For the sake of brevity and to keep from going on and on about what a horrible parent I am (just ask my mother, she'll fill you in on what a wretched maternal specimen I am), I think I will just make two little lists.
Hmmmm, should I do the good first? or the bad? Let me think...
Let me start by saying that I am a totally different parent now than I was two years ago.
I used to be mean. No joke. And I hit my kids in anger. I said things to my children that should not be said to anyone. I'm not going to blame all this on my exhusband, but when I lived with him, I was not a nice person.
Oh, anyone passing by me on the street would think I was sweet; I had it all together, the proverbial All-American Soccer Mom. But that was as far from the truth as one could get.
Now I am patient; too lenient at times, maybe. I know MG definately thinks so. But I have chosen to pick my battles.
For instance, Is it imperative that #3 eat every bite of food on her plate to the point where it is a 4-hour battle of wills ending in me losing my temper and hitting her? NO!
Is it going to kill anyone if #2 insists upon wearing the same pair of pants to school three days in a row? Why am I worried about that? Because of what other parents will think of me if my daughter wears dirty pants?
Now that Exhusband isn't around to step on things left on the floor to cause him to scream, cuss and hit us, is it so important that the carpet be absolutely spotless?
So let's talk about now. Right now.
I am good at...
- Loving my kids. They know without a doubt that I love them always and forever.
- Mediation. Part of my nature is to do my best to resolve conflict, to try to come to a compromise between warring parties.
- Letting my kids say what they need to say. About a year ago, I discovered that this was one of my kids' biggest sources of frustration; that I would say my piece and send them to their room without hearing their side of the story. So I listen now. Most of the time, it doesn't change anything except their frustration level, but that's ok.
- Quality time. I don't get to spend alot of time with my babies and I also don't have alot of funds. So when we are together, we play cards, dice, Uno Attack, go swimming, go to the park, read a book, or watch a movie and have popcorn. It's the simple things in life that make your kids feel secure and loved. Just the other day, after swimming and ice cream, I decided to let them camp out in the living room and #3 (after settling onto her quilt on the carpet) looks up at me and says, "Mommy, this has been the best day of my life"!
- They can talk to me about anything. Maybe that comes with the territory of what we have been through (surviving sexual abuse) but my kids come talk to me if they are having relationship problems. I am honored, amazed and humbled that they think I am so "wise" that I can help them with their relationships. After all, I haven't done so hot with mine, ya' know?
- God holds a place of honor and respect in our house. We go to church when we can. We thank Him when He blesses us. I tell them about how God touches my heart and how He provides for us. They know how to pray and we do it every day together.
I am Bad at...
- Being selfish. I still struggle with the pity party. "I want time to myself"... "I just want to sleep, leave me alone".
- Following through on what I say I will do. #2 has been telling her group friends about this quilt I am making for her. I told her I would have it done Tuesday so she could take it and share it. And I didn't. I make charts to keep chores in line for everyone and they last about a week, if I'm lucky. I try to remember to have #2 read every night like she's supposed to, but about half the time I forget. I tell them they are "grounded for a week" and then two days later, I let them go to a friend's house. NOT on purpose...I just FORGET! Serious!
- When the kid says they are sick, sometimes it's easier to let them stay home from school than to fight with them. #1 did it to me today. How do I know he isn't nauseated? How CAN I know? Sometimes I just want to give up.
- Making my kids do things they don't like to do. It is SO hard for me. One reason none of my children ever say a dentist until last summer is partiallly because we didn't have dental insurance. But I must admit, it was partially because I didn't want to put them through that pain and fear; even if it was good for them. I get sick to my stomach when I drive them to the doctor for immunizations.
- Hugging them. I need to hug them more. Especially the older ones. It's easy to hug them and hold them and carress their hair when they are toddlers. But sometimes I sit and try to think of the last time I put my arm around #1 or held #3 on my lap. They really need that! And I'm slacking.
I could go on forever...but that's not the point of completing this meme. I think what CJ and Kel were thinking when they chose this topic was to open our eyes a little and give us a chance to reflect.
Or give us a chance to write something REALLY funny, either way. :D