There is hope for me yet!

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on January 2, 2010

Tonight, while Daddy was snowboarding with our twins (yes, on in to the dark), I decided that I needed some air. Of course I had to bring my youngest four along on my quest for this new air, but I HAD to get out of the house.

So, I did what any insane mom with four young kids should do when she feels antsy. I took my little darlings out for pizza and promised them ice cream.

Only my kids didn’t act like little darlings.

They squirmed and fidgeted. They crawled under the table and tried to crawl over the table. They chattered incessantly. Quite loudly, I must add. They filled their cups with root beer. And then pink lemonade. They spilled their root beer. And their pink lemonade.

And instead of enjoying this time out with my four youngest children, I grumbled and complained. I raised my voice and reprimanded them. I took back my promise of ice cream.

And now, after they have all been tucked in and are sound asleep, I feel bad.

After all, they were just being kids. Kids fidget. Kids are loud. Kids spill stuff.

But I was worried. Worried about what others may think. Worried about what the parents of the beautiful little girls, both sitting quietly as they played on their bright blue DS, would think of me – the crazy mom with four unruly, and very loud, little brats.

So often do I worry about how we may be perceived that I forget to enjoy my children. I mean truly enjoy them.

Too often do I shush my children from speaking their minds for fear that we, as parents, would be seen as too lenient. Or that we may believe that ourselves.

Sometimes I even squelch their feelings, because kids shouldn’t be allowed to dislike a person, or feel anger towards someone for not believing them, right?

I find myself, on occasion, feeling as though I am simply suffering through this season of child-rearing, instead of truly enjoying these short days with the amazing little blessings God has given us to love.

Childern-Playing

My prayer, in this new year, is that I would ::

listen to my kids more,
shush them less

see things through their eyes,
not force them to see things through mine

play with my children more,
make fewer excuses

laugh more,
worry less.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) January 3, 2010 at 5:42 am

Christine, is it awful of me to feel relieved that your kids are unruly and loud at restaurants?

Janice and I have only 2 kids each and we both have nannies and there are 2 of us running our site. You have SIX kids, you homeschool them and you run your business without a clone.

YOU are amazing!!!

We can never figure out HOW you do it. You inspire us.

And trust me, if we were there with OUR four kids, yours would shine like the angels declaring the Savior of the World.

I join you on your quest to let our kids be kids and to let ourselves enjoy life worry-free.

Happy New Year!

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Night Owl Mama January 3, 2010 at 5:56 am

So many times when we try to be “SUPER” Mom and do it all we realize that we need the help of super dad to clam the little Indian’s. I’m sure ICE CREAM for breakfast will make it all better.

Sometimes you just have to put the fun 1st.

We can easily become overwhelmed with little one’s especially when strangers dart the evil eye ball and only if you knew they were just thinking “glad its that Mom instead of Me” you would of been able to relax.

We order in most days cause I can’t take another laugh out loud situation when the littlest one slings his hot dog across the room and it lands on someone’s plate and I have to go retrieve it from the shocked looking Grandpa wondering was that a bird or a plane….nope …..just a hot dog.

Hang in there MOM your doing a Great job. SMILE!!

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becky @ our sweet peas January 3, 2010 at 7:14 am

Great post to which I am sure most moms relate. I always feel the worst when I am extra strict with the kids due to the people we are around. It is just silly. Here’s to relaxing a little! :)

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Jennae @ Green Your Decor January 3, 2010 at 9:30 am

This sounds like a prayer that we could all stand to have answered. I only have one child at home, and I still find myself doing some of the same things. For me, it’s often not about what other people think, but my own crazy ideas about what the parent/child relationship should be (I talk, you listen, etc.). This year, I vow to be a better listener, a bigger cheerleader and a more enthusiastic playmate, and by extension, a better mother. Thanks for the reminder!

And like Susan said, you are a wonder woman in your own right with 6 kids to care for. We could all learn something from you :)

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Laura January 3, 2010 at 9:31 am

Great post and something that I need to think about more too.

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Iva @ HorizontalYoYo January 3, 2010 at 10:46 am

I’m so thankful that kids are resilient. But as they get older, they start reminding you of your short-comings (at least mine do). Here’s hoping that we do a lot less shushing and a lot more listening in the new year.

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Jennifer January 3, 2010 at 10:56 am

I have 3 kids. I do this. I hope I can improve this year. No matter how good or bad we are never alone

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kristin January 3, 2010 at 6:49 pm

It’s true, I don’t know how you do it. But I think I can see where you are coming form. Ever since I had Brooklin, it’s been like Kaila is always shhhed and told to just settle down. I’m This year I’ve made the same decision. To see more things through her eyes, and not mine.

:) Well said, my friend.

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Nicole January 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Christine,

I believe most of us have the same prayer. I’m a mom who won’t take my 3 kids to the grocery store on a good day. These are the things that keep us humble. Keep us knowing there is a need for the Father in our life. I’ll be praying with you.

