Failure As A Parent

Yesterday was one of those days…well maybe it’s been one of those weeks…where I am down and frustrated with myself.  I convince myself I’m failing as a parent, having no idea how to handle preteen anger and back talk, second guessing all my parenting techniques.  I’m having more difficulty than usual letting go of my to do list to give my kids the attention they deserve and want.  I’m wondering if it is even possible to be a good mom with 4 kids when they all want one on one time, they all want that attention, but eventually you get to a point where you feel drained, tired, and mad at yourself for not getting more done in the day….and all you want is some space and quiet.  You aren’t as excited as you want to be when they ask you to do something with them..you may secretly roll your eyes and think…I just want to sit down in a quiet spot for 5 minutes.  Just 5 minutes.

I want my kids to feel loved all the time, to always feel wanted.  They are the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I wish I could show them that 100 percent of the time.  As a self-proclaimed introvert, having enough quiet and alone time is something my mind craves, but is difficulty to get regularly with 4 kids.  If one child is acting out, it mentally drains me, to the point where I’m not patient with the other kids even though they are being well behaved.  I went to bed last night mad that I didn’t get all the laundry done, didn’t get time to check my oldest’s homework, frustrated that I left dishes from dinner in the kitchen, upset that the yelling match with my preteen happened once again, and disappointed I didn’t laugh with the kids and seem more happy around them.

I went to bed telling myself I was a failure.  I forgot to give myself grace.  Instead of focusing on the fact that I made a homemade dinner (attempted my husband’s salisbury steak, which was chewy and my oldest complained…although both my boy’s finished their plates), the fact that I helped all my kids complete their homework on time and get to bed on time (we may have not had a bath in 2 nights), the fact that I cuddled and cared for a feverish boy all day while also working out, cleaning the kitchen once, doing 3 loads of laundry (yes, I still went to bed upset my kitchen wasn’t clean at the end of the day and their were 3-4 more loads of laundry not done)…the fact that I took the time to play Double Solitaire with my angry preteen and laughed when he played a practical joke on me before bed…I was still focused on all my fails at the end of the day.

We are going to fail every day as parents…multiple times a day that is…but why is it so hard to give ourselves grace and praise for the successes? I talked to my sister today and we both realized how much of parenting failures we were feeling at the moment.  At least we aren’t alone.

I am so worried that just getting through the to do lists every day is going to make me forget to enjoy my kids, see the blessings every day, and laugh.  I guess if I am worried about that, I’ll find a way to make sure that doesn’t happen.

This morning, I felt a little less like a parenting failure.  The kids were all in good moods, I made them chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast….even my preteen seemed less angry.

My feverish boy asked for a salad for breakfast…with tomatoes and sunflower seeds and a mixture of Ranch and Lemon dressing.  That was a momentarily parenting win that made me smile!  My junk food junkie just asked for a salad of all the things in the house!

4151d3b7-a45f-4016-b769-e9d29cb68f04Now, don’t think these parenting wins last long.  As I took his picture and began writing this blog, he ran to the trash, spit out his bite of salad, said he hates ranch and lemon dressing mixed, and asked if we had any Doritos.

I calmly made him a new salad with just ranch, he took 2 bites, and asked me to save the rest, and
now is sickly resting on the couch watching Max and Ruby.

At least he considered eating a salad.  I’m going to count that as a parenting win.  I need all the little wins I can get right now.

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