Wednesday, March 6

His Tiny Train Bed.

There is nothing quite like a non-judgemental, non-critical, honest, loving, encouraging word from a friend.

After a day filled with argument after argument-the good moments mixed in with the incredibly awful moments, the highs and lowest of lows, I found myself in tears sitting on the kitchen floor.

Nothing I seemed to do that day was working. I kept failing. All of my instructions were met with grumpy glares & disobedience. I found myself exhausted to the core with calm explanations of why and when and what I needed from him. Explaining and "re-directing"..... I found myself exhausted to the core with yelling, threatening, time outs, spanking, taking toys away, all of it. I pulled out all of my tricks and tried so hard and felt like nothing worked. Nothing.

He had won the battle.

After he has passed out for his afternoon nap, I quietly tip toed into his room and knelt down beside his huge plastic train bed and just prayed and sat there and looked at him and sat there and prayed some more until I was all prayed out.

Can't this day just please get better Lord! Please!

The day just continued to get worse after the kids woke up.

I hate that it has to feel like a battle raising kids sometimes. Can't we just love & let live & be all peaceful and stuff?  It shouldn't have to be a fight. In a perfect world, I could calmly, in my sweetest voice ask my four year old to stop squirting his sister in the face with the water toy in the bath because she's crying now and I've asked you twice already and he'd just stop. He'd stop and not do it again or fight me with his whole body strength when I took the toy away. He wouldn't yell and cry. He wouldn't climb out of the tub and run through the house screaming and angry, his naked little body sliding on the hard wood floor and consequently hitting the coffee table..... One might reason that running dripping wet and slipping because you weren't listening to your mom was your own fault and maybe it was coming to you.... either way, these fights we have are exhausting.

Once they were both clothed in their Pj's and sitting on the couch watching Disney Jr, enjoying some cuties, I went about my business cleaning up the water on the floor, the dishes in the sink & putting my home back together. I kept trying to just pray and be strong, it's just a hard day, everyone has hard days! If you call another mom, you'll be showing that you're just weak and don't know what you're doing, they'll think you're a total mess.... BUT I AM A TOTAL MESS though! This dialogue went on in my head for a while. I'd cry for a minute and then fight back the tears, and pull myself together and try to be strong. I felt defeated and hurt. Hurt that I had a hard day with my son, that he felt no remorse for yelling in my face right back at me and that he didn't feel a need in his heart to obey and treat me with respect. I felt un-loved.

So there I was on the floor. Too emotionally bankrupt to clean another inch of the counter or sweep up another crumb. My arms held high in surrender, blubbering & feeling hopeless. He won! When will it ever click in his heart to obey & that desire to obey just settle into him? Will I be one of those stories where the teenage kid chops up his mom in her sleep? Does he love me? Why is this so hard!

I just truly needed a friend to say I'm not alone. So I called the veteran of motherhood, my friend kristi who has five kiddos of her own. I was expecting a play by play critique of where I'd gone wrong, or "maybe try this next time" or "I have this great book on how to be a better parent" but she didn't say any of that. As I cried she encouraged. As I told her how I failed at this or that, she told me that it was ok, tomorrow is a new day, he loves you, God loves you, you're doing the right thing, you're a good mom, & forgive yourself for losing your temper and move on. She told me that she'd been there too and it's HARD, but you're not alone, it'll get better. Boy did I need that kind of support.

Once our last book was read, I tucked him in and said goodnight. Right as I was about to shut his door and walk out of his room, he says, "Mom, will you cuddle me?" Of course I'll cuddle you, son who made my day feel like a total bi-polar roller coaster! Sure.

I scoot in behind him in his plastic Thomas the Train bed, under the covers and start scratching his back....

I feel his little body melt and relax and he lets out a little sweet sigh.

He turns to me in the quiet and stillness of that sweet moment and says, "Mom, I'm sorry for yelling today and not listening. Will you forgive me?"


My eyes fill with water. "Yes, I'll forgive you Conrad. Will you please forgive me too for acting crazy today and yelling and not being as sweet as I could have been-even when you were not listening?"

It was like all was well in our little bi-polar relationship, he and I. He felt remorse. REAL remorse. I wasn't forcing him to say he was sorry when he disobeyed. He did it on his own! SO I'M WINNING THE BATTLE NOW! I felt victorious, I felt like a good mom, & I felt loved..... the prospects of being chopped up into little pieces by my someday teenage son were becoming less and less!

When Dustin got home from his basketball game, I told him about our day and my conversation in the Thomas bed with Conrad. He made me feel like the fact that Conrad asked for my forgiveness means that I'm teaching him correctly, even if It feels like we take one step forward and four steps back most days.

One day he'll be big-like really big and maybe won't ask to cuddle and 
I'll look back on these days and wish I had given myself more grace and 
really believed that I was a good Mom, given myself more credit. 


  1. I loved this. I have days like these all the time. Between blogs and facebook- with most other moms posting about their happy day with a happy photo shoot of happy kids and cookies in a clean house- I feel like a complete failure of a mom when I look back on the difficult days. I have to remind myself that while great days happen and they are something to celebrate, the posts are generally just that- a celebration. Every mom has off days (more often than not) with disobedient children, arguing, and losing control. It's normal, which is encouraging and makes it bearable. You're such an awesome lady. Thank you for sharing and, most of all, being honest and real! Cheers to a better tomorrow :)

  2. Oh man! This made me cry like a baby. I experience similar difficulties with having a 3 year old and 9 month old. Apologizing to our kids is so important.

  3. Agh, I feel your pain. The kitchen floor is my go-to cry spot. I'm glad you have a friend who will listen to you and encourage you when you need it! I can identify with so much of what you wrote.... you're definitely not alone. Hang in there!