This post has been sitting as a draft for a bit now. I've been holding back, and waiting to post because I'm so unsure about it. I don't want it to come across as ungrateful or complaining. That's not what this is about. This is about being real with myself. With you.
I'm in a different place than I used to be, and its hard.
I've been a full time employee sans children.
I've been a full time work outside the home employee + mom.
I've been a part-time work outside the home employee + mom.
And now I'm a work my butt off staying home with the kids 24 hours a day mom.
All of them are hard. None of them are easy. But I have to be brutally honest. Nothing has made me feel like more of a failure than what I am doing right now. No one can make you feel as inadequate as a 2 year old that can't yet articulate what she wants, but won't settle for anything less than she is asking for. Nothing can push my buttons, and have me seething as quickly as a four year old that doesn't ever do what he is asked to the first time he's asked. Nothing makes you feel as low as your children telling you to go away, they don't want you or you're so mean to me all the time. Nothing makes you as guilty as the look on your 6 year old's face when you get frustrated with them because they are chasing their siblings around screaming and laughing and having fun. The times when my children melt down are always in public. The hard work, the discipline, the constantly feeling like you are not enough for your kids is draining. I am more tired than I was working 12 hour days and spending 2 hours a day with my kid. For me, that life was SO MUCH EASIER in so many ways. But it was never easy to kiss that sweet little face goodbye in the morning, or goodnight at bedtime. I'm more insecure than I was juggling my part time job and my three children. I feel like this is all I do, and none of it is ever good enough. I love them, but sometimes I yell. I make stuff home made from scratch and they want chicken nuggets from a certain arched-nemesis. I plan out fun games and crafts for them to do, but when they fail, I turn on the television in defeat. I sometimes eat cereal for dinner at 9:30pm when my husband is out of town, because its the first chance I've had to sit because no one wanted a nap. This is my life now, and I always feel less than enough. When I was working I felt guilty for not being at home. Now that I'm home I feel guilty for not working, and guiltier for missing working.
Thank God for grace. His grace, because I sure don't give myself enough of it. I don't give my kids enough of it. I'm sure that other people feel the same way. So we sure need a lot of His grace, and we are so thankful for it. Despite sick kids, today was a good day. You get those here and there, and they make the hard days more bearable. But I don't know when I'll stop guessing myself. I feel like I'm daily adding to that which my children will be discussing with their future therapists. I feel like I have friends out there that want kids but can't have them, and they would be doing things so much better than me. I look at all the pictures online and read all the articles about attachment parenting (which I'm not sure I totally agree with), and wonder if I'll ever get things right. Here's to finding out in 20+ years. In the meantime, I'll have a drink after I put the kids down to bed tonight and try and give myself a break.