Wednesday, December 15, 2010

This parenting thing is hard

This last week has been a struggle.  First Emery got sick.  Just when I was thankful to get a better night's sleep, she was waking many times again.  Then Rowan got sick.  He is home from school for the third day in a row.  I thought for sure he'd be back today, but he just doesn't feel good yet.  Tonight is supposed to be his school Christmas program.  Right now I'm not very hopeful that we'll make it.  I'm so sad!  The very first school program for our family, and we'll likely miss it :(

Part of having sick kids at home means that I am home with them all day.  Last week I made it out to get groceries, and that was about it.  Keith and I also were gone for Saturday for his work banquet, and then Sunday night was our church Christmas banquet.  It's been a really long long week.  I'm really struggling with staying positive.  My prayer all day and night (when I'm up) is that I will have patience.  But you know what?  I so quickly turn into "Angry Mom".  I never thought I was an angry person, but somehow it all comes out when my kids are disobedient and whining.  It's a huge struggle for me.

I've been struggling with this all for a while now.  I was so thankful in Fall when our church started a parenting course called Growing Kids God's Way.  It seemed like a lifeline for me.  But doing it as a church group has proved to be very frustrating for me.  The lessons take 2 weeks instead of one, and there isn't a real good discussion time.  I find myself getting more and more discouraged because I just am not getting anywhere with it.  I'd love to do this with a smaller group.

I feel like a real failure as a parent.  Why can't I figure it out?  Why can't I get through to my kids?  I knew parenting was hard, but this is just eating at me.  I want to find joy in parenting, but right now it's just not happening.



Drea said...

If it makes you feel better tues I screamed at caleb and taite. I mean SCREAMED TO THE TOP OF MY LUNGS!! my kids looked petrified because it was so loud. I just lost it. I was sick and tired of them fighting... I just had it!

I then had to apologize to both of them for loosing it.. but also explained that their constant fighting and being ugly towards one another is really upsetting to their mommy... and that it makes mommy really angry.

Parenting can be so frustrating...
I try to breathe... a lot :)
prayyyy a lot, all day.. like seriously when a kid is fighting i almost feel like im praying as I walk towards them to address the issue.

Im finding I need to be more consistent disciplining tho.. but its hard when u have a little one and so much going on.. because u just dont want to deal with it right then.

I hope the kiddos feel better :( thats no fun....

and do know you arent alone! that helps me ;-)

Mrs. Stam said...

I'm no expert on the subject but here is what seams to be helping us around here :-)

First I would suggest you reading this very small e book (45 pages)

It's change my perspective on training habits (good and bad)

I have to say that I had to learn to practice "self-control" I expected it from our little one but I was often quick tempered and they did learn what what they were seeing and not what have I been trying to preach them!!

That was hard to keep my cool when I'm tired overwhelm and and who knows when was the last time I was alone or even had more then 3 minutes to take a shower before a major crisis happen here LOL

But with prayers and a lot of "I'm sorry dear, mama did not want to scream at you, I love you, do you forgive me"

The lord started to change my heart and seeing what my behavior was affecting more then just me!!!

Don't get em wrong, I still snap sometimes, and our little one still have some grumpy days but we are more happy training and PRAISING good habits :-)

Here is a excellent post that I read and loved it!

Much love

Sheila said...

I've been in your shoes, you know that, and it is a difficult phase of life, but, when our boys were much younger and fighting and just not getting along was the norm around here I would leave almost every evening, often just to go for a little drive, or grocery shop, and even window shop. I did lots of window shopping! Just an hour to myself several evenings a week was a much needed reprive from the "constants" of motherhood. Being a stay at home mom is the most difficult job in the world! As difficult as it is right now you will never regret staying at home with them even during this difficult phase, especially when they're sick. Perhaps Keith could stay home with them a couple of evenings a week, even if it's just for 30 minutes! A brief change of scenery does a mind and body good!

Christin said...

Oh Stacey. I could've written this post. Here's to show you you're not alone:

And here is something to help encourage you:

Hang in there. One day at a time. Be sure to get time in with God because that's your fuel.

