A few nights ago we were enjoying our supper around the kitchen table. To engage the children in conversation, I like to ask random questions. This time I was having them compare Jason and me. We do this quite regularly, and their answers usually make us laugh. This night, however, my crew, led by my oldest, would only shout their daddy’s praises and let me know exactly how they found me lacking.
“Daddy is the funnest. Mommy just yells at us all day.”
“Daddy is the kindest. Mom is the meanest.”
“Mommy is the naughtiest. She fights with Daddy, and he just stays quiet.”
There were several more comparisons. Finally, one of them said, “Just face it Mom, Daddy is better at everything than you are.”
Finding something on which I thought for sure I’d win, I asked, “Okay so who is the better cook?”
“Well…Daddy makes the best steak!”
I have to admit that on this occasion I left the table as soon as it wasn’t too noticeable, went to my room, and cried my eyes out! I am glad they think their dad is wonderful–he is! What bothered me was the truth in what they said. I do get angry and lose patience way more than I’d like to admit as I try to get them to complete their school work. I do at times rant or vent to my husband, and he really does usually just listen.
I have just finishing reading through Proverbs, and do you know what has stood out to me this time? The contentious woman–all five times she is mentioned. I don’t think it is a coincidence.
Several people have told me lately that they read my blog and think how much fun it must be at my house. Yes, we laugh a lot and we do have fun, but I am not the perfect mom or the perfect homemaker. I am, however, unsatisfied and discontent with my failures, but I also have hope that my Savior is not finished with me yet! I press on!
Esther — one thing stands out here that I think is very important.
Although your children may sometimes view Daddy as “fun” and Mommy as “no fun,” I truly believe that you are putting parenting above being your children’s friend.
Being a good mom is difficult at times, but your kids are going to benefit from your diligence.
Children will have many friends throughout their lives, but only one mother.
I admire what you are doing. 🙂
Oh I hear you Esther. I also have hope that God isn’t done working on me.:) It can be painful to think about our flaws but we are always growing!
Hope you have a wonderful day! I think you are a blessing to people you know (and virtual friends as well:) because you have a way of bringing joy into everyday situations! That is a wonderful gift!
On another day one of the girls said she wouldn’t trade you for anyone and you were the best mommy ever. Don’t take their criticism too seriously. On the other hand, we all have a long way to go to be all we want to be.
Elizabeth Grimes says
Oh, that would be hard to hear, but I think Nancy has it right. I think most stay-at-home parents get that reputation with their kids but it all becomes clear when they grow up. Just keep striving to do your best. No parent is perfect but it’s clear that you love your family more than anything. 🙂
I was just thinking about this today! I often feel like my husband gets to be the “fun” parent. When he gets home he is calm and handles situations much better than I do. He tells me its because he only gets to see them 2-3 hours a day. I agree – God isnt through with you yet. (or me either!) At least now you can work on trying to be more patient. I find listening to worship in the morning or having it play quietly throughout the day I am better at keeping my cool! Your doing fine! The kids are still alive & they love you 🙂
You are SO not alone! Speaking as a homeschool mom too… we have a tough job! I also dwell on my many failures and oh, Satan loves me for that! We are with our little people every second of every day and we do need more patience… and we are lacking and that’s why we need Him so much. Dad’s swoop in… have all the fun and leave again for work the next day. And, when they are around most of the time they’ve got us to partner with to handle the kids. We get a bad rap because the kids just don’t have the whole picture… but one day they will. They’ll look back and remember that you were always there for them… and specifically at your house they’ll remember all the special things you gave them like Christmas tress on St. Patrick’s day… heart-shaped sandwiches on Valentine’s day… many more things that I don’t even know about, but mostly they’ll see how blessed they were to have a mom who obviously loved them far more than her own sanity (they’ll figure that out when they have kids of their own :). For now, we can just pray for each other and ask God to cover our mistakes… He’s good about that! Blessings!
Ah, thanks for this post – I think it’s easier to only write about the cool, fun things that make us look good in front of others. Thanks for bearing all in the reality of this blog…
Susan Evans says
Now it’s my turn to admire your honesty…
Hey you! This too will pass.
Also – what Heidi said!
You don’t have to be perfect to be a great Mom!! Little kids always think the parent who stays home all day with them is “less fun” you are the one who makes them work at their school work and chores and day to day boring stuff. You are a great and fun Mom! God works in all of us, we all need more work, and will never stop needing it! Thanks for your honesty here!
