You ever have those moments when your kids say something that just cuts you to your core? If you have a two year old, hopefully not. But those of you who have older kids, I’m betting you know what I’m talking about.
My toddler doesn’t know how to lie yet. It’s lovely. He says exactly what he is thinking, doing, or wanting to be thinking and doing. Who hasn’t heard the response, “I’m pooping” when you ask a toddler what they’re doing? For better or worse, I don’t have to wonder if I’m doing a good job as a mom. He tells me so with his hugs, the “mommy, play with me!” and the ever constant requests to sit and read a book together.
My older kids are much more complicated. This week, for example, I asked them to do a simple household chore – load the dishwasher. I left the room to put the little man to bed. Come back to the kitchen after a bit and suddenly my simple request has snowballed into a conversation about how I make them feel like failures. Awesome. There was more to the conversation, which I won’t go into here, but the end result made me feel like a total fail as a mom. The very things I’m trying to instill in them are coming out sideways. Ugh.
Ever have those moments?
I wish this was a post with a happy ending, but I just don’t have one. That night sucked. And there have been other similar nights with similar conversations where I’ve gone to bed wondering what in the world I’m doing being a parent. We promote open and honest communication with our kids, and sometimes it hurts to hear the truth about how they feel.
My goal as a mom is to grow our kids into capable, confident adults who have the ability to live out God’s purpose for their life. And I make them feel like failures. Fantastic.
I’m sharing this hoping that it brings you a bit of encouragement, because (I think) all moms deal with this from their kids at some point. When my kids were younger and I was a new mom, I had this idea that if I heard this kind of feedback from my kids, it meant I wasn’t a “good mom.” Now, I believe it’s how you respond in these moments which defines you as a mom. Do you run from the challenges of day-to-day motherhood? Do you lean in? This blog is about the intersection of motherhood and life. And it’s messy, emotional, and full of bumps in the road.
All each of us get is another day. Another chance to try again and learn and grow as parents right alongside our kids. Picture me raising my coffee cup toasting to you, Mama. Let’s go do this.