I recently had a conversation with a friend and we both came to the conclusion that we felt like we failed as moms this summer. For the first time, we were looking forward to our kids going back to school and we felt terribly guilty. What went so wrong? There were amazing and wonderful memories made, but there were also times of great discontentment and bickering. Did we forget that we acted like this as kids or are we raising monsters?
I recall feeling annoyed that we had to go grocery shopping when I was little. I’m sure I complained. I expect disappointment over the announcement that errands need to take place when they are in the middle of doing something fun. I don’t feel like shopping either, but the cookie jar is going to run out of Oreos at some point. I don’t understand the negative reactions when there’s an announcement about going to a splash pad. Is that their go-to emotion? If so, we need to fix that!
Fighting about Fighting
The kids literally had a fight over whether or not they were fighting. In these moments, I feel the anger bubbling up inside of me and I want to scream like a boiling tea pot does on the stove. At times I have to walk away and ignore their bickering and let them figure it out. I know that my reaction to their fighting is not going to teach them anything but more bad behavior. I feel guilt at the same time that I am not correcting them. I don’t want to give up, but there are days I’ve got one foot in the door of defeat.
Teaching Good Character
I used to think it was hard to teach my little ones basic obedience and manners. I have to laugh at myself from 5 years ago. Teaching good character is FAR harder. I often come back to the fact that some of their bad character is a direct result of how they see me act. They hear my negative reactions to things that don’t go my way. Sometimes it’s my reaction to them when they don’t behave. We have tiny eyeballs watching us at all times and we need to be a good example.
I wish this post had great words of wisdom about how we overcame the bad habits, bickering, and boredom. It’s a work in progress and now that the kids are back in school, I’m diving into those parenting books that sit on my bedside table.
- Parenting by Paul Tripp
- Be the Mom by Tracey Eyster (Focus on the Family)
- Teaching Responsibility by Walt Brock
- That’s My Son by Rick Johnson (How moms can influence boys to become men of character.)
No time to read? I have to force myself to sit and read. My husband loves to read. He just finished Parenting by Paul Tripp and said that should be the first on my list. I’m a big fan of podcasts because I can keep working as I listen.
I’m currently enjoying the Truth.Love.Parent podcast.
HERE is a link. I stumbled on an episode titled What’s a peaceful parent? Peace is not a feeling or emotion. It’s a state of being which is hard to define. Webster’s dictionary describes peace as a “inner contentment”. That’s when I realized I needed to work on myself to experience peace. Diving into podcasts and books will help me be a better parent as I train the kids God has gifted to us. Truth.Love.Parent has new episodes weekly and they are always an encouragement.
The Bible is also a wonderful source of parenting wisdom. The verses below are mentioned in the episode, “What’s a peaceful parent?”. On a particularly rough day I was clinging to each word. God helped me through my frustration and disappointment that day.
I’m sure my social media feed doesn’t portray the frustration I felt this summer. I don’t want to share negativity, but I do want to be real about where I stand in parenting. The struggle is constant, but I’m thankful I have a God that doesn’t give up on me and I pray that I can be a mom that doesn’t give up on our kids. Did I fail as a mom this summer? At times yes, but we did have a wonderful summer together and the routine of fall came at the right time. While the kids are off to school, I’m trying to soak up parenting resources to be a better mom.