My daily meditation journal had the following phrase: There are no great men in the world, only great challenges which ordinary men rise to meet.
I thought I would share my great challenge. I hope you will do the same!
My greatest challenge by far has been being a mother. I often wonder if I’m cut out for it. I am an introvert and sensitive to sound so having three children, two of whom are spirited girls, proves to be challenging for me.
Take this morning…
It was our first day back to school after Spring Break and the kids were slow-moving. While my older two sat down to breakfast, my youngest, and by far most spirited of the two girls, refused to get out of bed.
“I’m cold, I want my bathrobe,” Paige said.
“Your bathrobe is dirty. I’ll get you a sweatshirt.”
“I don’t want that sweatshirt,” still lying in bed.
I pulled off the covers and found her butt poking up in the air. I swatted at it with the sweatshirt. Of course, having Sensory Processing Disorder means Paige will either giggle and ask me to do it again… or scream because it hurt.
I took my chances.
“No, don’t do that!” She sat up, no tears. .
While I tried to get Paige going, my son approached me with his Friday folder, which I was supposed to sign LAST Friday.
“I’m sorry Mom, I thought I gave it to you before break!”
I know Eli feels bad but, honestly, how many times can he forget?? I took the folder and before I signed, noticed his homework was incomplete.
“What happened to these three assignments?” I was angry…
“That was when Grandma was here.”
“You mean when you had that temper tantrum and didn’t finish your math?”
“Why is your science study guide incomplete?”
Side Note: Eli is extremely intelligent – he is in fifth grade and reads at nearly a tenth grade level. He probably didn’t need to do the study guide in order to ace the test. Unfortunately, this sort of thing happens all too often and he needs to create good study habits so he can go to Stanford and play on their baseball team.
“I didn’t get it done because it took so long to do my math.” Math was what he made a half-ass attempt to do, proceeded to have his form of a meltdown, with the results, or lack thereof, listed in the Friday Folder.
I signed it.
Onto Payten’s lunch. I actually remembered to look at the hot lunch menu and find Payten didn’t like it.
I put the lunch box in her backpack and found the grade from her Famous American report. Teacher said she didn’t have the notecards with the six questions. Payten and I wrote them together – what happened to them???
“Payten, what happened to the notecards for your report?”
“I don’t know.”
“I asked you to put them in your backpack that morning and you said you did??”
“I did! I don’t know where they are!”
“Never mind, I’ll email your teacher.”
Eli is ready!
Payten is ready!
Paige is ready!
Hugs and kisses good-bye at the door.
Then, just before she walked out, Payten said, “Mom, my shoe isn’t tied tight enough.”
“Re-tie it when you get to school,” I tell her.
They are all gone until I pick up Paige at noon.
We tell the kids, “You can choose to make a good choice or a bad choice.” I made good choices this morning because…
- I didn’t lose my cool with Paige.
- I remembered to pack a lunch for Payten, who doesn’t like today’s hot lunch.
- I remembered to thank Eli for helping out.
- I took the time to hug and kiss each of my children before they left.
- The last words they heard from me were, “I love you.”
No doubt about it, parenting is the hardest job I have ever had and likely will ever have. As a mere human I have made mistakes, and know I will make more of them. But I step up to the challenge everyday – I get out of bed in the morning; I take care of my kids’ needs and hopefully, at least once in a while, their wants; occasionally I end the day with a glass of wine, and the goal of making tomorrow a better day. But I don’t give up on this challenge, and that is what’s important.