I had an entirely different blog post scheduled for today but when I woke up and read Shelly's post, I knew I had to join the "fun". What can I say - Catholic girls love a good confession.
So here goes...
We moved into our house in June 2009 - Radley was the ripe old age of 20ish months. The lock on the backdoor was broken in a way that the door knob was never unlocked. I was home with a sick Radley one day shortly after we had moved in and we hadn't gotten around to fixing that door yet. I went in the back to do something and as soon as I heard the door click I knew. I was locked out and my kid was locked IN. Yep. The garage door was down, the front door was locked and we didn't have a spare key hiding around. I did the only thing I could do - I ran across the street to my sweet elderly neighbors [sans bra] and knocked on the door. Well, Mrs. Joan was so excited that her new neighbor was coming over and wanted me to have some coffee and cake but I just yelled, "I don't have time! I locked my baby in the house!!!" (Yeah, I don't overreact at all.) Well, I use her phone but I can't get a hold of Ryan - who at this point has the only other key to the house. Mr. Jerry and Mrs. Joan come over with me and sit in the backyard watching Radley (who is glued to Mickey Mouse and has no clue any of this happening). Jerry is sure he can jimmy open a window. I keep calling Ryan and finally get a hold of him - and luckily he wasn't driving to Brenham that day but he was in town! 20 minutes later he arrived and unlocked the door. Mickey Mouse just finished, Radley looks up and says, "Hi Dad. I hungry."
He never even knew.
I had a less than stellar day of parenting once. (Yeah, just once). I mean I was spent. Landry was still a baby, I was juggling work, volunteering, nursing, marriage, parenting and then maybe just a tiny bit of time for me. But I dropped my basket. I was on a short fuse and the kids were having a day and now that I really think about it - I can't even remember what it was. But it was enough to make me lose it and in the losing I managed to break a bowl of mac and cheese (that I had to clean up). About 20 minutes later I was calmed down, the mess was clean and we had all moved on. But then Emmy comes up to me and she's BLEEDING from her hand. She had managed to find a tiny bit of broken glass from the bowl and cut herself. She wasn't crying or panicked but I felt so horrible. Needless to say, ice cream all around was given but even if it wasn't those kids hand out grace so freely. Much more than I deserve.
I mean there was that one time I was out town and she needed stitches. Or the time I drove all the way to church and forgot to buckle her seat belt. Or the time we were taking pictures and she fell out of a chair head first and did her first official front flip. You know, basic 3rd kid stuff.
Basically it's this.
Parenting is hard.
Y'all. It is so stinking hard. And for the record, I'm a little pissed that no one told me. (Yeah, I'm looking at all of you that kept that a secret). Don't get me wrong - its the best job in the world - you are surrounded by people you love and that love you. You get to laugh and play and be silly. You get to make them happy with their favorite meal, or a surprise toy or just a new thing of stickers from the dollar spot at Target.
There is nothing in the world as sweet as a sleeping baby, fresh from a bath, in a deep milk coma laying swaddled in your arms.
Except for rocking a 2 year old to sleep.
Or hearing your 6 year old read for the first time.
Or the sounds of a 4 year olds feet shuffling down the hallway because she's scared and wants to cuddle.
Parenting is hard. Really hard. I screw it up like every single day at least. I'm always wondering if I did the right thing, said the right thing, etc... In the matter of a few minutes, I can doubt about 110% of my parenting choices. I worry. I let the devil get the best of me and I worry and worry and worry. About the silliest thinks like... Did we throw them a good enough birthday party? Did we pick the right school? Do we have a good routine? Do we have too much of a routine? Am I too strict? Or maybe not strict enough? Should they watch that movie? Should they drink soda? Or eat fried food? Do they have enough educational toys? Do they have too many toys? What about... what if...
You get the point.
These are really silly things to "worry" about. But I do, constantly. I let social media dictate my worth as a parent much too often. I let the 10% of people's lives be the measuring stick for how well I am doing. I am completely jealous of my mom raising us "way back when" life was simple. (Although it was probably the same thing, I just didn't realize it.)
I am tired and grumpy and miss time to myself.
And if that wasn't enough, we all have our weak spots.
My temper gets the best of me. I lose patience. I yell. I cry. I yell again. I say I'm sorry. And then, my kids move on. They accept me, they love me, they forgive me - so freely and without question. They continue to be such a shining example of grace and goodness.
Every now and then, Radley will come up with a punishment. A couple of weeks ago, he was having a morning, which meant I was having a morning and my lack of patience and Sicilian temper got the best of me. And I yelled. And it wasn't nice... I even called him a name or said something equally as mean and a child. And once I calmed down and he calmed down, he looked at me and said, "Mom...I think you need to write sentences." (That's our punishment of choice around here).
And so I did. I asked him how many and what he wanted them to say...
And once I was done, he moved on. I moved on.
And our day gets better. We continue to play blocks or ninjas or dress up. We read books. We cook together while music is playing. All three kids huddle around the kitchen counter helping us chop and stir. We play outside. We watch movies. We dream. We pray out loud.
And then I think, maybe parenting isn't so hard after all.
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