I had one of those mornings when the Crazy Lady came out. I yelled and I let them know I was angry. And the reactions were the same as before….Ella shuts down (which adds fuel to the fire), Hunter breaks down (which adds even more fuel to the fire), and then Gracie sits quietly with tears in her eyes (which makes me break down and cry). My entire day ruined within minutes. I went from looking put together and actually having a great hair day to pulling it back, puffy eyes, red nose, my beloved yoga pants, and a sweatshirt on. I feel like a complete failure and am ready to quit this thing called Parenthood.
Parenthood is hard. It is hard whether you have a partner or you are doing it alone. This seems to be taboo to talk about until you are in the thick of it. And only then do few seem to get it. But I feel if they are truly honest with themselves, they feel exactly the same way. We all have been there…you don’t like your kids for whatever reason. You are trying not to yell but they do that one thing that even they know will send you over the edge. You struggle to make sure they know how to be good people. You struggle to let them go and make their own mistakes and hope they learn from them. You have your moments when you just want to give up. You want to lock yourself in your bedroom and ignore life indefinitely.
I am convinced I am the only parent in the world who has kids who just don’t give a crap about anything unless it is centered around them. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are great kids. They are respectful, well-behaved, and for the most part listen when we are in public. But when it is just us, I get the look-you know the look where they are pretty much telling you you know what. I don’t know what I am doing wrong some days. I am very clear as to what they are expected to do and I do not hold them to a very high standard. If you ever saw the inside of my home and van you know I am being truthful. They know all their friends have responsibilities and do them even when they don’t feel like it. But no matter how many times I take away privileges, it changes for a very short amount of time and then we are right back where we started. It is these moments that make me question everything about my parenting skills.
I am convinced I am failing. I have more days than I care to admit that I want to throw in the towel and just let what is going to happen, happen. I am overwhelmed when I think about what is yet to come. I have Ella turning 10 next month, Hunter will be 8 in a few weeks. We all know the upcoming years are less than desirable. This is the only time I wish I could have a fast forward button. I have a lot of pressure that I put on myself that causes this extreme anxiety of what is to come. The person who was supposed to be here helping me has a view from wherever heaven is and pretty much whatever decisions that need to be made, it is all on me. There is no parent manual on this-not like I would have the time to read it anyway. I look back to all the sleepless nights and the running after little ones and I would go back to those days in a heartbeat. They were frightening at that moment in time. But they seem so easy and safe in comparison to what is yet to come.
I know I am not a horrible parent. I know I am not damaging my children as much as I am convinced as I type this. I know I am not alone in feeling this way. I am sure by the time I pick up the big kids at school, it will all be forgotten. Gracie forgot about it once they stepped on the bus. Tomorrow is a new day. Parenthood won’t be an easier. But it is a new day.