Sunday, January 25, 2009

Parenting...is not for wimps

This has been a weekend that has tried my parenting bone... severely.  

Friday night Z came over for dinner.  We were having a nice dinner until he began to tell me my faults as a parent including being arrogant and holier than thou, as well as facilitating and perpetuating family arguments. This was all over a nice dinner. geez... nothing like hearing your faults from one of your kids.  Our history is a long one, his father and I are divorced, have been for 17 yrs.  We started young and I know I wasn't always the best mom, I know I have some faults... but these words still hurt.  Heck I was feeding him dinner and enjoying family time and then ... bam! Out came the barbs.

I decided to take it to the Lord.  I didn't react to him.  Just listened and waited to see if there were truth to his words.  And to be completely honest went to sleep licking some wounds.  As little E would say "That's no nice!"

I do know that I don't react well when other's are in a bad mood...lol  I tend to then get in one, I have struggled with this for a long time.  I have prayed about it for a long time too, I WANT to be the one to pull others out of their moods.  I just usually am not that person, and it does totally bug me.

Then Saturday morning I was workin out, trying to work out some of my angst by punching and kicking with my Turbo Jam.  And I kid you not the 40 minute work out took me 2 hours because the little guys would not stop whining, fighting and were over all not great.  Every 5 minutes I was stopping the DVD, panting and sweating and asking them to stop what ever it was that was causing the other to scream.  I ended up sending myself to my room after D came home because I was just in a foul mood.  Punching and kicking weren't working.  

So today, church was great, Sunday school was great.  Then we get home and S pulls a teen moment.  ugh, if you parent them... or if you have been one... you know what those are... where the teen tries your last nerve and makes you angrier than you really should be.  

Button pushers... ALL of them.   ;o)

These are the times when D says to me... "And you want MORE?!"  And I can almost agree with him.  I want SO badly to be a good mom. I want to give my kids happy times. I don't want to be holier than thou, I don't want to be the strict one.  But I am also very aware that it's not my job to be their friend.  I am very aware that I don't always make good parenting choices.  

So for you parents out there... what do you do?  How do you move past the teen barbs and painful remarks?  How do you move past it when you have a morning when you just want to run out the door screaming because you just can't listen to a 4 yr old whine one more time?

I want to count my blessings.  I know I am blessed, I do know that.  It's just not always easy to remember those things when you are trying your best to be your best and fail miserably.

lol, it just occurred to me that I might need to go back to my God is Good post... maybe it will help? ;o)


12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey,
sorry things have been hard. I go back to my teen years. I was horrible to my mom. But, I go back there to remind myself that it's just a stage. I grew out of it, and your kids will grow out of it too at some point. I know it's not much help, but right now, they truly think they "know it all" and no one can tell them any different! So think back to what you were like as a teen, and how you treated your parents. Now, think about the respect you now have for your folks. Your kiddos will get there. Someday!
Love ya!
Cindy

Anonymous said...

Andrea,

This is the very reason I follow your blog...brutal honesty. We brought our 2 boys home from Ethiopia about a month after you. Emily and Mario are friends of ours so we saw you in their video.

Your family is much like ours- 2 little guys (6 and 2), 2 older kids(19 and 16). You're right...it is so very hard most days to have the patience needed to perfectly parent these kids! Some days I'd just like to get through the day without saying anything sarcastic.

I also know I'm blessed beyond what I deserve. The Lord put these kids in our families and He obviously thinks we can do the job. I don't hear you complaining...just adjusting. You have a lot to adjust to.

His mercies are new for me every morning! I am so thankful I have Him to rely on, as I know you are.

I have learned there is truth in the words (good or bad) of my older kids towards me. They know me so well and at times tell me things I don't want to hear. Ask God to help you incorporate something of what they say into your life to make you a better person.

You are not alone in your daily struggle. I feel the same way at times...overwhelmed! Thanks for your honesty which is so rarely seen in adoption, I think. Everyone thinks, "Well, you asked for this and you shouldn't be struggling." I keep my frustrations under wraps most of the time.

I personally think you are an amazing woman and mother. Your children are beautiful and well cared for.

I'll be praying for you.

Blessings,
Laura

LisaShaw said...

Andrea,

You are not alone. All of us have either been there or for some will go there. We are not here to be friends to our kids, we are here to parent them: love, nurture, teach them, raise them in the Lord, care for them, encourage them and discipline them. If you can find a perfect parent let me know. There isn't one. I have an adult daughter (who know has two small baby girls) and I have a teen daughter. I love them all.

There is much my adult daughter disagreed with in our parenting of her during her most rebellious and difficult years BUT NOW she is a Mother and so now all the things she didn't like she is now concerned about for her own.

