I am taking today to try to recover while the boys are at school. I got some antibiotics yesterday, and am working on getting rid of the elephant that took residence on my chest, 2 ear infections, sinus issues, and a sore throat... I am spending my day on the couch with fluids and my laptop.
I haven't really looked at the actual computer in days - so I hopped on Facebook to see if anything new was going on, and I happened upon a status that said: Bad moments do not make us bad Mommies
The poster of these words got them from her Proverbs 31 devotional, but I have to say that I needed those words this week... and really everyday. I'd like to paint them on my forehead.
There are so many times during the day that I feel like such a mommy failure - depending on what's going on... maybe they've pushed my patience beyond the point of return or I feel like I'm failing them by their development not being comparable to some other child that I've heard about. Truth is - this happens more often than not.
We love them so much that we just can't help but second guess every move we make - in the hopes of giving them the best of everything. I want my boys to have the best shot at a great life - great education - and for them to learn all the important things that Godly men need to know about life, love, and faith.
With that said, in those moments where Mommy loses her cool for the 85th time that day - because she's told two very rowdy boys to get off the coffee table 9,000 times... it's hard not to think in that moment after you've yelled at them or swatted their leg... that you've failed them. Or scarred them for life. I look at those sweet little faces the instant after I've lost it - sometimes tears welling up in their eyes... and I just can't help but scoop them up and start to immediately apologize for Mommy not being perfect.
For every night that I just can't wait for them to get to bed... because I'm exhausted and just out of ideas on how to entertain them... I find myself standing in the kitchen imagining them running through the room at some point during the day - and just being amazed at how we got here... how surreal life is sometimes. Then I think about how fleeting life is - and how it won't be long before these days are gone... just memories.
I say all of this because we are our own worst critics, and often get caught up in the monotony of keeping up with the Joneses... when we all know that if my kids talk in sentences at 2 years old or if they only say 10 words - ultimately it doesn't matter. They're all going to catch up in their own time and be just fine. I know deep down that my kids are just as smart as all the others out there that I compare them to - and they're fine... they will be fine. They're just soaking it in a bit longer and will likely blow us away with their speech in just a few short months.
I was the same way with worrying about James walking a bit later than other kids - he walked at 15 months, but when he did - it was only a day or two before he was literally running. He took his time, but progressed to the next step very quickly.
The bottom line is that we're all flawed. We will ALL have bad days - bad moments. Those moments don't define who we are as parents... they are teachable moments. Even if I don't instantly feel guilty - I do take the time to stop and let the boys know that I'm sorry for losing my cool. I use those moments the best I can to show that it's okay to not be perfect and to lose your cool, but it's best to stop and apologize for that - then make it right in the best way you know how.
We are all just being the best Mommies we know how to be - doing the best we can - navigating it all without any instructions and using God as our guide.