Today at Caleb's swimming lessons I had a moment I am not proud of. It seems like lately all I do is discipline the kids, and we never have any fun. Maybe it's the ages and stages, or maybe it's me losing my mind! There are days when I feel like all I did was yell at children all day, and that makes me sad. I'm not looking for sympathy though, because I don't think it's okay. Anyway, back to today.
If anyone knows me at all, you know that Caleb and has issues with the potty. It has been a struggle for over a year. The child is 4 years old, and is just very hesitant (wow.... that's a nice way of putting it) to use the potty for #2. It's enough to make me crazy. And angry at times. Like today. He has been holding it for at least 5 days, as is the norm with him, no matter how much we talk about going, make him sit at least once a day, pump him full of fruit, etc. I admit, I'm not great at staying consistent, but for crying out loud! We've been working on this forEVER!! Today he had held it to the max, and the breaking point just happened to be right in the middle of his swimming lesson, so I had to jump up and rush him into the bathroom, where he proceeded to NOT USE THE BATHROOM. I started out being helpful and encouraging, and ten minutes later when he was still screaming in my face and refusing to go I absolutely lost it, right there in the stall with him. It just makes no sense to me. He couldn't swim anymore because he HAD to go SO bad, and then he wouldn't go. Huh?? See my problem? I just. don't. get. it. Just go! JUST. GO. JUST GO!!!!!!!!!
He didn't go. We left early and came home. And would'n'cha know it, he went. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Argh.
On our way home I started thinking.. Why was I so angry with him? Because he embarrassed me in front of the instructor and other parents? Because I'm paying money for him to be in this lesson and I want him swimming and not spending time on the toilet? Because he won't poop on my command? All of the above... but how selfish is that? I realized, as I have been more lately, how selfish I am. I, me, my. And that realization makes me realize how much I'm NOT relying on God to help me. Like one of my favorite "mom songs" by Plumb says, "I can't do this!" Not on my own. I have GOT to rely on God to guide me in my attitude and speech, especially with my kiddos. That is my job! I want to raise babies that love God and love others, and acting like a tantrum-throwing child myself is not going to do the trick.
So, I'll file that in the "what not to do in parenting" drawer, and work on loving Jesus more myself, and it will naturally reflect in my attitudes toward my kids.