This week has been one of those weeks where I feel like I’m failing miserably in every area of parenting possible. Do you have those days? Why does this parenting gig have to be so hard? And why does it feel like so many other parents have it all together?
My oldest has a temper. He’s had a temper from the time he was a baby. I remember as a toddler he would get SO mad about things. Like… not normal toddler mad. It continued on and now he’s 10 and he’s just… so negative all the time. We try to do fun things with the kids and lo and behold, we always have Negative Nancy about everything. I feel like he’s slipping away. Like he’s moving into this tween age and I’ve lost connection with him and Ryan’s lost connection with him and life is just SO BUSY that its hard to make all 4 of them feel loved and included all the time. Truth be told, this kid is amazing. He’s so helpful and so social. I realize that some of the best times I really, like REALLY, get to see him shine is when we’re camping and its night time and we sit by the campfire and he just has a blast chatting with the adults. I adore how he can hold a conversation, try to catch sarcasm and when picked on he tries to give it back with this cool swagger. I pray that this part of him becomes the biggest part of him that others see. That all of the hard things that I see at home are just what he saves for home. Like, fighting with his brother. OH MY WORD its never-ending. I know people say “Siblings fight” but I don’t find it acceptable. I don’t want my kids growing up hating each other, and I don’t know how to further encourage them to love each other more. Its like Porter has this horrible disdain for Hudson. We constantly ask him to check himself when he does or says something to Hudson “Would you do that to (your best friend)” “No” “Ok then don’t do it to your brother”. I’m about to the point of not letting them have a social life outside of school so that they HAVE to rely on each other as brothers and friends. We went 3 weeks this summer without them being able to play with the neighbors and honestly, by the 2nd week they were getting along so well.
And Hudson…. OH HUDSON. 3rd grade is going no better than 1st or 2nd grade. The first week of school this year started with notes home of him not completing work. He’s working better now, but not all the time. His teacher has begun having him write a note home every time he’s “out of line” at school and sometimes my heart wants to cry for him when I read a note with something petty like “Used too much soap in the bathroom” and “ran in the hallway” “Threw his lunch box in the air at lunch” He’s 8 years old! He’s a kid! And then he tells me he thinks he’s the stupidest kid in class. I’m torn between wanting to be a tiger mom and demanding that he do what everyone else in class is doing, and be like the other kids, and wanting to be mama bear and demanding my child get accommodations because he doesn’t seem to learn like other kids. I feel he has anxiety about social situations, and I also feel there are sensory issues he has as well. He’s so intelligent, but struggles socially. He doesn’t have close friends at all. I don’t want to create this “millennial” child that has to be babied, but there are so many things that tell me a regular school setting isn’t for him. I don’t know if that means homeschooling, but I know that every day he comes home and I have another note about him I feel so defeated. What do I do? Do I go into school and sit with him all day? His teacher did meet with a team last week to discuss options for him, and we’ll meet with her again on the 28th so I’m praying that they take this sensory/social/anxiety stuff into consideration. I don’t think he’s being defiant on purpose.
Amelia. OH this girl makes my heart melt. I feel terrible because this is my last year home with her. I don’t want her to go to Kindergarten next year at all. This girl is going to rock this world, that’s for sure. She is so spunky and full of life and I could talk with her all freaking day. She’s the one kid I halfway feel like I’m doing okay with, even though I feel like she’s always begging me to play with her and I don’t always have the time. The other night I sat and watched her, Eloise and Hudson running through the house, laughing and chasing each other. Lulu was trying so hard to keep up and was cracking herself up. She copied Amelia saying “Go go!” And Amelia said “MOM! She said GO! I taught her something! I love playing with my sissy!” I pray she will always love her sissy.
Eloise. My sweet baby. She’s growing up so fast and holy hell I adore the stage she is in right now. But so many days I feel like I pawn her off onto Ryan so I can get stuff done, and I know my time with her is so different than when say, the boys were her age and were the center of attention, or when Amelia was her age and the only toddler home while the boys were at preschool and school. And Lulu, she just kind of gets what’s left of me. She loves her dada, she’s a daddy’s girl through and through but I won’t lie because it kind of kills me a little that maybe she doesn’t feel like I love her enough or spend enough time with her. The days go by and sometimes I feel like she’s just along for the ride. With 3 older siblings, she kind of is. I don’t feel like I get to really sit and enjoy her like I did the other kids. And there are nights Ryan puts her to bed and I realize I never kissed her good night and then my heart breaks and I feel like I’m failing.
And US. Ryan and I. Oh my word I feel like we both fail over and over again at things I promise we’ll do better. Things I say I’m going to try to work at parenting-wise, things we try to keep each other in check with. Our tempers. Our quick jump to being hard on the kids or negative to them about their behavior. Every night I think to myself “Tomorrow I’ll do better. Tomorrow I’ll remember they’re little, I’ll remember that we’re shaping the way they think about themselves. Tomorrow I’ll remember to treat them like they’re the smartest and most special child on earth.” And then tomorrow happens and life happens and life is chaos and one on one time isn’t spent, and siblings fight and arguments over homework happen and tempers get lost and I feel like it all goes down the drain.
All this GUILT! All this parenting guilt. Please tell me that they’ll turn out okay. Please tell me I’m not the only one that feels all of this FAILURE. Please tell me that there might be more bad days than good but in the end they aren’t going to end up in prison or hating their parents or having horrible views of themselves?
It will all be okay, right?
Being a Mom is hard, such a tough road filled with so much heartache and struggle. Even though I'm just an internet stranger I wanted you to know that from here I think you're doing a good job. I see you trying your very best and caring, loving those kiddos with your all. that's what matters most. I also wanted to tell you that I have a child with sensory processing issues. We opted, after much angst, to homeschool. School is still hard but she doesn't feel deflated and belittled at the end of every day. She feels empowered and affirmed by her parents. Is it hard? Yes. But it is worth it. So worth it. We're in year 4 homeschooling and have three in school plus a 8 month old baby now.