That is what I had to keep telling myself yesterday.
My boy is the sweetest boy. He tells me he loves me, that I am beautiful, loves to snuggle. He is intelligent, creative and has the best imagination. He loves to run, jump, play. He is super fast and he can create incredible things with Legos. He blows me away daily.
He is also ALL boy. Meaning he loves to wrestle, play fight, be a super hero and he can sometimes become a tad too enthusiastic when playing. And that often translates into another child getting hurt or accidentally being bonked in the head with a toy light laser.
And while I know he doesn’t mean to hurt the other kids (he is playing), I also know he needs to understand that playing too roughly is not acceptable, especially when there are younger children around.
But it stings when I see that the other children have no problem playing nicely, perfectly, without injury. You can feel the eyes on you every time a kid cries because they got hurt and you literally pray out loud that it is not your kid who caused any damage . You want to just pack up and go home, or have your kid sit next to you the entire time. Not realistic, I know, but for you moms who understand what I am saying, you know the feeling.
Can I share something? Sometimes I feel like a bad mom. Like my decision to homeschool him for preschool has hurt him because he doesn’t play with kids every single day. While we couldn’t afford to put him in preschool after Dan lost his job, and Sean has done so well this year learning at home, I often fear that people will use that against him. That they will say his behavior and playful roughness is because he was homeschooled. (Which by the way, is the dumbest argument ever. Don’t buy into it.)
And just now while lying here I have to remind myself that we had to do what was best for our family at that time. I don’t need to answer or defend my decision to anybody.
And you don’t either. Maybe you have a child like mine who is just as imaginative and animated and maybe a tad too aggressive. And yes, we will have to work with them and teach them how to play with friends. We will have to teach them how to do life with people.
Even grown adults have to learn how to do life with others. How can we expect a 2,3,4 year old and up do that immediately?
But you are not a bad mommy. If another parent judges you and your child’s behavior, let them. It says more about them anyway. Don’t think for one second anyone’s child is perfect. They all have quirks, idiosyncrasies. They all throw temper tantrums at the worst possible moments, talk back, have bad attitudes.
But isn’t that the life of a parent? As we watch our children grow and develop into these human beings who will eventually, hopefully, change their world for the better, we sometimes have to see the ugly. The messy. The hard. Parenting is not for the faint hearted.
It can be hard. You have many days where you will want to cry.
Or hole yourself in a closet and drink that glass (or two!) of wine.
But you will also have many days of celebrating who they are. Their successes. The beautiful pieces of themselves that shine through.
When Sean shares about what he learned in a book that we read together, success.
When Madi plays with the younger children at a playground and makes sure they are taken care of, success.
When my children talk about Jesus together, and they get excited about the stories that I have heard for so long, success.
When they are both asleep, and I watch their peaceful faces, I think about the day. If it was a hard day, I pray to God to give me grace and patience as I learn more about being a mommy. And that I offer more grace to them in the days ahead.
You are not a bad mommy. You are a mommy who loves and you, along with your little family, are on a journey.
Praying for you mommies today.