Mom…can I have…um….
WHAT?! You’re stressing me out, kid!
Some days, I am full of love and patience and only soft words for my children. Other days, though, I am impatient and unkind. I am Old Yeller. Trivial things get under my skin. Usually ones that happen after some major annoyance. (Like the toddler knocking over an entire two-liter of Sierra Mist on purpose as you’re pouring a little bit for your sick preschooler who’s laying on the couch. And that was after the dog puked on the floor and the kitty jumped up on the kitchen counter and ate my breakfast.) There are times when I imagine living with cameras in my house, recording my every move. Super Nanny wouldn’t approve.
I know it’s normal. I know it happens to the best of moms. But it bothers me. How will I be remembered? I rarely remember my mom losing her temper with us, but I’m sure she did. If I want to model Christ’s love to the world, it needs to start within the four walls of my home. But sometimes, I fail miserably. I am not the mother I wish to be. I wouldn’t let a childcare provider snap at my children this way, so why do I allow myself?
I pray that I can model grace and compassion to my children. Not grumpiness and with a side of short temper. And to be honest, I wonder if going back to work will be the cure. Time away from my children to fully appreciate them. When the time was short, my temper was long. Now, when the time is long, my temper is short. What a catch 22. But somehow, miraculously, my older daughter especially, doesn’t love me any less. Today, while we sat at the kitchen table eating lunch, I was annoyed that she’d dumped all her food off her plate. She wanted to make a “happy table” not a “happy plate.” I sounded like a barking dog scolding her for such behavior. She carefully began picking up her food. Silence hung in the air. I quickly shoved salad into my mouth, ready for the next disaster to strike.
“I love you mom.” I looked at her, and she smiled. She saw past my moody exterior to the loving mother within. She loves freely, forgives easily. Perhaps she’s the one modeling Christ for me. Maybe we’re given children for this reason. They bring out my worst, and give me their best. Even when they aren’t learning from me, I can learn from them.