I saw a post on Facebook yesterday that was meant to be funny. Yes it can be funny and I may laugh for a moment. But the truth is, since this quarantine has began, I have seen several memes and posts similar to this one and where I laughed at first, now I’m a bit disturbed.
I know most of these posts are meant to be fun and games. Parents making a joke about how crazy their kids can be. Yes. Parenting is exhausting. Parenting is hard. Parenting brings a new challenge almost every single day. There are more days that I feel completely beat and overwhelmed as a parent than not.
But I don’t let my kids see that. I don’t let them know when I feel like I’m failing as their mama. I don’t let them know when I feel like I’m over it.
Here’s the post that I saw:
As funny as this is between us adults, my thought was this- do all these parents that make these jokes and memes constantly go on about it in front of their children? This one in particular is riding around with it on her car for them to see every single day.
How do you think the children feel? Yes my kids fight. Yes they are wild and hyper at times. Yes they think they need to be eating 24/7. Yes they drive me absolute nuts at times.
But the reality is this- whatever comes out of your mouth, whatever you display through your behavior, through your words, on your vehicle on a regular basis is being pounded in their little brains. Children are not dumb. They can feel frustration from a mile away. They take things to heart, even if they don’t show it.
How you handle yourself during this quarantine will determine how they handle change and stress in their own lives.
If you can’t handle kids being kids, why do you have them? Did you not prepare yourself to spend time with them?
Instead of joking about how horrible they are, we as parents should be teaching our children important values, life skills, safety, and how to react to change.
I’m choosing to make the best of my time with them. To enjoy the time together. Making memories. Soon enough they aren’t going to want to be home with mama, so I’m enjoying it while I have it. No belittling, no memes, no jokes about how bad they are or how crazy they are making me.
I will love with all I have. I will teach them that this change can be a good thing. I will teach them new things (currently it’s all about farm life). I will show them that I can be the mother I chose to be. I will show them that I can care for them, that I didn’t have them with the thought of taking the easy way out and sending them away every day.
At night, if I need to, I will break, I will rant, I will blow. But not in front of them. They don’t deserve that.
Let your children be children. Let them be hyper. Let them play. Correct them when wrong, but don’t tell them their teachers are liars for saying they are a joy to have in class. They should be the very thing that gives their parents the most joy.
One thing I’m learning is the innocence of a child. They say things and do things that sometimes seem so dumb to us, but to them they are doing a big thing, a smart thing, a helpful thing. To them they are saying something very wise. Don’t make them feel bad for that. If they have a truth mixed up, kindly fix it. Don’t belittle them. I’ve seen too many children be way too hard on themselves and their own innocence because of something said to them by a parent or other important adult in their lives.
I choose NOT to be that mom. I won’t complain about having my children home with me. I won’t tell them that I wish they would go back to school. I won’t post memes about how awful they are. I will play with them, listen to them, laugh at them, teach them. I will put their happiness before my own. I will understand that this may not be as easy on them as they let on. Im sure they miss their friends. The only normal they have known is now forever changed. That can be hard on a little mind.
I will pray for them diligently. I will make sure they know I love them and that I want them. Enough is enough. I chose crazy when I chose to become a mother. I chose to have a huge responsibility of caring for tiny human beings. Now I choose to own up to that choice and be the best mother I can. Not to tear them down or tell everyone how awful it is to have them home.
Clay and Heath, mommy loves you both so very much. I love the time we are spending together. I love taking care of you, teaching you, and watching you grow. I love making memories. I love watching your eyes light up over the smallest things. I loving hearing your laughter echoing through the walls. I’m glad I have you. I’m glad you are home with me. I’m glad I can keep you safe. Clay, I never doubted when your teachers told me you were a delight to have in class or when they said you were well behaved. I enjoy your presence in my life. Never forget that!
Today, I’m thanking God for the ability to be a mom. For the two precious little boys he trusted me to raise properly. For this time that I wouldn’t have taken on my own to spend with them. I’m thankful for the greatest gift I’ve ever been given- motherhood.