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Kellee January 3, 2010 at 8:27 pm

I have one child, a four year old boy, who works my nerves every chance he gets! I don’t know how you do it with 6 kids! I always feel bad when I yell and fuss all day long! I’m going to follow your prayer for the new year!

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Anita January 3, 2010 at 11:22 pm

hear, hear!

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Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) January 3, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Sue and my friend Julie always laughs at us and says that we should be on a reality TV show cause our lives are SO crazy! You should see/hear the mayhem with all four of our kids together. It is NUTS!

Like Sue said, I feel guilty that your post comforts me. Cause seriously, I have had WAY too many people look at me with judgment as I try to shop or eat in public. So to know that your kids aren’t always perfect – well that makes me feel better.

BUT, enough about me, HUGS to you and remember — you are an AWESOME mom and a wonderful wife!!!

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Tasha January 3, 2010 at 11:27 pm

I feel like this EVERY day! I think the fact that you can be honest and real about it makes you a great mom! We will get through this time in our lives, it is just a blink of an eye and one day we will long for the days of spilled root beer. Let’s just keep telling ourselves that over and over and see if it works!

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Allison January 3, 2010 at 11:29 pm

I feel the same way always wondering how other parents view my actions with my son. I hate feeling that kind of pressure, and end up not enjoying my time with him as much as I should. It’s my goal to let go of those fears and insecurities and just trust my instinct. And believe that I am a good parent.

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erin --it's your movie-- (@swonderful) January 3, 2010 at 11:35 pm

Yes yes and yes. Great, insightful post. I only have two, but my almost-three-year-old makes his presence noticeable wherever we go. I have found myself suddenly worried about what the other people at Target are thinking of me, 26 (but I look younger, so I am often told) with two loud kids, noisying up the public shopping experience. I am trying so hard to keep my head up and parent my kids appropriately and do right by THEM, not random people I don’t know who have opinions, but it’s really difficult.

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Kriste January 3, 2010 at 11:46 pm

My girls are 11 & 13 and they still fidget, get loud and spill stuff. I feel guilty and like a horrible mom for getting on to them, for just wanting them to act like the kids at the other table who are talking softly, using good manners. yadda yadda.
Of course when they act that way, I just want to crawl under the table and cry and silently seethe. I think what we don’t realize is that most people don’t care, they realize that kids will act up. It’s just the pressure we put on ourselves that does us in.

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Val January 4, 2010 at 12:30 am

There were MANY years we didn’t do much. As far as I was concerned if they were too young and would interupt others I knew hubby and I wouldn’t enjoy it. We ate early if we went out and we’d generally hit the same place so people knew us and the staff knew we tipped. lol We NEVER went to movies and I get angry at those that take their young kids to adult movies because of this.

It is a sacrifice that we may not be able to do everything we want to do when they are young. But as I’ve posted lately to my twitter account, my kids are so much fun I’m sad they are going back to school tomorrow. They are smartalecs like me, but know they’d better treat others well, including our waitstaff.

It was very difficult to not do so much when they were younger, but it was worth it to not be angry. THAT SAID, you should not feel bad for things you have done later after the house is quiet. It’s very easy to be in the quiet and think, “oh, it wasn’t that bad”. Um, yeah at the moment it was and your feelings were justified. There is a difference between being loud and being brats. I’m loud so I never thought my kids would be quiet. Considering my Mom is even louder than I am. lol There is just manners and if they are following them.

Best of luck to you

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Jen Stewart January 4, 2010 at 12:45 am

I’m speechless, you just wrote down so many of my innermost thoughts & struggles with my feelings and actions with my kids lately. What an awesome reminder at the end. Thank you, that is my prayer as well, and will keep that close to my heart now. Thank you Christine for this post.

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Casey January 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Great Post! I feel the same way all the time. I have the best natured son and I feel like I am always on his case about something. I have also made the same choice to chill out A LOT and stop. Sometimes you just get so stressed out about everything it tends to be taken out on the kiddos and I can’t stand the fact I do that.

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Kim Staley January 5, 2010 at 11:12 pm

I really enjoyed your post. I first thought a mom of six could definitely understand my struggles, but then I saw all of your scriptures posted, so I figured you were a much better mom than me. Like you had it all figured out. Like the Bible makes the children less bratty. You were crazy to think taking them out for pizza would be a good idea. Order in next time. Heck – when I go grocery shopping. I am fortunate that they can stay home with dad while I shop. It gets way to hectic. I will check in on your blog, I could use some encouraging from time to time, well like everyday really.

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Lisa January 7, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I find myself doing the same thing and I only have two! I admire you for being brave to take all four of them out to pizza & ice cream.

I’ve learned, like you are doing, that they are just kids. They don’t always know how to control their excitement or their volume or their ability to keep things balanced.

Just remember there is only one of you to go around – you can’t control everything that 6 other people are doing.

Let their spirits live and your heart will smile as a result :-)

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