Thursday, May 10, 2012

Robyn on Motherhood

Once upon a time (back in the day of USU and early childhood education) I had all the answers about raising kids and being a 'good' parent.  I was the young woman at the grocery store appalled at the frazzled mother who just completely lost it and had to drag her screaming child out of the store.  I'd think things like, "Doesn't she realize she's the adult in this situation?" Or, "How could a mother ever speak to her child like that?" Or, "Some people should just never have children."  Well, a decade has past since then and I've been humbled...
 I know, right now you can't get over how adorable my children are.  This photo was taken last weekend on vacation. Trapper took it then burst out laughing, "Best picture yet!"... it's a pretty funny one.

Don't get me wrong.  I LOVE being a mom.  It's a gift, each of my kids are a gift and I love them more than I can express.

But being a mom is hard.

And I think the part that's hardest for me is knowing all the mistakes I'm making along the way.  Guess what?  I've now been that frazzled mom at the grocery store making a scene.  I've done A LOT of the 'bad' parenting things I'd promised myself I'd never do.

Have you read Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild! by Mem Fox?
I picked it up at the library a few months ago when I saw Mem's name on it paired with one of my favorite illustrators, Marla Frazee.  I LOVE this book on so many levels.
Harriet Harris was a pesky child.  
She didn't mean to be.  She just was.

One morning at breakfast, she knocked over
a glass of juice, just like that.

Her mother didn't like to yell, so instead she said,
"Harriet, my darling child."
"I'm sorry." said Harriet, and she was.
At snacktime, she dribbled jam all over her jeans,
just like that.

Her mother didn't like to yell, so instead she said,
"Harriet, my darling child.  Harriet, you'll drive me wild."
"I'm sorry," said Harriet, and she was.

The story continues in that vein, until... as you may have guessed, Harriet's mom is pushed to her limits.  She loses control and yells at sweet little Harriet.  Afterwords she sits down and apologizes and they clean up the mess together.

I don't know how to explain it but this story made me feel a little bit better.  It's not like I expected I'd be super mom or anything... it's just I didn't think I'd ever yell at my kids.  But there are times when I do.  Afterwords I always feel horrible and I can't tell you how many times (we're talking hundreds) I've had to sit down and apologize to my kids for the way I've acted... or what I've said... or how I said it.

I have my own personal Harriet (we call him Bibs)...

Yhis kid knows how to get in to TROUBLE!  In fact just last week when we were all out in the yard and all of the kids were making wishes blowing on dandelions. I overheard Bibs... "I wish mama would never yell at me again."  (this was just after he'd gotten in trouble for punching his brother, and I don't think I'd really yelled at him about it, but I had used my stern/angry voice).

Kitten, Snoopy and Bibs.
They make me tired.  They make me cry.  They make me mad.
but that's okay because...
They make me excited!  They make me laugh.  They make me happy.

I'm not going to win the mother of the year award... but I must be doing something right, I mean look at those cute kids!  ;)

Here's to motherhood!  Happy Mother's Day friends.
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