What makes someone a good parent? Is it the ability to consistently be patient? Is it a mother who is able to stay at home with her children, have unlimited patience, creating all kinds of cool crafts? Is it a mother who sees her kids in the afternoons & weekends because she works all day to pay bills to keep them fed? Is a bad mother a mom who gets upset easily when her three year old won't listen so she yells? We all know a bad mom is a mother who neglects her children- but where do you draw the line on good parents vs. bad parents?
I'm having a "bad mom" day. Whether or not I'm a good mother is something only God knows. I know that I love my kids more than anything. I know that a lot of times I lose my patience when Cody doesn't listen or Sawyer continually does something naughty because he thinks its funny. I know sometimes I yell. Loudly. I know sometimes I scare my kids when I get so frustrated that I yell at them or even occasionally spank them.
I know that I judge people unnecessarily over their parenting choices. I know that in public, I do all I can to get my kids to listen or act like I'm not embarrassed when one of them throws a temper tantrum or runs away from me.
I know that I've tried everything I can think of to try to get them to listen. I've been consistent. I've set limits. We have a solid routine that we are convinced helps them be happier kids. I'm not saying we don't stray from it occasionally or that it's wrong to not have a routine. But it works for us & it seems to work for them. We've tried time outs, yelling, spanking, taking toys away, ignoring, positive reinforcement, you name it. I have a hard time figuring out what is "right" & what is "wrong" & more often than not, I feel like I'm doing it wrong. More often than not, I feel like the worst mother in the world & I feel like my kids will spend thousands upon thousands on therapy when they're older because we screwed them up irrevocably.
I know that my kids are well clothed, well fed, have the proper medical care & treatment, & are bathed frequently. They do not go without hugs or kisses or praise & they certainly are not lacking in entertainment. & although we are pitifully broke, we still manage to provide them with all they need.
But ARE WE DOING IT RIGHT?
Is anyone doing it right?
This parenting gig is tough.
I know that Cody's whining sounds like nails on a chalkboard & I know that when the two of them hit each other or fight over a toy, it's all I can do to not walk out the door sometimes.
I know that I lose it with them then I get mad when Tony does the same. I know the both of us barely stay afloat in this sea of crap where the boys are learning & so are we & perhaps, the boys are smarter than us & maybe that's why we screw up so much.
Either way, it's certainly not what I thought it would be. It's impossible, scary, frustrating, beautiful, & worth every minute, no matter how bad of a mom I am today.