There are so many things I struggle with as a mom. Preparing food, for one. I hate cooking. I love to eat, but on the average day I will literally forget about eating until I am so hungry it hurts. I am not great at thinking about fun meals and super nutritious snacks. That's just not me.
Getting babies to sleep on their own. Such a struggle for me. I apparently just suck at this. My almost-three-year-old is still in my bed for the majority of the night, so clearly I don't have this figured out. And even though we started out so good with Gavin, and he was in the newborn napper part of the pack and play for the first three months, guess who's in my bed now? See? I suck.
Getting in the floor and just playing with my son. I hate, hate to admit this - it's painful. It's shameful. But I am just not good at this. I am such a busy body. I always have a running to do list in my brain, and it is so hard for me to ignore the dishes and the laundry and the dirty toilets and the just overall mess in the house and sit down and play. I'm making more of an effort to do this every day lately, and it really can be fun for both of us. But it's not easy.
Seriously, there are so many things on a day to day basis that I struggle to do well as a mama. But the number one struggle for me is patience. And anger. Oooooh, this is hard. Oh, it's painful. Painful. Good Lord, how I struggle.
I have never been a patient person. I have always been so quick to anger. In my marriage this is a struggle, but I'm dealing with another fully grown, semi mature (kidding) adult that can take it and dish it out and communicate and forgive and forget. With my children? No. Just no. They don't understand it, and they don't deserve it.
I know this. I so understand this. But still, almost every single day there comes a point that I react in a way that I'm not proud of. Kids are slow. Kids are not great listeners. Kids are disobedient from time to time. Kids are just straight up challenging in a million ways. And they test your patience, again and again and again. And it is so. So. So. Hard.
I'm trying so hard to be better. And I am getting better. Much. But there are still so many things every day that threaten to send me over the edge. The blatant disregard for what I've just told him to do gets me every time. Oh man is that tough to take. Oh man does that make me want to snap. And sometimes I do, and I raise my voice and say things that don't come from a place of love. And it never helps. It never improves the situation. It always makes it worse. And I always end up regretting it.
I recently heard something on my favorite little podcast that I've already mentioned, Mom Struggling Well, (learning so much from this podcast, will probably continue to mention it again and again) and it really stuck with me. I actually typed it into the notes of my phone so I wouldn't forget. The guest, and I wish I could remember which guest it was, said that when they are struggling with their kids that they pray "Give me Your heart for my kids". That has become almost a mantra for me. When I'm beyond frustrated and feel that anger rising up inside me and know I'm about to explode, I chant it over and over. When I can begin to see my sweet Grayson from a place of never-ending love and patience, I can see the moment for what it truly is. A not quite three year old boy dealing with emotions that he doesn't know how to handle. A little boy who is testing his limits, like they all do. They have to do it, they're learning and growing and developing into actual human beings. A little boy who may be overtired or hungry or frustrated or needing attention. And when I can see that, I can take a deep breath (or twenty) and approach the situation in a much better way.
I'm not saying this system is full proof. If you could have a chat with Grayson I'm sure he would confirm that I absolutely still lose my temper on the reg. But I am better. I am coming from a much better place just in general, and I am making a continual effort. The daily struggles that we go through as mamas will never go away. Kids will always be kids, we will always be human. But stepping back from the situation and reminding yourself of the realities of the situation can at least give you a second to pause and catch your breath before reacting. And sometimes a second to breathe is all we need.