Wednesday, July 28, 2010


All night my mind was turbulent with thoughts. Feelings errupted as I let my conciousness work through the happenings of the evening and my responses to them. I lost much sleep.

We did a two hour test run with a new sitter while I dropped off my car at the transmission place and grabbed some groceries.

We got home to her almost reduced to tears and a firm "no" that she couldn't handle watching the kids again. My first response was disappointment. I was upset that my kids upset her, though she assured me it wasn't because they were bad. Just loud, boisterours and oh, so numerous. I apologized profusely and hope that our adult relationship wasn't harmed by it.

Then I went inside and scolded the kids about not being able to follow her rules of sitting quietly while she did story time. And for being loud. And for interrupting. And for not sitting still. I unleashed my disappointment and anger and sent them to bed. I reduced them to tears.

I thought about these two reactions most of the night. I am not happy with my parenting. At first, I was angry that I lost a potential babysitter when my school work is coming down to a tight wire of completion. I was bitter and resentful that someone didn't instantly like my kids and want to get paid to spend time with them. I was angry that someone else couldn't do my job. Then, I turned my anger towards the kids. Why couldn't they just behave for two measley hours? I stood in the shower absently washing my hair disappointed and angry at the situation but not exactly sure where the blame lay.

It wasn't until about two a.m. when I brought Max into our bed for the remainder of the night that things clicked together. I lay in the darkness snuggling baby and realized that there is no one to blame. My anger had no place or position in the situation at all. Then, I got angry at myself.

I was angry that I felt the need to apologize for my kids, just for being themselves. Read this again: I was sorry my kids acted the way I strive to raise them. What is wrong with me? I want them to be inquisitive. I want them to ask questions. I want them to follow what interests them when the interest strikes. They are energetic and alive. They are busy, the little ones climb, Alex literally can not sit still. It takes work to keep them out of the trouble their exploring nature gets into when it's confiened to the house.

When a new person comes to our home they are like a bug under a microscope. My kids want to know why, how, what, and who they are. They want to share every facet themselves with this new facinating person. They instantly give their love to whomever mommy or daddy has designated a worthy person for them to meet. They don't expect love in return, they give it freely without strings or manipulations. They thrive on touch, expression and honesty.

Why, dear God, would I apologize for that?

I was angry at myself for being disappointed in my kids and dumping my emotions on their fragile hearts. They were being their authentic selves and because someone rejected that I was angry at them. Yes, they're loud. There are five of them in a very tiny space. I don't really discourage their volume unless I'm on the phone or someone is napping. They have big emotions inside little bodies and very strong vocal cords. They express themselves true. If the mood strikes them to sing, they sing. They pour their every feeling into belting out the songs in their hearts. If it happens to be story time, well, perhaps it could benefit from an improv sonnet. If they want to dance, if their bodies thrum with unheard rhythm, then their legs carry them hither and tither and they want to share it with you. It's not their fault that their recital falls on your imposed quiet time.

There is a reason we are in the family we are. We are meant to be together. Always. When a new person comes in with their own expectations and requirements for what is acceptable and those things don't align with our family principles THAT'S OKAY. It is NOT rejection. It's nature's way of ensuring the people that are in my and my children's lives, are the right people for the job. It is no one's fault, no ones, when we find incompatable people. It's why we usually don't marry the first person we meet. It's why we change jobs, cities, cars. I've heard when people adopt that they just know this child was meant to be theirs. It doesn't mean there was anything wrong with the people that are left behind, they're just not right for us. 

I want to assure my readers I did not send my kids to bed crying. We spent a good hour talking quietly and gently about how we all feel and what happened and why. I apologized to them both in words and touch. We snuggled and healed the damage my overreacting caused. Today, we're going to work together again. I am going to strive to include my kids in decisions we make. Perhaps, a sitter isn't the solution. I have some time to figure it out. See if we want to try someone else or work to make my school time possible at home. 

They're my kids, my family. I'm not ashamed, disappointed or embarassed to be their mom. And I love everything single little thing about them. Even that they can take down an adult.  


Kaylala said...

This made me tear up... I hope I'm half the mom you are. <3

Dani Kenney-Coats said...

That is an amazing way to look at things. Your family is incredibly blessed. Those kids are going to grow up so self-assured and brave, and it will be because of moments like that one. I am beyond impressed, and my admiration goes out to you.

Michelle said...

gah that's rough! FWIW, I would babysit your kids. I have very fond memories of all those Sunday mornings of us chilling in the SoL nursery.

This makes me think about when I'm managing the tech lab and every mother brings her screaming, crying, fighting, playing kids. I read something else neat you may be interested in (I don't know if you'll like it per se. Lots of differing opinions): Mostly I agreed with the "Mutual understanding and kindness is crucial." That's sort of my policy on kids, parenting, and sharing space.

laura said...

Fantastic post-this is why I love reading your blog.