messing up mothering

Nov 20, 2011

Why does mothering have to be so hard? Okay, you don’t need to answer that. I know why it is so hard. It is hard because we are dealing with people. People who we love more than anything and we feel this enormous burden to help them the best we can. People who are learning the lessons of mortality. People who are messy. People who mess up. People who are tired and grumpy and full of hormonal changes. AND I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE AS WELL.

Somehow that sets us up, at least it sets me up, to be too emotional, too easily irritated, too hard to live with.

I remember a time when I didn’t yell. When I, in fact, prided myself on not being a yelling mother.

I can’t really remember that mother.

Lately I have lost my cool far more frequently than I ever thought I would. I have forgotten how to nurture in my old ways.

I need to find new ways. Or find my way back to the old ways.

Or something.

Because the decibel level in my home is not where I want it to be and I can’t bear the thought of my children remembering me as a yelling mother.

Navigating these waters and becoming the mother God wants me to be is the most difficult AND the most important work I can do. I know this. The problem is I feel it so strongly, this divine stewardship for these souls, that I mess up again and again and again, all in an effort to do it right. I think I need to somehow let go of the idea of doing it right…but I don’t know what to replace that with…being loving? Being calm? Being a work in progress? Just being?

For now, I am going to focus on apologizing once again and hoping my children will forgive me and not be emotionally damaged by my outbursts earlier today. An outpouring of love is what we all need…and some hot chocolate.

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  1. Anne

    Dang it! I’m so sorry you had a bad day yesterday. Hope things are much better today. You have never struck me as the yelling type, so I’m surprised about this post.

  2. Michelle

    Ah, but Tray you are being a good mom, a good influence to your kids. We ALL freak out at times, but your are doing fine because you are showing your kids how to deal with the aftermath of such feelings, with love and apology. How hard would it be for them if they never hard a model to follow. If you never got mad, they wouldn’t see that we are all human, if you never made up for the outburst, they would have a harder time in turn forgiving others. Trust in the Lord, give extra hugs all day, try talking gibberish when you start to yell, and make sure YOU are getting a stress releasing time everyday! Lots of hugs!

  3. I can’t quote the study, but I remember hearing that there was one done, even if there wasn’t a real one though, it only makes sense. It actually showed that children who see their parents make mistakes, lose their temper, etc are healthier than kids whose parents manage to successfully hide their emotions all of the time. They learn that everyone has difficult emotions and that we all mess up sometimes. They learn how to deal with their mess ups, their strong emotions, and what to do when you mess up.

    • tracy

      I can see how that works and it gave me hope for a minute…but then I thought “wouldn’t that mean I would need to be a good example of what to do when my emotions get the best of me?”