As you know, I am the Mom to three small (Yet HUGE for their age) children. All together now.

How small are they?

Miss Emily, my youngest, is just days shy of turning twenty months old. I was hit with a realization the other day that I parlayed to Honey.

  • When Graham was a few days shy of turning twenty months old? I GAVE BIRTH TO NATHAN.
  • When Nathan was a few days shy of turning twenty months old? I was FOUR MONTHS pregnant with Emily and starting to (Finally!) get over the all-day nausea. “Morning” sickness my, um, DONKEY.

His response to this realization?

NO WONDER PEOPLE THINK WE ARE CRAZY.

True, dat.

Most days, the craziness is kept to a dull roar. My kids are, generally, pretty “good” kids. Strangers love them, friends adore them.

A large part of their “goodness” is inherent in the nature they were born with. The other part is due to the fact that Matthew and I feel, no, KNOW it is our responsibility to mold them into people who love God, respect others, and are truly great people.

Trying to instill values into our kids and trying to help them be the best they can be? IT IS HARD WORK.

Sometimes (OK, often) I lack patience.

First, we have Graham.

Graham

He went through a stage a few months ago where he thought throwing attitude was FUN.

Apparently it is a developmental stage for Kindergarten kids, and apparently we beat (figuratively) most of the attitude out of him, but there are moments when that attitude rears its ugly head. Today was one of those days.

Then we have Nathan.

Nathan

He is at that lovely three-year-old stage where the whining voice takes precedence over the normal voice. The whining! It might just kill me! I will ask him to stop whining and he will say, “But I ‘m not whiiiiiiniiiiing“.

Yes. YES YOU ARE.

And then we have Emily.

Miss Emily

She is no longer a baby, yet not quite a preschooler. Her vocabulary is exploding, but some words still lack comprehension on my part. She will be yelling a random “word” at me and I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THE HECK SHE IS YELLING ABOUT.

Take the above three issues. Stir with exhaustion from working long hours, coupled with the fact that everyone has GREEN SNOT HANGING FROM THEIR NOSES, and we have a recipe for disaster.

I worked all day, then went to Boot Camp. I arrived home close to 7pm. Honey had been on “Parent Duty” (Heh. I said duty.) since breakfast. I sent him out to the workshop (Freedom!) and threw the kids into the bath.

It is that “final meltdown” time of the day. There was swiping of toys, there was whining, there was screaming. I had a stellar response.

“STOP YELLING!!!”

It appears I live by the “Do as I say, NOT AS I DO” mantra.

Graham asked if I was mad at him. If I still loved him.

Sigh.

I tried to explain to the boys that I was tired, and that I just wanted them to stop yelling and TAKE THE VOLUME DOWN A NOTCH. Or twelve. I assured them that I loved them beyond all comprehension. I managed to get all three kids into bed and sat down to reflect on the day.

Patience is a virtue that does not come naturally to me. It has come a long way, but it could be MUCH BETTER.

Sometimes I wish that I was one of those parents who did not care. Who did not have to battle with their kids to teach them how to be GOOD PEOPLE. Except I know in my heart that the struggle is worth it. So, so worth it.

It is hard work, this parenting gig. Some days? I feel grossly under-qualified.

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  1. Hannah June 5, 2008 1:05 am edit

    You and I are VERY similar. I struggle with the patience thing EVERYDAY. And like you, I often wish that I didn’t care so much. I have also yelled those words: “STOP YELLING!!!” and regretted it immediately.
    I long to have more patience.
    This is the HARDEST job ever. EVER.
    But we’ll get there in the end. Promise. ;-)

    Hannah’s last blog post..French-Style Lamb Shanks

  2. Andrea June 5, 2008 6:14 am edit

    I hear ya, and I’m right there with you. Daniel suggested a whining collar the other day ( you know…ZAP! every time Judah whines.). He was not serious, of course. But the whining does exhaust a person. And the attitudes, and the infant crying…

    Oh yes. You are speaking my language when you talk about the hard work, the struggle, and feeling under-qualified. I comfort myself with the knowledge that God never makes mistakes, and He gave me these children, these particular ones, because I am the best mother for them. Even though some days I want to send one of us to the moon… How’s all that for honesty! :)

    Thanks for keepin’ it real…. yo. ( sorry, I couldn’t help myself with the “yo”)

    -Andrea

    Andrea’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday with a Twist – “Uniform”

  3. ali June 5, 2008 6:35 am edit

    yes, my oldest was 4 1/2 when my third was born. they are close in age, my spawn. and yes, people think i’m nuts…but, for us, it totally works. i love that they are close together!

