Raising three good kids.
I wonder if I’m failing at all of this momming stuff. I am definitely a good mom when it comes to teaching my kids through play. I come up with really fun activities and always have the energy to teach them in ways they enjoy, whether it’s obstacle courses in our yard or science experiments on rainy days. I remind myself of my mom in that she was a young, fun mom. She always had a desire for adventure and she always treated me as a person with my own thoughts and ideas. She indulged them, like the time she spent an afternoon with me making profiteroles from scratch or the time she took my brother and I blueberry picking right after school. I learned a lot about the world from her and am so thankful for that. I’m happy I’m like that too.
But there’s this whole other part of being a mom that I am just… not good at. I never know the right way to discipline my kids. I’m inconsistent – I will discipline consistently when I’m alone with them, but the minute my husband is home or we’re in public or with friends I let a lot more slide. I know I shouldn’t, but I do because it’s HARD to leave a fun activity when my kids have misbehaved. And it’s hard to discipline one child without punishing them all at once. And sometimes I’m just tired from a full day of discipline and parenting.
I yell too much. I swore I never would but I find myself yelling at them about random things like getting their shoes on after the third time I’ve politely asked. Or I send them to play alone in the basement so I can cook dinner without listening to them argue. Sometimes I have expectations that are too high of them, and other times I don’t expect enough.
Sometimes I feel this panic rising in my heart like I just have no idea what I’m doing and I’m failing them. I don’t think I give them enough attention, but with three of them and a house and part time jobs and endless to do lists I just can’t always find the time.
I find myself worrying that while my kids are very academically advanced, they are missing manners and skills they should have by now.
But then my oldest will surprise me as he looks at the director of the school straight in the eye and wishes her a good morning. Or when he tells me he is happy I am going to hot yoga so I can be strong and feel good and healthy. Or when he helps his baby sister by bringing her favorite blanket to her.
And sometimes my middle child will surprise me as she navigates a playground with a million older kids without a problem, making friends left and right. Or when she tries a brand new food, and instead of spitting it out will swallow it with a polite “no, thanks.”
And sometimes the baby will surprise me with how much she loves her brother and sister. The adoration can be seen in every moment, from her kisses and hugs to her grabbing their hands to pull them to help her with some activity.
All of those moments are so sweet and make me proud as a mother. What do I do to make them happen more and more frequently? I want to raise good mannered children who are not spoiled, who will try new activities and who will have a thirst for knowledge and life that never ends. I want them to be kind to one another always, and kind to me. I want them to learn to make their beds every day and to take care of their things.
I am just babbling here, but it’s something I think about often. And if I’m thinking about it maybe you are too.