Friday, May 20, 2011

Parenting Moments, No. 1…

I have been a parent for a little over twelve years now.  And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in all those years, it’s that I have no idea what I’m doing.

Occasionally, I’ll fall into believing that I’m in charge and have it all under control.  Everything is running smoothly, everyone is behaving, so I must be the Best Parent Ever. 

And then I do something so dumb, that I wonder how I have any credibility with my kids at all.

On Wednesday, Lovely L got herself into some trouble while at a friends house.  When called out on it, she stormed out of the neighbors house and slammed their front door so hard that it bounced back open.

By the time Lovely L got back to our house, the other parent had already called and filled me in on the situation.  Due directly to Lovely’s actions, a comedy of errors ensued of epic proportions.  An almost literal domino effect had caused all sorts of other issues and I was furious with her.  Not to mention that slamming doors is a big no-no at both the neighbor and our houses. 

But I am the Best Parent Ever.  So I took a deep breath, and calmly asked Lovely to explain what happened.

*silence*

Again, I went over everything that had been told to me and asked for her version of the story. 

*silence*

I’m getting more frustrated by the minute and still she hasn’t said a word.  Finally, I am fed up with her silence and I tell her exactly what she should be saying (an apology) what she should be doing (apologizing) and why is she just sitting there making me crazy and not answering anything, why won’t she just talk so we can at least have a conversation and discuss this because she’s a big kid and we can TALK so quit just sitting there crying and not saying anything…

*silence*

Fine! I say.  I’m going out to the garden, join me when you feel like talking! and I walk into the garage and slam the door shut. 

Yep.  I did.  I slammed the door. 

Almost immediately I realized what I did.  I am no longer the Best Parent Ever; I am most certainly the Hypocritical Parent of the Year and I lean, defeated against the door. I feel angry with Lovely L and sad and disappointed in myself. 

So standing in the garage, with Lovely on the other side of the door, I said a prayer:  Lord, I am so not the parent I want to be.  Please help me out, because I feel like I’m doing this wrong and I’m am just going to mess this kid up…

And I went in and said said an apology to Lovely L, still silent and sobbing.  My brain completely went haywire at the thought of saying sorry for my actions to a child that didn’t seem sorry and had still not apologized for the huge mess she had created. 

And then it popped into my head:  My slamming the door had just provided me the perfect opportunity to show  Lovely L how to behave when we do something we shouldn’t have done. 

Right now I still don’t feel like the Best Parent Ever.  And I don’t know if what MC and I decided on is the The Best Consequence.  The only thing I know is that everyday is a new chance to try to be the best mom I can be, to love these three kids with all my heart – and if I mess up today – well, tomorrow’s a new day.

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{Oh my, how I love this girl!}

Have you ever had a parenting moment that you wish you could rewind or erase altogether?  What would you have done differently?

4 awesome thoughts:

Shelley (EvenAndy) said... Best Blogger Tips

I have a 2 yr old and a 9 month old. The noise level in my house is always high and my patience is sometimes short. I always pray that I am a better wife, Mom, daughter, sister, and friend than the day before. I try not to yell but I find myself raising my voice and then telling my 2 year old not to yell. Being a parent is so hard because we do our best and just hope that it is good enough. I think that you handled the situation perfectly. By showing her the proper way to undo a moment of frustration, you became a great example. I love the nicknames that you have for your children:)

Terri said... Best Blogger Tips

I've been a parent for 29 years and a grand parent for 8. There are many times I wish I could rewind scenes and redo them. We just have to take each day as it comes and do our very best. It sounds like you are doing that and I can't think of a better way to be a parent than to ask God for help when we aren't sure what to do.

JDaniel4's Mom said... Best Blogger Tips

Stopping from Mom Loop! JDaniel leads me to prayer and reflection often.

ElphiaDesigns said... Best Blogger Tips

If I had a nickle for every time I instructed Little Miss E not to do something only to find myself engaging in the very behavior moments later...well, I could probably quit my job.

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