My daughter who is 4 requires much grace. Thankful that God had given me the name Kailah Grace, because every time I say her name, I am always reminded of His grace. This week was challenging because Kailah Grace has started associating things that doesn’t go her way as me being a “Mean mom” and when things go her way, a “Nice mom.” How convenient.
I ignored it last week when we were at Target when she was so upset that she couldn’t buy all the cookies, literally every cookie we walked by she wanted. She said, “When I am a mom, I will give my kids all the cookies they want, like a nice mom.” And Tuesday when I was “SO mean” because I told her it was quiet time (a time that we have EVERYDAY) and she needed to read a book or relax in her room while watching a movie. But on Wednesday, as the week progressed and got more and more overwhelming, as we finally got out of the house for our weekly walk (after chasing Jax, who at 19 months has figured out that diaper changes are way more fun when he runs away from me, the pressure of being a “nice mom” was getting to me. The pressures, that I mostly put on myself to be everything to each. one. of. my. kids. was starting to GET to me. Four kids, being everything to each of them was starting to rise around me like water…Drowning me.
Kailah said, “You’re a nice mom.” I literally lost it in the field of grass and flowers, the evidence that spring is here. When we were suppose to be enjoying our walk, enjoying looking at the flowers, when I was letting my mind focus on the endless water that surrounds our view. I lost it- my patience, the self control I had, my ability to not raise my voice at my 4 year old!
“You know Kailah Grace, I don’t care anymore. I don’t care if I am a nice mom or a mean mom. I don’t care. I am here, just being YOU’RE mom. I am getting by daily. So stop it with the mean and nice mom. We are winging it. I am winging it. Somedays you’ll be happy. Somedays you won’t. Its life. Its not mean or nice. It is what it is.”
I shut her down. She was so confused. We walked in silence. She walked, trying to wonder why mom was so upset about being called “nice”. I walked fuming that I had raised my voice at her, my 4 year old who was just happy today. Trying not to cry, I walked realizing two things : One, I needed to apologize for being so harsh. Two, I needed to stop feeling guilty about this mom thing.
This #momlife is real. It’s corners us, smacks us in the face and literally takes over our minds. It encapsulates us with all this information and gives us this box with all these choices, with an audience of critics and judges to condemn us. Organic, GMO’s, food additives, T.V time vs no T.V time, Breastmilk vs forumla, sleep training vs crying it out, staying home vs working, us moms have the hardest job at trying to be it all, to know it all, and do it all. We make some of the hardest choices and hope, like really hope, pray and cry that it’s right. We (or maybe just I) sit up at night thinking “Am I doing this mom thing right.” “I could have done that better today.” “Oh man I wish I didn’t say that.” It’s the rising of the water. The anxiety of it all being out of my control…trying to keep my head above it.
So in the field, I got down to her level. I looked her dead in the eye and said “Mommy is sorry. I love you and I hear your words. Today I made you happy and I am a nice mom. Tomorrow I will try to make you just as happy, but if I don’t, know I love you.” Then we kept on walking and enjoyed our snack overlooking the water.
Be assured that you can control the pressures in your life. You have to look it straight in the face and conquer it. Be honest about it and know that you can do this, whatever “this” is to you.