Horrid Mother.

I have been quiet on my blog for a week because life has been ghastly.

This is not strictly true.  I have been ghastly.  I have been horrible to my kids. I have yelled and sworn and shaken my fists in desperation at the ceiling.  I have called behavior, fact.  I have not been kind when I could have been, I have not given grace, I have not been careful with my words.  I have been horrid.

The reason is I am overstretched.  This is not an excuse, but it is the reason.  Recognizing this enables me to write about it.  It is not simply a fatal character flaw.  I am doing too much.  If I add it all together and try to stretch me across it, you get this.  Horrid.

I have a trifecta of pressure closing in, and on top of it all I am homeschooling my two beloved kids.

It’s too much.  It’s just too much.  And today – the horrible-est day so far – I was so horrid I realized I have to stop.  To continue is not only to no one’s benefit, it is causing damage.

There is nothing more humbling than a forgiving child.  And my children have had to forgive me more than usual recently.

Here is one reason: I have painted FAILURE on my forehead because, over the last two years, so much crap has come our way as a family how can I possibly catch up with curriculum now?

The effect on my kids is to make them feel they’re failing before we’ve even started — because I know I’m failing. I’m letting them down.  I’ve reached a position in my head where nothing they do can ever be good enough because we’re not on schedule.  “You’ve finished one page?  Well good, get on and do the next one!”  How could anyone possibly be motivated by that?

I’m angry.  I’m caught up in relentlessness.  I’m swallowed in the vortex.  I need HELP.

The children were with their father this evening, I went out with a trusted pal… and help came. I poured out my heart – to another mom who’s been through the same rites of passage – and she reflected back truth which I so desperately needed to hear.

As I walked back to my car, I passed the church in the parking lot.  I love it.

Jehovah

The sign alone just sounds so gutsy: JEHOVA ES MI PASTOR.  No messing.  And there was a group of men in the lit room beneath it yelling their heads off in a cacophony of prayer.  Real passion, really loud, getting yelled out and lifted up for real help to come down.

And I thought, I need that.  I need to yell my anger not up to the ceiling with shaking fists, but up to the One who can really help.  Who can really forgive.  Who can really take my shame and pain and desperation – and do something constructive with it.  Even though I’m horrid.

Because He still loves me.  And He’s given me tomorrow.  And there are a million moms out there who have been here, and we press forward.  Right?

jsg/nov 14

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8 thoughts on “Horrid Mother.”

  1. i remember the first time i found the Saviour´s knee. it held me up through a most humiliating ordeal. every single circumstance in our lives, if we know Jesus, is there to teach us something. hard, painful, excruciating. you are in school too. and you are not horrid, just human. you haven´t failed. struggling is not failing. and the song comes to mind “oh, how He loves you and me.”

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  2. My heart hurts for you at this time. You are an incredibly strong capable woman, and you are so hard on yourself. You are right, forgiveness is the path! Forgive yourself.God knows we are works in progress, and that we will falter, but He is always there as guidance and stability. Thank God! I think the first mistake we moms make is to think the word, “mom” is equivalent to the word, “perfect.” The next mistake we make isto think the word “failure is part of our lexicon.Our job is not to be measured in the term,…it is to be looked at over the long haul. Don’t forget that just as we know our children are works in progress,then so our we. We all have bad moments and become momsters when we are exhausted, feel like failures, and are pushed into a corner. Give yourself a break. You are taking on the job of two parents rights now. You are also in the throws of the grieving process, and you are a home-schooler! You are being Superwoman without anyone giving you a super-suit or a manual. Don’t forget that kids are opportunists. They at times take advantage of these moments of weakness.They drop the ball. You drop the ball.We flip out out of guilt and low self esteem. Okay, so pick up the ball, and learn to play a new game. The beauty of homeschooling is that you are in the driver seat. Your kids don’t have to learn EVERYTHING…they just have to learn. Even if they only read nonfiction magazines and write a paragraph summary of each article every day, then, your kids will be better off then what kids in public school are getting. Do you understand? If you are hitting a wall on learning, and they are struggling in a subject, then there are other ways around it. If it is math- is there a way to afford Kumon and farm them out to Kumon for math for awhile. Do you belong to a homeschooling co-op? Do you have friends in homeschooling? If yes, see if you can farm your children out for a subject, or trade off for different subjects. The point is,it isn’t the end of the world if they are falling behind. Expect attrition when a family is going through a rough time. If they were in public school it would happen too. Kids regress or stop learning for awhile. That is okay. Read literature. Do art. Have fun with metrics in the kitchen. make them write a letter to every family member you can think of, and tell them to tell them about the book they are reading or the histroy lesson. Start a TIL(Today I learned) journal- make them summarize something new they learned in science or history. Make them do bills with you and the checkbook, and let them address the bill envelopes. It is a life skill and a reality check.The point is I get it, and most moms can relate. You are not alone. Moms are imploding under the weight of expectations of this complex world that does nothing but criticize. I am here to say, forgive yourself. Give your kids a big hug, an apology, and then move on and have a nice tea party if they get their school work done. In the meantime, when is the last time you had a moment to yourself to take a hot bath? When is the last time you praised yourself? Be kind to yourself, forgive yourself, and appreciate yourself. God bless!

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    1. Thank you Richelle! I so appreciate the encouragement and I love your thoughts on homeschool. I think the word ‘Curriculum’ needs a makeover in my head, you are absolutely right. Bless you for writing.

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  3. Like in a prize fight, you have your gloves on blasting away at your opponent.

    However in the spiritual war we embrace, often we lay flat, and let the heavenly hosts arrest the matter above us.

    Lay down. Surrender. STOP.

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  4. And sis hang onto and never forget….your children are under the better covenant, the covenant that comes with “much more”. God can lessen there learning time by 50% and increase their learning benefit by 75%.

    SPEAK THOSE COVENANT BLESSINGS OVER YOU AND THEM. WATCH AND SEE YOU GUYS ARE CAUGHT UP BY SCHOOLS END.

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  5. Ahhhh! The same sweet friend you spoke of above when I came to her with my failures and my bad behavior to overwhelming circumstances, told me that my situation was not a failure but a victory. I have carried this with me and it has given me a new perspective and strength. Because she is absolutely right. This is also true of your life right now. You have made some bold choices that have changed your life and those choices were choosing LIFE rather than a slow death. There is fallout and there is mess but you have not caved or fallen on your face. Maybe a few hits have knocked you down to a knee or two but you get up and are still standing! Truly you ” bash on regardless.” Keep your chin up. There is so much good stuff ahead. Give your kids a hug. Apologize and teach your kids about repentance and humility. Love you.

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