Mommin’ Ain’t Easy
Mommin’ ain’t easy.
I was reminded of that a couple of weeks ago when we wound up at Urgent Care late on a school night because my son had something going on that needed to be addressed.
We missed both dinner and bedtime as a result. And didn’t get home until nearly 10 p.m.
So naturally, the next day he was cranky and overtired. And clearly not feeling well. So, I kept him home and let him rest and worked from home while he napped.
However, later that night, as we tried to get him to take his medicine, we wound up in a power struggle where he refused to do so. And we were at a loss of how to get him to cooperate.
We tried EVERYTHING.
For instance, my husband drove half way across town to the pharmacy to have it flavored. We offered to chase the nasty medicine with juice, chocolate, ice cream. Literally anything that he might enjoy in order to get him to take it.
We tried to reason with him. To explain the benefit of taking it. And the consequences of not. To try to help him understand it’s role and importance.
After several hours, we resorted to threats. The “if you don’t take your medicine now, then you can’t x, y, and z tomorrow” kind.
Once again, it got late. He was exhausted. We were exhausted. There was yelling and crying on everyone’s parts.
And after we finally got him to take a partial dose and let him go to bed, we all just felt terrible.
It was one of the hardest nights of parenting we’ve had in a long time. And one where we clearly were not nailing it.
But the next day, he woke up with a smile on his face. A visual reminder of just how forgiving children can be. He was not holding a grudge. Or still berating himself for how it all went down (like I was). Or thinking of how he could have done things differently (like I was).
With a bit of rest and a fresh perspective, we talked about it. And our feelings. And about how none of us liked how that all went down.
We group hugged. And kissed. Then, together came up with a strategy for how to make it through the next seven days without it being a battle each time he had to take a dose.
And we made it through.
We are not perfect parents. In fact, we are far from it. We argue A LOT. We raise our voices. And yes, we swear.
But our kid loves us despite our imperfections. And we love him unconditionally as well. Even when he is being obstinate.
That’s what being a family is all about. Allowing each other to make mistakes. Repairing as needed when we’ve mis-stepped. And loving each other through both the good and the bad.
I won’t always get it right as a mom. