"And nothing inspires as much shame as being a parent.
Children confront us with our paradoxes and hypocrisies, and we are exposed [...]
The shame of parenthood — which is a good shame —
is that we want our children to be more whole than we are [...]"
I keep thinking today will be the day. The day I figure out the way to be the greatest mama. The most patient. The most fun. The most of what she needs.
But my speech is peppered and punctuated with nos, don'ts, stops.
I tell her to go play in her room yet again.
And then I raise my voice.
And then I apologize.
And it has been a broken record around here lately.
Motherhood has been the most glaring example of my character, I think. It's shown me at my best and at my worst. Somehow, I manage to lose my patience, and find it, and lose it all over again all in the same day.
I'm not a pushover when it comes to parenting. Sky and I insist on pleases and thank yous and "may I haves", or she doesn't get what she's asking for. We have her repeat "yes, sir" and "yes, ma'am" after we ask her if she understands. We don't count to ten or bargain with her or bribe her with candy. We've gotten countless compliments on how polite, well mannered, and sweet she is from Sunday school teachers and strangers alike. She really is a good kid. A great one.
And yet, every single day has been a challenge. The threes have been a thousand times harder than the twos. Not a day-not an hour- goes by without whining or crying, and no matter what we do or say, it doesn't stop. And I feel broken- by my behavior even more than hers.
I love her so much. She deserves so much.Yesterday, she told me, "You're the best mommy I have ever seen." Instead of melting me, it shamed me. Out of every post I've written, this one hurts more than nearly all the rest. Because I want to be better than this.
If there was ever a need for grace, it's now.