Corinne Rodrigues says
Esther – We’d all like to be perfect but who defines perfect? You’re a wonderful loving and caring human being and the love for your husband and children shines through. As Freida said kids can be very inconsistent and you shouldn’t take their criticism too seriously. Most importantly, don’t beat yourself up …we’re all a work in progress…..
Yvonne @ StoneGable says
Hi! What a thoughtful post. Don’t be too hard on yourself! As MOMS we spend the bulk of our time with our kids. Of course we can all improve but if we love our children and treat them as the God given treasures they are, they will “rise up and call you blessed” someday!
So nice to stop by!
I can totally relate. If you have read several of my posts under the “children” or “parenting” label on my blog, you will know that I struggled with much of that when the kids were little. So many times I felt discouraged or even a “failure” as I struggled with my temper, etc.
But I also knew that God was faithful and trusted Him to help me be the mom that I desired to be, and I, too, prayerfully pressed on as you are doing. I was not satisfied to remain as I was.
The kids are now 18 and 22, and you’ll be happy to know that they don’t remember the same “failures” that I do. They seem to remember the fun and laughter and good times, and all the things that we did. The things that loomed so big to me (like losing my temper over something) are not the things that THEY remember.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they remember me as perfect and never losing my temper, lol! But it does mean that they are verbally thankful now for the parenting we did, and for the times we pushed them to do things they didn’t want to do, for the things we said no to, for the chores they had to do, etc. So stay the course and be encouraged!
Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!
I agree with Heidi too! Now that I’m a mom, I remember and appreciate all the fun meals and holiday traditions my mom poured so much time into, the crafts, the field trips, the library times… things you don’t realize are special when you’re just a kid.
YOUR KIDS LOVE YOU TO DEATH! (But don’t you hate how honest kids are sometimes?)
Yesterday, my husband was telling someone how it cost $137 to fill up the Suburban, and then my oldest daughter piped up with, “And then Mommy said, ‘Well, you should have stopped at the other gas station!'” Oh darn. She heard. I was wishing as the words left my mouth earlier that I’d just left the whole situation alone. I mean, we’re talking the difference of $1.50 or so — not worth a marriage issue!
Mindy @ The Purposed Heart says
Thank you for this great, honest post! Sometimes honest criticism can really hurt! But do you know what? I know that you are a good mom and that you care deeply about your family. Just the fact that your children’s comments upset you so much shows your heart and the great desire you have to be a *virtuous* woman! And always remember…you have a great and mighty God that is on your side!
i just found your blog tonite, and ive been reading for an hour. i stumbled upon this entry and i had to tell you thankyou for your honesty. lately i have been feeling so guilty for the amount of yelling i do in the course of the day. the thing that has made a world of difference this entire last week is that each morning (as i shampoo, so i dont forget!!) i pray “i choose to let the holy spirit control my thoughts, words, actions and decisions today” and you know what, making it a daily choice and relinquishing it to Him is so freeing! ive already noticed a new level of patience that never was there when i was trying to do it in my own strength. i really appreciate you sharing this post. it hit home to me, right where and when i needed it. thanks for being a blessing!
I am so relate! I am a housewife and homeschooling mom so I am rarely away from my kids. So often I am the mean mom and dad is the fun one. We are far from perfect but I can only press on and try to be the mom God created me to be. Thank you for your transparency.
I think we can all relate, Esther! In most homes, I think the working (outside the home) parent is the “fun” parent. That’s the way it is here, and we have friends who are a working mom and stay-at-home dad, and mom is considered the “fun” one.
Patience is not my strong suit, but I am so glad for God’s grace (and my children’s)!
I’ve stumbled across your blog and have been enjoying it 🙂 I think you and I are alike in so many ways so I truly appreciate you and your family. This post especially caught my attention though. If you are open to encouraging advice I offer you this…Next time you are overwhelmed with the reality of who you are by (sin)nature (contentious and fearful like the rest of us women) don’t “stop drop and roll” as if you are trying to put out a fire before anyone sees it. It is ok and even good that your kids and your husband see your sin and see you saddened by it. It only makes YOUR SAVIOR and the fact that even mommy and daddy need a SAVIOR visible, and then your rejoicing in Him and proclaiming Him and His righteousness that much more glorious:) I bet if you preached the gospel right then and there simultaneously to yourself and your family your sweat and nearly perfect husband maybe would have chimed in and admited his falling short, sinfulness and need for Christ’s righteousness. And your evening may have ended up in your kids hearing the gospel and y’all rejoicing in God’s goodness:) Do press on! God is doing great things with your family…thank you for sharing via blog. I agree with you…He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it! 🙂