February 11, 2010

I just realized something.

It just occurred to me that when Robert is bothered by the kids, I feel like it's my fault.  

I realized that I feel like it's my fault they're not quiet enough, or obedient enough, or considerate enough, or sleeping well enough, or responsive enough, or _________, or _________ that somehow I should have been able to intervene before everyone got frustrated with each other.  Or I haven't worked hard enough at training them.  When I'm the frustrated one, I guess I'm too busy being frustrated to feel like a failure!  Or I feel like a failure as a mother, because I know better than to act out of frustration in the first place.

When the kids frustrate Robert, however, I feel like a failure as his wife (because one of my jobs as his wife is to raise our children) and that goes much deeper.

In Robert's defense, he doesn't complain about how I mother our children.  And I'm not posting this because I want anyone to tell me I'm not a failure.  It was just an interesting revelation I had a few minutes ago.  And quite a messed up one, I know!


Dan and Marcy said...

I have shared to same revelation - it is good to be set free of it, isn't it! You're a great mom!

Harvey said...
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Anonymous said...

Lissa, I wasn't aware that you were experiencing the natural frustration (does calling it a challenge make it any different?) of parenting children who, after all, were given a free will by their Creator, just like their mother & father were.

Somewhere in there, I believe, is our expectation that action taken by a parent (OK, you in this case) should produce an equal -- reaction in the behavior of our children. Such is not always the case.

At work, & roll with me here for moment as I talk about "risk" and "reward", in a professional sense. I encounter many people in the research (or business) world who talk about the risk-reward equation. One observation I have aobut this risk:reward relationship is this: risk is (1) actual and (2) present. Reward is (1) potential and (3) future.

Such is the nature of rearing children. Our rearing is actual and present (assuming we are active parents in rearing), yet the reward for doing so is potential and future (OK, sometimes immediate, but the pattern of learned behavior is not immediate).

Don't be too hard on yourself, and expect of yourself only that which He commands of us, that we (both mom and dad, and I know Robert knows that) rear our children with a balance of love and discipline.

I say this, knowing that your mom and I reared four absolutely perfect children, right???

Oh, and remember, God is in the business of long-term people-maturing, not just immediate "yes-ma'ams" (hmmm, how should I have punctuated that?) If your mom makes a suggestion, then I'll know she read my post.