Monday, June 6, 2016

Taking Credit

Tonight at dinner, both the twins told me "thank you for the meal" without being prompted, there was actual conversation that consisted of more than "Please chew with your mouth closed", and everyone took second helpings of salad.

Today after a spontaneous and fun picnic lunch, both twins threw massive tantrums, there was a water spitting war, and I lost my temper with the entire family (myself included).

Sometimes I want to say, "It's not them! It's me!" (in an echo of that famous break up line). It's my fault when they behave badly, and I should beat myself up for my failure! But it's also all because of me when they behave well! The truth I am starting to learn, though, is that sometimes it's not either of us.

My kids are not good kids any more than they are bad kids. I am not a good mom any more than I am a bad mom. My kids are kids--and sometimes they have moments that are better than others and sometimes they have moments that are worse. I am just a mom--and sometimes I parent better and sometimes I parent worse, and sadly, my children's behavior may be more a reflection of whether or not their tag is currently scratching the back of their neck than how well I am actually doing as their mom.

I wish I had learned early on to not try to take so much credit--for the good stuff, but also for the bad. I wish I had learned to thank God for the grace of good days, but also to thank him for the bad ones because they keep me humble and dependent on him. I love it when my kids act right. It makes my job easier. But if they were little angels all the time, I would probably think it was because I had figured out this whole parenting thing, and that would be a mistake.

A word to my past self...but also to my future self: love those kids and do your best, then let everything else go. And remember: sometimes a good nap can fix everything. If not, there's always brownies. Lastly, sometimes, it's just not about you. Really.


  1. You took the words out of my mouth! Yesterday was monumentally bad in the behavior department. Today was monumentally good. I was thinking the same thoughts that neither is a simple product of my parenting. The best, best moment of the whole two days was when I prayed aloud, "Thank You, Jesus, for helping Anna obey," and she finished with, "Amen." The worst, worst was both of us crying.

  2. I'm supposed to be translating this interminable powerpoint presentation, but I'm going to catch up on commenting as a means of procrastination.

    So-I see your point, but you are a good mom and you do have good kids. An example from the other side: my friend here told me about his son who wasn't allowed to play on his aunt's phone, so while she was sleeping and had it charging, he took it an put it in a glass of water and said, "If I can't play games on it, no one can do anything with it." And my friend laughed. So. In conclusion, I think you can see that there are parents and kids that lean over to the dark side, and ones that lean over to the light as well. Your salad-eating bunnies are pretty good.