I don’t know about you but at the end of the day I tend to do a little recap. I replay things. I mull it all over in my mind. And all too often, I’m left with feelings of guilt.
Tonight was one of those nights.
It was a good day. A great day really. The kids made it to school and preschool dressed and fed and on time. I went for a long walk with some girlfriends this morning pushing Lizzy along in the stroller. I stocked up on groceries for our company over the upcoming Easter weekend and almost caught up on laundry. While the big boys went to basketball with their Dad after school, I played in the backyard with the three little people blowing bubbles and pushing on the swings. We had ice cream treats for dessert and a Nerf war in the living room before books and bedtime.
But you know what I’m left thinking about??
I was a little snippy at bedtime.
They picked the three loooongest books in history and during the last one (one of those dang VS. books…tonight was Tarantula vs. Scorpion) they each interrupted me to tell a story or count the spider’s legs or say “um, uhhhh…I forgot” about a million times until finally I snipped, “Okay, no more questions. Let’s just finish the book. I bet you don’t interrupt the teacher when she’s reading at school!”
They were quiet. I finished the book, said prayers and tucked them into bed.
And now I’m left feeling guilty. I mean, who shushes two curious little boys for asking questions or telling stories or being interested in a book?
I’ve glossed over ALL THE OTHER patient and wonderful, loving and caring, exhausting and hard, push-through-the pain things I’ve managed to do for the entire day from 6AM to 9PM for five little people and a husband and instead I’m focused on the snippy voice I used when my kids were stalling bedtime.
Moms, why do we do this?
Why do we hold ourselves to ridiculous standards and perfect expectations?
Why are we always feeling like we aren’t enough? Like we must not be doing it right? Why are we continually worrying our children, who are loved and cared for 99% of the time, are going to be scarred for life by tonight’s snippy bedtime voice?
We wouldn’t expect this of a friend. Or our husbands. Or our own parents. And certainly not from our children!!!
Today Luke spilled his milk…again…as he does almost nearly once a day. He pestered his sister endlessly and enjoyed all her screams “Noooo. Stooop!!” in reply. He wore mismatched clothes and muddy socks from yesterday although somehow he showed up at the grocery store completely barefoot saying “I just forgot!”. And once inside, he pretended to shoot EVERY SINGLE PERSON we passed by with his obnoxious gun sounds despite my shushes and threats and ‘please don’t shoot people’es. He dumped water all over the floor at bathtime. And he came out at least three times after bedtime…once to say he had to poop but then after I’d been sitting with him for a while admitted “I don’t have to poop. I lied”.
And you know what? I still believe he is the most adorable and amazing four-year-old in the entire world!! I wouldn’t change ONE SINGLE THING. I love him wholly and completely and with every fiber of my being. To me, he is perfect.
So can we just take it easy on ourselves? Can we give ourselves a break? Can we remember we are humans?? And messing up and getting it wrong and using a snippy voice after a 15 hour day spent raising other little humans is bound to happen from time to time??? Can we begin focusing on the good and wonderful and loving things we provide for our families and give ourselves grace for the times we mess up?
My children are loved and adored. I’m doing the very best I can every day. I am an imperfect human raising five other little humans and I am giving myself some grace. That and I’m banning those stupid VS. books from bedtime!!
Tomorrow is another day…