Last night, as the storm clouds gathered, my husband and I were discussing rather or not I should mow the lawn. I said, “I should do it now, before it rains.” He said, “Nah, wait until tomorrow; it’s going to rain.” I don’t think anyone needs much convincing to put off mowing the lawn, so I decided to wait. Little did I know, a storm was gathering in our home as well.
Let’s talk about parenting for just a minute. I love my kids. They are everything to me, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. I think they are some of the best people I know. That being said, sometimes I hate being a parent. I hate having to fight with my children.
I, like all parents, am charged with a very specific job, – raise my children to grow into responsible, functional, compassionate, grateful, emotionally intelligent human beings, who contribute to society in a meaningful way, while obeying its laws. I take this responsibility seriously, sometimes, maybe, too seriously. I always try to make my decisions based on scientific research, and, what I feel, is best for my kids. When I make a decision, I am not going to change my mind. I have made that decisions for very sound reasons.
But children like to push buttons, and see how much they can get away with, even as they get older. One area where children especially like to push buttons is in the “time for bed” area. Do your children go straight to bed when you tell them too? If so, good for you! Please share your secret in the comments below… If not, join me while I have a little pity party for myself.
Our normal bedtime routine was interrupted last night by a twenty-minute begging session, that, I am ashamed to say, ended with me being a “crazy mom” and leaving the house to cool off. When I returned, my son was in bed, and I had an example to make. I went into his room, and asked for his forgiveness for yelling at him, and I told him how I was wrong for losing my temper, and that I shouldn’t have yelled. Most of the time, being the parent, is being the bigger person.
But, as the rain and then the hail begin to batter against my son’s window, and his tears of sadness turned into hugs of unconditional love, I realized that being a parent isn’t so bad, – most of the time. I could have ignored him, I could have explained to him why I was right and he was wrong. I could have pretended like it never happened. But, we all have to choose how we parent our kids, and I want my children to know that it’s alright to make mistakes, and even lose your temper, but it’s how you handle yourself after that truly speaks to your character.
This morning as I mowed the lawn, I reflected about last night’s storms. We all have storms to face in our lives, some figurative and some literal, but we can choose how we contend with them, and that makes all the difference. As I watch the first rays of sun reflect against the dew on my freshly cut grass, I’m glad that I waited until it was sunny.