  4. Kristabella June 5, 2008 7:05 am edit

    I don’t have kids, but I do spend a lot of time babysitting my niece and nephew. And I have a hard time with patience. I’ve gotten so much better, but I always wonder how I would do it everyday with kids of my own.

    And I commend you for caring and wanting to raise your kids as exceptional people! More people should follow your lead! It is SO worth it!

    Kristabella’s last blog post..Bacon – The San Francisco Treat

  5. witchypoo June 5, 2008 7:31 am edit

    I think everyone has insecurities about their parenting. But you have goals and plans, and know what you are trying to instill in them. But I’m the Mom who once called her teenager a Son of a…and then before I finished it, we both cracked up laughing.

    witchypoo’s last blog post..Dollhouse

  6. gorillabuns June 5, 2008 7:44 am edit

    Most days I feel like my voice has been at bull-horn capacity.

  7. Kami June 5, 2008 8:12 am edit

    I can so relate to this. And Nathan and Kamden are going through the sme phase. The whining is killing me.

    :-)

    Hang in there, the module must be at least half over by now…

    Kami’s last blog post..The First Annual Khlopchyk Awards

  8. Mrs. Wilson June 5, 2008 8:22 am edit

    tee hee!

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one! Kaylie has also questioned my “loving her”. I also have NO PATIENCE not helped by stress. Stress added to a lack of patience = no fun for kids, at least mine.

    I think you’re doing an AMAZING job. If strangers love them and friends adore them, you’re doing a great job!

    Sometimes bed time just doesn’t come early enough. I HATE bedtime, but I LOVE when it’s overwith and it’s QUIET in the house. I love quiet.

    Mrs. Wilson’s last blog post..My Daughter the Author, My Daughter the Monster

  9. Sharon June 5, 2008 8:26 am edit

    I’m learning about patience too. Granted, it isn’t in regards to children, which I’m sure is much more difficult, but patience is a hard thing to learn, isn’t it?

    You seem to be doing a wonderful job raising your children, and I know they will grow up to be wonderful adults. I know it must be hard, but parenting your children well will have its rewards. I’m so grateful to my parents for the way they raised me, and I’m a better person because of it.

    Sharon’s last blog post..Failure to stop

  10. Amanda Brown June 5, 2008 8:30 am edit

    Days like that are rough. I remember my mom saying to me and my brother, while in the midst of being disciplined, “I love you too much to let you grow up to be a brat.” It’s something I think of when teaching Avelyn to listen, etc. It’s so that she’ll not be a LOSER when she grows up. Hard work though, because sometimes they sure act like little narfs. :)

    Amanda Brown’s last blog post..Worth the Weight

  11. songsinblue June 5, 2008 8:37 am edit

    I think you (and Matthew) are doing a kick *donkey* job! :)

    songsinblue’s last blog post..Full Circle Part 2

  12. Kristie June 5, 2008 9:04 am edit

    It’s an exhausting job, but it’s the best job in the world, no?

    Kristie’s last blog post..Dress for success

  13. Sue June 5, 2008 9:51 am edit

    I wish there was a way to give yourself (and by “yourself”, I mean ME) a patience injection. Mine wanes as the day goes on and by bath and bedtime, I am done. D.O.N.E. Just a little booster shot at that time of day would be great…

    Sue’s last blog post..School’s Out – It’s a Disaster!

  14. sizzle June 5, 2008 10:27 am edit

    Parenting is the most important job and I think, from my vantage point, you and your husband are doing a fantastic job. It’s not easy but it’s well worth it, isn’t it? That’s what I hope!

    sizzle’s last blog post..Diggin? It

  15. Michele June 5, 2008 10:55 am edit

    I think you’re doing a fabulous job! Your kids always look so content and happy! Having younger siblings and friends with kids, I can relate to the bedtime meltdown sessions…So fun! It must help a bit that those kids are so cute!!!!