Your family is beautiful. Thanks so much for stopping by Joyful Mothering today. Be encouraged. You are not alone. No, that doesn't help you get out of the "rut", but it's a place to start.

You're in good company at Joyful Mothering :)

Jobina said...

It wasn't that long ago that I looked up "Anger Management for Moms" and just read for an evening. Parenting can be really hard, especially when you're on your own during the day and kids are sick or tired or you're sick and tired! I understand Stacey, boy do I understand. There are some great tips out there but one thing that I've learned is that you need to keep learning and keep finding solutions for things. Not only are you constantly changing but so are your kids and with all of that your family dynamic fluctuates like crazy. There's always room for improvement, don't take the need for help or change as failure. You're still a good Mom, a bad Mom just wouldn't care. :o)

Andrea said...

I echo those other're not alone...I'm there too. Let's just say that with all the 'health issues' we've had over the past 7 months I've become someone I don't want to be...worrying all the time, snapping, not enjoying my kids, more angry than I used to be...etc. Yet I DON"T WANT TO BE LIKE THIS!!! That's the most frustrating part...that I can't seem to just let it go and give it to God. I just CAN'T let go and enjoy my family...but I want to so bad.

I'm there with you Stacey...wish I had better only 'plan' these days is praying and begging God to help me out here...and to change me in the kind of mom/wife he wants me to be.

S Club Mama said...

I wish that I had something really awe inspiring or helpful for you but does it help know that I struggle with the same thing? I'm afraid that one of these days is going to be Tristan's first memory (that he'll remember when he's 10 or 20 whichever) and it's going to be of me yelling at him :(

Lia said...

Well, my kids are far from grown (12 and 8) but I can say with a smidge of "been there done that"... that it does get better. Those early years with littles are some of the most intense, all-consuming years for mamas. That said, I am convinced that parents never really get a break from the demands of raising children. There's always something that needs your attention, your prayer, your help, and yes... your yelling, too. :)

I know that there's sometimes not enough time in the day for self care, but you need to create that space for yourself. Especially when you've been on duty for those extra hard times when kiddos are sick and whatnot.

Hope everyone feels better soon. Now, go have a hot bath with a glass of wine or cider or something. And light a candle or two.. cause Mamas are special!

Ellen said...

I read your post earlier in the day and I knew I had to comment. I have been thinking, and I still don't really know or have anything profound to say. I must say though, that it has been encouraging reading all the comments - I think sometimes the guilt of feeling like a bad mom makes us even grumpier and makes things worse. We are just human - and it's comforting to know that we are 'normal' even if it's not positive. I am totally in the same boat as you, especially on long days when my husband's been gone for a few weeks and we are all a little cranky and tired of each other. I loved what Lia said! We need to take care of ourselves as Mommies! Some things I do to try and 'change' my day, stop and count to 10 (sounds corny but sometimes it works to get a fresh perspective, either way it helps me calm down a little), stop and figure out how I can incorperate my children into what I'm doing, put my kids to work (seriously!! I give them both damp micro-fiber rags and get them to wipe down chairs, cupboards, floors, doors, whatever) it distracts them from each other and keeps them out of trouble for a little while :) I know that my situation is a little different, but it can apply for you too, take one day at a time!! Don't let one bad day overwhelm and taint your whole week! Take each new day as a clean slate! I'm right there with you Stacey, thank God for His grace because I know I need it every day!!

Monika Thiessen said...

Stacey, I think most stay-at-home moms will feel what you are feeling almost every day. I know I sure did. There are so many things I should have/could have done different. Like Sheila, I spent a lot of evenings "out". Not that I had to be somewhere but I knew I needed it (and so did the kids) I would make it a point to not come home until I knew they were in bed. If I didn't feel like getting out, I headed for the bath with a book. No one disturbed me there and I didn't come out til the kids were in bed. Did it make me a bad mother? I don't think so. At the time I might have thought so but in hindsight it was the best for everyone concerned. You need that "me" time. Don't feel guilty about it. As moms we tend to look at how we could have done something different and better. We beat ourselves up. A few years ago I had a friend ask me what I did right. That threw me because you always hear "what did you do wrong (or what would you do different)?" that made me stop and think about where my kids are at - not where they could be at. It put life into perspective and I have enjoyed where they are at so much more. Think about what you truly believe you are doing right and trust God to change you in His time in the areas where He thinks you need to change. No one is without areas to change and we are all works in progress. You are doing the best you can. And your kids have the best mom they could possibly have. I know that because God gave them to you - not to anyone else.

