saying 1 positive thing BEFORE screaming

****consistently refer to the chore chart no matter what mood I’m in

****keep my own mouth shut when the sarcastic and rude comment wants to come blaring out, especially when certain children have asked the same question 5 times straight without a pause to let me answer!!!

****hugging instead of visualizing myself smacking that “roll of the eyes” off their face

****taking the video games, cell-phones, and lap-tops away when every direction from me is met with a pout, a rude comment, or an irritating attitude

****acknowledge to myself that there will rarely be a time that I am appreciated, valued, or simply loved for just being a mother…….that I don’t get a break from this responsibility, that I can (no matter how difficult sometimes) see my children as individuals instead of aliens that have come to make my life HELL, and to remember that this (no matter the difficulties) is what I signed up for when I chose to have a child, or 2, or 3, or 4..

Now before I start getting all of the hate comments regarding this post, let me remind all of you that I am NOT, and don’t pretend to be, a perfect mother so there is no point in wasting your breath to try to make me feel guilty. Remember, I know that “best-mom” award will not be making its way into my hands.

I also know that despite my grumpiness, my screaming and yelling, my dramatic squealing, there is no expectation that I can hold myself up to because I am who I am. I believe there will always be things to which I can improve and ways that I can become a better mother. But will I let that control me? No…Will I let that dissuade me from telling my children flat-out what I think? No..

I have a lot of faults, a lot of attitude, a lot of opinion, and a whole lot of passion.

So I don’t expect my kids to be any different! I complain, whine, yell and scream! And so do they!

So I guess that’s to be expected……….like mother, like child.

I can’t be anything less than me, faults and all. So, to HELL with the box that this mother is supposed to fit’s too small anyway.


Reyna said...

Quote, "Instead of thinking outside/inside the box, just get rid of it."

I don't know if I should be happy about this or not, but I can SO relate to your post. My children could've thought I'd written it.

I am past this stage, but there were 2 times when I had 4 teenagers at once! I know, I am STILL recovering.

There is something that I did learn about myself regarding this insanity around the last 2-3 children left. (Meaning at home- not alive)

I realized that no matter what I told myself or how bad I WANTED to handle things differently, no matter how many times I tried, it could not and DID not happen until I started taking care of ME.

If I didn't, I spent my life in GUILT (real close to where Denial is on the map). (I am writing a post about it.)

It was hard as I'd always put myself last, (MY eat, pray,love post.) But until I LEARNED how to do it, and then DID, I harbored resentment instead of the love I was SUPPOSED to and wanted to be feeling.

It took time and a lot of change as it was a new concept. It was also not easy as I came against opposition for setting boundaries for how I allowed myself to be treated. BUT it has SO been worth it because it literally changed our relationships from being destroyed.

Of course I am a few years out now, so it's easier to promote, but I would not change it, except to have made the change sooner had I known.

Candace said...

Thank you Reyna......see, this is why I love to get comments, so I can hear the wise advice given to's so nice to know that others have made these steps before me and can offer well-intentioned advice.
And you're right, just get rid of the box!!

Gigi said...

Without a doubt - lose the box. We aren't meant to fit into boxes that are designed for others anyway.

Nobody ever said being a mom was easy - but darn it! Nobody ever said it is as hard as it is some days!

Thanks for swinging by today - your words were much appreciated! Love your blog design - it's gorgeous!

Chanel said...

I loved this post because it was so honest. There are many moms out there that try to portray themselves as the perfect mother. When in all honestly they feel the same way you do.

I haven't got to the pre-teen or teen phase yet but I'm in the terrible-twos which can be just as frustrating.

Also I had given you an award:


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