My eldest child has been extremely vocal lately about my declining motherhood skills. He doesn’t understand why I let his two brothers get away with so much. At first I tried to defend myself but now I’m owning it. In some ways I’ve improved and have become not only older but wiser. I’ve learned that each child has their own personalities. You can only help them be their very best and no amount of obsession will turn them into something they are not. I’ve learned not to compare children, whether they are my own or others. I’ve learned that teaching my boys empathy and social skills matter more than any subject. However for all of those words of wisdom, I know that my eldest has a point, and I have slipped a little.
My two youngest sons fight as if they were in the WWE. The only thing I really need is sound proof walls at this point. Sometimes it’s like a bad sitcom in my house. I run upstairs (when I’m in a good mommy mood) and break up the latest fight, and yell “WHY ARE YOU YELLING!.” I feel stupid yelling about them yelling. So I try to whisper, I hear that if you whisper your children will listen. That doesn’t work either. In truth, sometimes I want to throw all of my parenting books at them. Of course when they do get in trouble they turn against me. I kid you not, they will put their arms around each other and look at me like I AM THE CRAZY ONE!
Yes eldest child, I know your baby brother called you a jerk. You say that I would never have allowed you to say that and you’re right. You’re missing a big part of your argument though. You were an only child for eight glorious years and I was in my twenties. You didn’t have siblings and we had a lot less conflict in the house. Now these two little minions have you and each other and the four walls to bounce off of. If you can tell me how to get some zen with all of these different personalities in the house I am all ears!
Having one kid is wonderful. Having two kids is difficult. Having three kids can be downright impossible. I have holes in my walls from doors slamming open, scratches on my chairs, more legos than I can count and more noise than I ever could have imagined. Me…the girl who can spend days not saying a word is surrounded by wild things.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still trying to be a good mom but I’ve let some serious things slip. Right now as I write this I am angry with myself. Last night my youngest son told me he had a horrible nightmare and started to cry. After a while I realized he was playing an inappropriate video game with his brothers….where aliens jumped out at them. The game was rated “teen.” Technology is making motherhood even more difficult. Thank god I don’t have to deal with snapchat, ask.fm or Facebook because my boys just don’t care about those things, at least not yet. I have to wonder though how many of us mothers trade technology for our sanity?
My kids should be riding their bikes, playing board games, building lego creations, reading books and be more active. I went into their rooms last night and told them that their gaming is now limited to weekends only and those games will be reviewed for content. The weekdays will be spent doing homework, catching up on their reading logs and being “present.” Hopefully we will have less snow days so I can actually implement this new rule! I’ve been here before and I must admit that I have allowed my sons to wear me down. Well I’m dusting my imperfect self off and am implementing this rule again!
Dear eldest child, I can’t promise that I will be the mother I was at twenty but I can promise you that every day I will wake up and try. In the end, that’s all we can do….wake up and try to be a good one.
I love you.