“I’d like to tell you a funny story about a mama who picked her kid up from Parent’s Day Out.
I mean, I could make it funny if I tried hard enough. Something about how Nugget didn’t want to leave and how he went all limp noodle as soon as I walked through the door.
Or how I was wearing his baby sister and couldn’t do anything as he flailed around like a salted earthworm on the dirty floor. Or how my friend who works at the church kindly escorted us home so I wouldn’t have to pull my son by his shoelaces all the way through our front lawn.
You know, because of all the parents in the world, there is probably ONE who would need assistance to make it the ten yards from the church parking lot to my front door.
Hi. That’s me. (And I really, truly, needed it.)
It would be a pretty funny story if it didn’t end with me crying in this green chair, feeling like a huge failure while my son begins his nap with cried-out, swollen eyes.
You see, the truth is that shortly after we got home, I lost my temper and yelled at Nugget. JUST SIT DOWN! and STOP HITTING MOMMY! and GO TO TIME OUT! And then the baby started crying and I could feel my blood pressure rising and in that moment I looked at my toddler whose screaming mouth was wide open like a Charlie Brown character, and I felt nothing but resentment.
His sweet little cherub curls and fat tears streaming down his face, and all I could think was WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME???
YES. I know how ridiculous and selfish that is. He’s two. I’m THIRTY two. And yet, that feeling of resentment continued to rise up within me like acid after Mexican food. Believe me, I’m ashamed to admit this. It makes me feel sick.
Well, I placed Nugget screaming in his crib so I could tend to his sister, and five minutes later he was STILL screaming. So I threw my hands in the air and raised my voice in desperation, ‘WHAT IS WRONG, BEN?????’
And his eyes widened, he clutched his blanket and whispered, ‘Mommy, I am scared.’
My son was scared. Of me. Because I had raised my voice and lost my temper and because my eyes probably revealed the anger inside my heart.
I spent the next thirty minutes in the rocking chair playing with his curly hair and singing his favorite songs. He’s asleep now. In an hour he will probably wake up and ask for apple juice, an episode of PJ Masks, and some Goldfish. He will be just fine.
But I am SO not fine. I feel like a failure. I’m lost on how to handle these changes in our household. More than anything, I feel like an imposter parent.
WHO allowed me to have two kids? I wasn’t ready for this. I’m not qualified! Sure, I love them with all my heart and do my very best and would walk through fire for these little tots…but I’m terrified I’m screwing things up. That I am not good enough to do my job as a mother.
Well, here I am, hammering away at the keyboard with tears streaming down my cheeks because as I sat in my comfy chair and closed my eyes for a still, quiet moment, I heard God whisper, ‘ENOUGH.’
Enough guilt. Enough of the self-hatred and shame. Enough of the tears and worry and doubt. Enough.
God made me to be the mother of these children. I am not in this position by mistake.
I have to believe that even when life gets messy and I am really screwing up at this whole parenting thing, there will be grace for me. Enough grace. Enough to start over when naptime ends.”
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