Learning from parenting failures (April 26)

Welcome to Facebook, where all parents appear perfect, and all children appear adorable and charmingly feisty. Like a Caillou TV special. 

Today was one of those epic parenting failures. 

l’m exhausted: yeah, it’s a state of being with an infant in the house. The demands of motherhood are feeling particularly burdensome today. I woke up with a sore throat because the weather can’t seem to make up its mind, so that we don’t know whether to turn on the A/C or the heat (turns out last night it should have been the heat). CE decided the best way to say good morning to her baby sister was with loud clicking noises right in my ear, startling both TG and me in the middle of nursing first thing this morning. We’re in a bit of a hurry because I have to get the baby to her check-up this morning (and the pediatrician is an hour away–that’s a story for another time). blah blah blah…

Obviously, I did not handle this morning well. Even TG must think Mommy is cukoo at this point (fortunately for me, babies have short memories). Seriously, who gets mad at a baby? 

Being a stay-at home-mom is the hardest job in the world, says every SAHM with a slighty desperate look in her eye. It really is. So many people, especially women in my experience, look down on being a full-time mom as something you fall back on if you aren’t talented or smart enough to do something more important or fulfilling. And yet, how many jobs out there happen 24/7 with little to no chance of a break (yeah, infant TG refuses all bottles, lucky meee)? How many jobs can you not go home from? How many jobs as complicated and unpredictable as parenting come with no training? How do you convey the nuance of living as a social being to a tiny Napoleette without scarring her for life along the way? 

The truth is that raising new citizens to be kind, generous, thoughtful, well-adjusted, contributing members of society is both vitally important and fulfilling. But it is also difficult and all-consuming. And it is too easy to lose one’s sense of self in the midst of all the trials and demands of these vulnerable little people. Trying to maintain adult hobbies and interests and intellectual pursuits feels next to impossible in light of the neediness of babies.

So this morning l failed to keep composure, to teach them what is right. Now I get to teach them what humility is. That’s the saving grace of parenting: your children are always ready to give you a second chance (and third, and fourth, and…) l pray for God’s wisdom to get it right this time.

Aaaand, 3yo CE just came over and informed me l forgot to say sorry for yelling. With a big smile on her face. That child would poke a sleeping bear just to see if it would let her watch My Little Pony one more time.

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