Being a mother is hard work. The hours are long, and typically moms are filled with a deluge of self-doubt about the work they do as a mother, stemming from an influx of judgment from other mothers, and pressures surrounding them from every angle of society to, “Do it better – this way!”
Lately, I have felt bogged down as I analyze my motherhood. I’ve felt as though I do more harm than good, simply because my patience wears thin rather quickly.
Tonight was no exception – my daughter refused a late afternoon nap, meaning the witching hour hit at the time I was knuckle deep in meatloaf. And, as she screamed to be nursed to sleep for a late nap, I yelled.
At her, at the dog, at life.
And, it did no good.
It didn’t calm Little Miss down, it didn’t stop the dog from whining, and it certainly didn’t make me feel better.
I have been advised more often than I’d like to admit to just, “View your children as the face of Jesus! Before you yell, just remember you are about to yell at Jesus!”
I have been working hard on my yelling habit – identifying triggers, trying to lead them off at the pass, substituting the raised voice for a quiet, gentle voice. Yet, it’s certainly not a habit which changes overnight.
And, the best I’ve got is to remind myself I am not perfect. We are not perfect. I’m grateful God does not require perfection to get into Heaven.
Instead, I firmly believe He requires us to work. Work hard. We all have our vices and struggles. It’s in the depths of those dark moments where we are forced to dig deep, analyze one’s self, recognize our fallibility, and honor the God who made us – to lean on Him, ask His forgiveness, and request His help to do better.
So, tonight, I am continuing in my struggle to maintain hope in my ability to curb my temper, and increase my patience – working with the tools I’ve acquired throughout the years, and working within the framework of my faith. I am continuing to have hope that not only am I a good mother, but God has a lesson in store for me through this difficult habit to break.
As the Fruit of the Mystery of today’s Sorrowful Mysteries reminds me: “I desire the virtue of patience.”