Friday, April 12, 2013

Not my finest parenting moment.

Have you ever have a moment you're not so proud of?.....
Come on, admit it: we all have moments we are not particularly proud of and would rather not remember.

I just had one of mine.

We were at my husband's family’s Easter get-together this past Saturday.
The day had been going fairly smoothly other than a few minor things but that's bound to happen when there are 22 people in one house.
Dowe (Husband) is 1 of 8, there are 7 grandkids (5 and under), and Dowe’s Grandpa and Grandpa’s wife (R) were there as well.

We were the third car-full to arrive at my in-law’s house.
I went to work putting together the food I was asked to bring and chatted with Grandpa and R about my babysitting job.
The four of us women (MIL, oldest SILs, and myself) were all working preparing dinner while the husbands chatted and kept an eye on the kids: this was all very routine for us.

Growing up, I was one of two children.
I have a younger sister whom I like to call BuckBuck (it’s a long story…)
and we rarely had large family gatherings, except for when my dad’s whole family got together.
Sometimes I get overwhelmed being around my husband’s family: actually more frequently than I like to admit, and even after being married for almost 4 years.

As the night at the in-laws progressed, I could feel myself getting overwhelmed and my mood was changing even though I was trying not to let it happen.
It always gets crazy after dinner.
The same four of us women clean up from the meal, then there is the Easter egg hunt for the younger kids, and before you know it it’s time to leave.

When it came time that families started to leave, parents started to get impatient and short with spouses and with the kids…. All of us.

Monkey had taken off his socks at some point in time during the night.
Not a big deal, right?! Well, instead of giving them to someone or tucking them in his shoes, he just left them somewhere. When it came time to get ready to leave, he could only find one sock. I told him he needed to go look for the other one and he told me he couldn’t.
He would walk into the other room and come right back out without looking.

I lost it: I completely flipped out right in front of everyone.

I took hold of my son and scolded him for not listening to me and not looking for his sock.
I yelled at him VERY harshly for being, well, a two-year-old boy.
Only I didn't know or realize that before my husband went to play Foosball with two of his brothers and dad, that he had helped Monkey try to find the sock.

Then the guilt set in. 
I knew what I had to do: I had to go apologize to my son.

Not only was I beyond embarrassed that 70% of my husband’s family saw me in one of my most unflattering moments as a parent, but I saw my son sitting, crying, and unable to look up from his foot with the missing sock.

It’s one of the most humbling things as a parent to have to go back to your child and tell them you’re sorry. But that is exactly what I had to do.
My husband was going to take our son out to the car for us to leave and I told him I need to talk to him first.
I scooped up my little boy, looked him in the eyes, and told him I was sorry.
“Mommy had a stinky attitude and talked to you in a not nice way.”

I was overwhelmed, tired, and frustrated and I took it out on him.
It happens that way a lot doesn’t it?
If we’re not careful, our kids get the brunt of it.

I would love to tell you that I keep my cool all the time and that I never discipline when I’m upset or angry.
I wish I could say I’m EXACTLY the mom I always dreamed I would be.
But let’s face it, we all have our days and our moments.
We all have our breaking points.
And I would be lying to you if I tried to convince you of anything less.

I’m not a perfect mom (by far!),
I don’t always handle things in the best way possible, but at least when I mess up I know I can go back to both God and my son and ask for forgiveness.
I think in the end, that is what matters most.

1 comment:

  1. I'm also from a small family and my husband is one of 5 children. Family gatherings are stressful for me too, but over time it has gotten better. We all have our parenting triggers: mine is exhaustion. When I'm tired it's very difficult to be patient with a crabby 2-yr-old!