We are in the big middle of something I'm terming "Three-acaust." Just use your imagination and you can probably decipher what our household is like. I know everyone, adults included, go through slumps, funks, and bad moods, but it's just so much harder when you're responsible for the little human that is going through it. I want to wave my magic mommy wand and reverse all this- less stress, less consequences, more enjoying family time, more cuddling. Everything I try goes up in smoke.
Case in point, she would NOT clean her playroom. I had tried everything so finally I just said, okay, we're going to get rid of these if we're not going to keep them clean. I calmly got a trash bag and started filling it with her FAVORITE things that littered the floor. Any child would get wide-eyed and start cleaning, right? Not mine, she started picking up items, giving them a hard look over, and then would tell me those could go in the trash too.
I know life is more that following rules and being a "good kid" and I want her to be herself, be an independent thinker, and follow her convictions, but I want her to do those things AND obey. I think God expects me to teach both as a parent and the balance of the two worlds. I just don't know how to teach that to a three-year-old.
The truth of it is this- she is so kind and sweet and loving about 80% of the time and the other 20% she's testing the boundaries like all three year olds do. But I feel like when you factor in the time that I'm away from her while I'm at work and that the 20% usually happens in the evening, I'm beginning to take it personally. I know I shouldn't, but I think any mom would agree that's just how we are. She even told my mom that she hits people because she misses me. Who knows if that's true or if she's just crafty enough to think to say that. Either way, mommy guilt has taken up residence in this war as well. I'm on the verge of crying all the time thinking I CAUSED THIS because I teach other people's children while my mom stays with mine during the day.
I just have to remember- human nature is sinful. We are all born with something in us that is broken and in need of repair. Whether you're 3 or 30, every person tests the boundaries, steps on and/or over the line just for the fun of it. And we all have it in us to choose. I want to force her to choose the right, but I can't. She has to make that decision. And I HATE that right now.
This post has obviously turned out to be a brain/heart dump. I have no grand conclusions to make us moms feel better. If I did, this post would have been titled "Out of the Trenches."
And just so I don't end on a bad note or leave you guys thinking our house is just miserable, here is what happens 80% of the time:
-Faith and I were eating dinner at a restaurant one night when TJ was at work. As we were leaving, I commented on the sunset and how beautiful it was. It was also pink and purple, Faith's favorite colors, so we started talking about how God is just so good that he made the sunset her favorite colors. She just kept saying dramatically, "Mom, God is just the goodest! He's just so good! He is just the goodest!" I agreed then turned around to buckle her in her carseat. As serious as she could be she looked at me and said, "Moma, at night God comes in my room and whispers He loves me in my ear."
And I absolutely, positively believe her.