Laura said...

You are not alone! I'm finding the same thing now that Jaxon's getting older (and therefore more testing!). I used to find parenting so easy and I thought I was an okay mom...until the last while. I too have many frustrating times in my day where I hear myself the way I'm talking to Jaxon and just hate it! I hate that I get frustrated so easily and snap at him or yell or give him that angry glare.

But I'm pretty sure that there is NO perfect mom, and God knows that. I think that our kids have grace for us (I'm not trying to excuse our bad behavior though) but I think that telling them you're sorry and asking them to forgive you also teaches them that we know we're not perfect (as no one is!) and will help them in their lives. At least that's what I'm telling myself :)

I think being cooped up in the house can DEFINITELY make things worse though!

Anonymous said...

One day they will be teens and you will look back on these preschool days as your favorite! : ) They seem endless when you're in them, but they go so quickly, and years from now you'll wish them back!
You've been given a lot of good advice. Get out and meet other moms for coffee one evening a week, it will be your lifeline.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stacey - I'm one of those lurkers on your blog. I got you off of Drea's Blog whom I really like and respect. I think it was when you went to visit her and that you were from Manitoba (I live in Winnipeg), that made me visit your blog and I've been "visiting" ever since.

I am very much a career woman (I'm still single) and in my secular world, it's just not cool being a stay at home mom. I really love my career and I would be lying if I told you I'd want to trade it all in right now and be a stay at home mom - however I don't have any children yet . . .

Here's the thing Stacey - you don't know all the folks who are reading your blog and who you are influencing by your Christian ideals and being honest about your struggles. Please don't get discouraged, because you speak more into people's lives if you're real then you would if you tried to put up a front. I really admire how you're dealing with these struggles when they come - you try to overcome and you don't seem to even consider giving yourself a way out. You could put your precious children in daycare, but you don't. Doing the right thing is not necessarily the easiest thing, but it is the best thing!

I have absolutely no pointers for you on how to raise children or how to react as a mom, because I am not in that situation, but I can tell you that someone like yourself is a real encouragement to someone like myself, who will know what to do when the time comes - and that is the right thing and stay at home and raise those children, while struggling through it, but it will make the children, myself, the family and society as a whole, a lot better of!

May God continue to bless you and your family!

- Sandie

Irina said...

I understand!!!!!!

Micki said...

Hugs, Stacey!

First, I think you need to cut yourself a break. Every parent has bad days and we're human, we're not perfect! Difficult weeks like the one you've had is bound to bring out less than perfect behavior in everyone. (Including mommies.)

The Lord doesn't expect perfection, He just expects you to do your best. And He definitely expects us all to make mistakes.

Things will get better, children will get healthy and there will be less frustrating days. In the meantime, just try to remember that these issues are meant to test us and help us grow stronger. It's not easy!

Hang in there, toots! I hope this next week will be easier!

Heather said...

I have no idea how I found your blog..I had it bookmarked and it's been awhile since I've been here.

I am not a SAHM (wish I was) and I have and go through the same things you do. I had a very wise person tell me never to pray for patience as then you get things that test it :) There are days I just pray that God helps me be the mommy HE wants me to be.

Truthfully, I think sometimes it's ok for our kiddos to see us lose our cool and how we handle it and the after effects. (I'm not talking about losing it all the time....but lets face it..we can't all be calm cool and collected all the time).

There's been times that I've been down at my kiddos level in tears telling him that Mommy is sorry she was so crabby, short, or yelled at him. It gives me an opportunity to talk about what happened and how we could do it differently next time. IT's SO hard but yet SO necessary. There's not a mom out there that can tell you that they've never gone thru what you've just described. Not one.