Warning: This post was supposed to be a light touching on why MD was stressful and then move on to show you what I made for the mother's in the church and pics of my kids swimming and climbing trees. I am warning you right now that, instead, this turned into some sort of therapy session psychobabble that I apparently had on my heart and mind for a couple weeks now that has had me in this mood I'm in. Oops. LOL Proceed with caution, and you'd better pull up a chair. It's lengthy! I will do a part 2 with the lighter mood.
I don't think I ever actually posted about Mother's Day, did I? I feel like I've been a slacker blogger for the last little while. I am in some sort of FUNK and I don't even know why!!! I think it all started around Mother's Day, honestly.
I'll just be honest and say I feel like such a failure as a mother. I just do. Back before going on Wellbutrin, I really got angry a lot. Over little, unimportant things. I think back to times I have blown up at the kids and made them cry and it breaks my heart. I mean, it does still happen. I'm human. They're human. We all have good days and bad days (me and them!!! lol). Now when it happens, though, it's because they really have pushed me to my wits end. It's not over something petty. I read on the news yesterday where a mother choked her son until he passed out. I think he was 15... or 12. Can't remember for sure. But do you know why? She started yelling at him in a fit of rage because he was doing his chore of picking up dog poop that day instead of THE DAY AFTER. So he hadn't NOT done his job. He apparently overdid his job, probably trying to please her, and still managed to really upset her. <sigh> Well, I didn't choke or physically harm any of my kids, but I did feel like I was ridiculously demanding if that makes sense. I dunno. My husband wasn't a fan of meds in the antidepressants/antianxiety category for years. Now he has seen Wellbutrin make a difference in my attitude, so he says he does see that some people probably do need help with issues. I guess sometimes you have to be the one going through something before you can really know how you feel about an issue.
So as Mother's Day was approaching, the kids made me a card at the gym daycare telling me what a great mom I was. My youngest daughter constantly writes, "I love you, Mom. You are the best Mom I ever had" (ha) on her notepad at church, throws her arms around my arm, and smiles up at me. Middle daughter is such a trying kid yet writes me little notes all the time doting on me for various things like meals I cook or for homeschooling her or doing certain things for her. Oldest daughter always wants to be with me, and my son loves me to bits.
Instead of these things making me feel super happy, they bring guilt. A story from my childhood: I have a nephew just less than 2 years younger than me. He would come to our house quite a bit when we were kids. We were more like siblings rather than aunt and nephew. My dad had planted some rose bushes out in the front yard. They were beautiful. My nephew and I had the idea to give the roses to my mom, yanno... to make her happy. Being little kids, we didn't cut the stem and all. We just took the actual flower part off the bush. We presented those to my mom and she was very, very angry that we had "ruined" her flowers. She lamented the fact that she couldn't even put them in a vase and enjoy them because we hadn't cut stems, just flowers. My mom spanked me for that. Mom told my nephew's mom when she picked him up, and she didn't think a thing of it. He didn't get in any kind of trouble.
That story told, my mom feels terrible about that. After the fact, she realized I was just a little kid doing what I thought would please my mom. She brought the story up not too long ago herself. She told me how much that has bothered her. Now that I'm a mom, I do realize that sometimes things get so stressful that we react instead of thinking of things through our kids' eyes. I try really hard to look at things through my kids' eyes. They definitely do see things differently, don't they? LOL Sometimes, though, I fail and react.
All I could think of coming up on Mother's Day was that my kids were praising me and I didn't deserve it. I was thinking of all the stories they will remember years later about their mom, just like I have negative memories of my mom. My husband thinks I really don't see things correctly. I will admit that lately, honest to goodness, nearly every time we are in public someone comes over and compliments us on our "well-behaved children." We mostly get this at restaurants because the kids enjoy sitting at their own table. We will sit next to them at our own table. The kids stay seated (for the most part), use their manners with the waitress, and don't cause a ruckus. There are times when we have even been embarrassed, thinking they were bad (son is LOUD like his mama) when someone will walk over to us and say how impressed they are. Then we just look at each other and laugh because I guess what is bad to us is still well behaved to others!!! He always tells me that I am really the one who has taught and trained the kids because I am with them the most and that when people compliment them, they are really complimenting me.
In my mind, I just think of kids running around at home, sibling rivalries, wild playing, a messy house, mounds of laundry, a sink full of dishes, school papers that need graded or corrected or filed. I see that as failure. In reality, that is just LIFE. I know that. I really do. I just need to get over the messes! I used to be one who would have a fit and clean from top to bottom before we had company. Now, though, I realize that probably makes my mother friends feel like failures. I know it does me when I go to a perfect home. So I clean up messes but leave things NORMAL. I don't hound my family to get things "perfect" and make them wish we weren't even having company. I have received more relieved sighs from fellow mothers that my house wasn't perfect than I ever did compliments when I did major cleaning! No one wants to feel like they are the only one, yanno? My friends can sit and talk with me about how things just can't be perfectly in order and clean while raising kids, especially not while homeschooling and them always being here. We have fun. We talk. We feel sorry for each other. Haha
Mother's Day morning, I woke up to a long text from my husband. He doesn't really text. Takes him forever. Lol So this was a big deal. But his text only depressed me. He told me something to the effect of, "I remember when we had no children and it was your heart's desire to be a mom. You are a wonderful mom to our 4 children. I'm glad God answered your prayers." So sweet. But that morning, it just made me feel so guilty!!! Then I got up to a homemade sign on the kitchen wall that the kids had made telling me what a great mom I was. I thanked them and hugged them. Then I saw the UNBELIEVABLE mess in the younger two kids' room and all the dishes in the sink and just felt sour. I felt GUILTY. I felt guilty for the messes bothering me!!!
My main issue with self hatred is the guilt that I feel from hating messes and sibling arguments and toys laying all over after everything has just been cleaned (and they do clean their own rooms and have chores around here). I prayed for these children. Children come with messes and arguments and responsibilities. They don't remain cooing babies with chubby cheeks and toothless grins forever, yanno? I mean, duh! That sounds so simple, but that's why people say, "We want to have a baby!!!" No one says, "We want to have a pre-teen with hormones and eyes that roll at you" or "I want a little boy to pee off the front porch without me knowing and get me arrested" or "Oh, I can't wait until one day when I can step of Lego's at 3 am!" LOL
But I do love my kids. More than anything. Even more than a clean house. My heart aches when I read news stories like this past week where a 5-year-old boy was killed at his birthday party by a guest who was leaving as he tried to retrieve his new baseball out from under their van. And my mind can't handle all the "what ifs" when another child has been found dead after an abduction. I want to punch someone's lights out (Wellbutrin or not!!!) when I hear of someone physically abusing an innocent child! I might get upset with my kids, but don't you dare mess with them!
I'm trying to force myself to realize that I am enough to my kids. They love me. They know I'm not perfect. I tell them when I'm in the wrong. They are getting older and can tell on their own when I'm wrong. I always end up going back and apologizing when I have overreacted. Sometimes it is they who have to apologize to me for their actions. I do have bad memories from childhood, but I also have good ones! I still call my parents nearly every single day. I don't hate them. I LOVE THEM. I don't need to let my own feelings of unworthiness block out the love that is being offered to me by these four balls of stress and joy all rolled into one!!!!