  16. Don Mills Diva June 5, 2008 10:58 am edit

    You are doing a wonderful job at a very HARD gig. Your children are obviously happy and thriving. And also you named your son Graham too so obviously you have impeccable taste…:-)

    Don Mills Diva’s last blog post..Grateful

  17. Shelly Schmelzle June 5, 2008 12:41 pm edit

    De-lurking to say that you are not alone!! Parenting is so hard and I just don’t want to screw them up because I’m too impatient and yell. I have a 5 year old who will go to Kindergarten in the Fall, a 2 1/2 year old and a just turned 2 year old and there are days that I don’t know if I’m going to make it another. But, you’re right God has blessed us all so abundantly and he will give us the strength to go on and forgive us for the days we screw up royally. Thanks for being real and sharing with us. It’s relieving to know that I’m not alone!

  18. Elizabeth June 5, 2008 12:55 pm edit

    I think that yesterday was definitely one of those days. In our house, too… the noise level was a little more than I choose to put up with.

    Elizabeth’s last blog post..Help a MaMa out?

  19. Janssen June 5, 2008 1:22 pm edit

    What a sweet post. I don’t have kids yet, but I already know that patience will be a big struggle for me since I have exactly none.

    (Also, I just resubscribed to your blog when I discovered on Rhi’s blog that you had switched to a full feed. Yippee! Thanks!)

    Janssen’s last blog post..Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

  20. Elaine June 5, 2008 2:58 pm edit

    Is there an echo in here? I could have said all these things (although probably not as eloquently and well… I don’t have a third that is a girl… but still!). I hear you about the yelling thing. I laughed at the “do as I say, not as I do.” That is so me, dangit!

    Elaine’s last blog post..Listy List List

  21. Leah June 5, 2008 3:16 pm edit

    I can’t believe you were four months pregnant when Nathan was Emily’s current age. That pretty much blows my mind.

  22. rachel June 5, 2008 3:33 pm edit

    I feel your pain.

    It’s like swatting their thigh and then telling them in the same breath not to throw stuff/hit/toss their sibling.

    Yep. We’re awesome.

    rachel’s last blog post..We all have to fake it sometimes

  23. The Over-Thinker June 5, 2008 4:15 pm edit

    As one who does not (yet!) have any children, all I can think and say is that you’re one helluva mom and the system that you and Matthew have is rockin’.

    In about 15-20 years, I’ll bet you’ll hear from each of their mouths–”I hope I can be as good a parent to my kids as you’ve been to us.”

    Until then, you’ll have to settle for the following:
    Graham: WhatEVER, Moooooom!
    Nathan: I’m NOOOOT whiiiiiining—moooooooooommm! Graham is rolling his eyes at me!
    Emily: NOO NOO BAHA BAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH! BAAH! (translation: I wish I had more hair—but aren’t I just beautiful?) :) :) :)

    The Over-Thinker’s last blog post..WITCHYPOO: Thanks for letting me unofficially guest post on your blog!!

  24. christy June 5, 2008 4:49 pm edit

    What!? You’re not a perfect mother!? Shame on you!

    Seriously though. Some days I wonder just what the heck have I done to my life. I’m a yeller too. Sometimes I shudder to think what I’d be like with truly bad kids.

    You’re doing a wonderful job. The evidence is right in front of you in those three little dudes.

  25. SarahD June 5, 2008 8:17 pm edit

    I hear you…I just finished my 2nd full day with my 3 boys on my own without a vehicle while hubby is away and it SUCKS! Doesn’t help that it’s raining and we all are severely bored, but my patience is so low and I have found myself yelling just a little too much. Ugh…I hate being a nagging, yelling mother. It is SO hard, SO relentless. I keep saying like the little blue engine…I can do this, I can do this.
    I’m with ya’…sending ((hugs))…we can do this, we can do this.

  26. Kaza June 5, 2008 8:41 pm edit

    Oh girl, you and me both. The patience? I mean really, does anyone have it? The whining is UNBEARABLE, and the yelling, it just must stop (theirs, not ours!). I only have ONE and I feel this way, so I can only imagine how it is with three. We can’t be so hard on ourselves. It’s a tough job, and so what if we sometimes let them know it? We love them, and that’s what matters. (And they know it!)

    Kaza’s last blog post..Say Hello to My Leetle Frieend….

  27. Angela June 6, 2008 2:26 pm edit

    You sound like you are doing a great job Angella. At least you are trying to be intentional about parenting which many parents out there aren’t doing. And yes, patience is very hard when the older ones are whining and crying and the baby is screaming bloody murder because you are letting them “cry it out” for naptime! Only with God’s help…that’s how we do it.

    Angela’s last blog post..What was I thinking?

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