It’s no secret I’ve been struggling with parenting lately. M.J. has had a bad attitude and I wonder what I am doing wrong. I will think, maybe I’m ready to have another kid… then I have a really hard parenting day and feel like I am not even capable of parenting one kid. However; this morning I was reminded parenting is fun and fulfilling sometimes.
I asked M.J. if he wanted me to read him some books and he brought a stack of books over. I think we read about seven books and he sat on my lap and paid attention to the books the whole time. I told him, “I like reading books with you.” And he said, “I like reading books with you, too, Mommy.” (Cue my heart melting). Reading is one of my favorite things to do with M.J. I love reading and I hope to pass on my love of reading to him. I started reading to him when he was very young. He got to the phase where he didn’t want to sit and listen to books unless it was bedtime, but he has recently started sitting and listening to books at various times throughout the day, too. It makes me so happy that he likes reading books. I’m so glad God blessed us with the story time we had this morning.
I try to remember to find joy in the little things, but I have to admit it has been difficult lately. When M.J. has a bad attitude, I feel like I am failing as a parent. This, in turn makes my depression worse. Yesterday, I didn’t feel like playing with him and I felt guilty which contributed to my depression. It is important to remember that it is not possible to play with your kids all the time. Right now, kids are home most of the time. Of course, they’re going to want someone to play with them all day long. Also, 3 years olds don’t understand that we have other things to do. M.J. also doesn’t understand that sometimes people want time to themselves because he hates being alone. It’s okay and normal to want a break from your kids. I don’t know any moms who enjoy playing with their kids all day, every day. It is exhausting playing the “shooter” game M.J. made up multiple times. He always says I’m playing it wrong. I don’t understand his 3 year old rules, apparently. It’s okay if you don’t always feel like playing with your kids; this is a completely normal feeling.
I need to remember to look to God for perfection, not myself. It is impossible to be a perfect parent. It is impossible to be a perfect child. I need to remember to have grace with M.J. and myself. We all makes mistakes. This is because we’re human. I make mistakes. M.J. makes mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. God is the only one who doesn’t make mistakes. He chose me to be M.J.’s mom and I’m so thankful I have been blessed with him. I often feel like I have no idea what I’m doing as a mom, but most moms feel like that. It’s okay to be overwhelmed. Parenting is hard. You’re a good mom.
“When we throw shame at our children’s failures, we create hopelessness in them. But grace! Grace inspires hope. Grace affirms that, because of Jesus, there is absolutely nothing that can make us unlovable to God.”- Mom Set Free by Jeannie Cunnion, p. 188