Be encouraged Andrea in doing the best you can do and don't make the mistakes that I did for many years I tried to be super wife, super mom, super minister, super friend, super encourager and super super and then I looked up after YEARS of that and found myself at 245 pounds in 2006. I had to then start being SUPER to Lisa and turned things around with GOD's help and what a blessing that has been!

So when you need to take a break do so. That break may only be a moment in the bathroom with the door closed. Breathe in and out calmly and then ask God to refresh you and give you the patience you need with working with the boys. They are boys so rough housing and all of that comes with the territory. I grew up with 3 brothers and no sisters.

As for your teen and young adult, again we've all been there or for some they are just about to go there. Keeping calm is hard when you feel attacked when you've done all you can but remember to be calm. Don't let the enemy bait you into an arguement or a time of defending yourself as a parent. I know that can be tricky but try not to go there.

I wish I lived closer to take the boys once a week and give you an evening off to just take care of you and to spend some time with your hubby uninterrupted.

Love you.

Anonymous said...

Andrea,

I can't help you on parenting a teen....it wasn't too long ago I was a teen! I definitely pulled more than my fair share of "teen moments"! I also thought I was quite good at finding my mother's faults and I was more than happy to point them out to her! Now, I find myself in awe of what a wonderful mother my mom was and is.

Don't worry, your older kids will come to see you in a whole new light when they are a little older and especially when they start families! You wait and see - S (and Z) will be calling you daily asking you how in the world you did it!

Amanda

Andrea said...

Thank you all for your encouragement. I DO remember being a teen, so I think that's a bit of my angst as well. Gosh was I mean to my parents. Like you Amanda I was not at all worried about how I hurt my mother, and to this day I am sorry for that. I hurt for the way I treated her because now she's one of my best friends.
Laura, thank you... sometimes perhaps I am a bit too brutally honest. ;o) I wouldn't trade ANY of my kids for anything... but yes you are right sometimes there is this feeling of having to be the perfect adopted family maybe that's because we AREN'T brutally honest. Parenting. Period. Is hard ;o)
Lisa, I wish my kids cold hang out with you too. I know they would love that. God Bless you I love you sister
Cindy- I love you my dear sister in Christ!

Sandee said...

Hug. Being one of the teens who gave the barbs, so many years ago, and now, with almost teens myself. two sides of the relationship stick out to me.

Like you I too want to be a good mom, and God holds me to his way, even if a child of mine thinks I do it poorly. Heavens. I KNOW I do it poorly, and Oh, I know how much I wish I did it better.

Hug. God knows this. Is flat out in love with you, made YOU the mom....and hugs you as you hear the painful words. Run to His embrace and the salve of his word.

Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Knowing you back then, you did the best you could by Z at the time. He'll see that when he becomes a parent.
Tiff

Andrea said...

:o) Thank you Tiff! I love ya!!!
Miss you!

LisaShaw said...

Andrea, I do wish we lived closer so I could take the boys some times and give you a much needed rest or at least I could bring over some dinner meals so give you and hubby some nights off from cooking. I see you live in Virginia. We lived there for 10 yrs (Va Beach and Chesapeake).

Hang in there Sister. I KNOW you're a terrific Momma. I can see it from the SMILES on the faces of those precious kids! Love you.

Andrea said...

How did I miss this amazing post? Thanks for being so truthful. That takes a lot to put on your blog and you are very courageous for that. Often I think our blogger friends are our biggest supporters and we all have so much in common in different ways. I was crying at your post because I could feel that pain as I was reading on. My Danica has thrown very similar things in my face and worse. Unfortunately I didn't take it the way you did, I just wanted to punch her (of course I didnt). I guess I just walked away when she was running her mouth. One thing my mom has always told me and that is that your kids don't know what your are going through unless they have their own children. It could have just been that your Z was in a bad mood and had to stab at you to let it out on someone. It also could have been that he is seeing a different parenting style that he didn't see when he grew up. I surely am parenting way different now. Remember how young you were. Love ya so much. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

A, knowing your family and Z, if you were such a bad parent - how did he get to be such a great guy? He didn't just find God, church, Chrysalis, etc. all by himself! You and D modeled and exposed Z and S too, to God and His way and love, and as you say yourself they have turned out great. Don't you think you did the most important things right? No one's perfect on this earth - only our heavenly father! Take it a little easier on yourself. Love you, your honesty and the inspiration you are to so many of us.

Andrea said...

Thank you last Anonymous ;o) You are right, the big thing... their relationship with Christ... matters the most to me. And if we were able to plant that seed, which Z has taken and RUN with... then I guess we have a life to be thankful for. He really is a good kid. I guess I just had to lick some wounds, and honestly had some learning to do. Learning isn't always a bad thing, and sometimes the wounds we receive help us grow the most. ;o)
Love you