It's been a rough week this week. I spent the first five days wondering where on earth I had gone wrong as a mother. It's not that things had really gotten worse, it's that I finally had enough. Every mother out there will know what I'm talking about.
When you realize that you do not have obedient (enough) children, you better slap yourself upside the head if you're the parent. Much of my week was spent re-evaluating my discipline methods; wondering when my own hearing loss began; and most of all - asking myself where lines really needed to be drawn and what really constituted a battle.
For example, should my children, more specifically - my son - be forced to sit perfectly still on a chair in a restaurant without wiggling and with very little talking? You may laugh, but this was really troublesome to me this week, particularly because that said son fell off his chair (because of his wiggling), causing his "neighbour" (a relative of mine) to spill their salad on themselves and partially on the floor. Apart from this catastrophe, it bothered nobody else in the restaurant.
Including his mother.
Whether this makes me a bad mother or not, I haven't yet decided, but throughout the week I have had to take stock of what is deemed appropriate public behaviour and truthfully, I still am not sure. I have a very "mixed bag" philosophy of parenting - largely traditional with discipline, and untraditional with behaviour. As a rule, I do not tolerate my children disrespecting adults, which is why the whole salad-on-the-floor incident troubled me; I wasn't troubled enough about it even though he disturbed an adult.
In short, here is what I've learned about myself:
1) I worry too much what others think;
2) I have too much stinkin' pride and realize that my children's misbehaviour sometimes bothers me because it's a reflection on my lack of parenting RATHER than their misbehaviour;
3) I probably won't know any more next week how to be a better parent.
I've also learned a couple more things, these during church tonight:
1) Not to look at my son while on the platform singing during song service, and;
2) Not to make eye contact with my sister after looking at my son during song service.
While I was earnestly trying to give God the glory in song, I made the mistake of looking at my son, only to find both of his fingers in his ears, eyes crossed, tongue sticking out, jumping up and down during the singing. I then observed my sister (whom he was with) stop his nonsense, only to look up at me, make eye contact, and start to laugh.
I challenge you to try to sing seriously at a time such as this.
Now, to complete my mixed bag post, I hope you enjoy pictures of the "art work" my son produced during church tonight. Some of it had me in stitches.
Title: "To Be Continued"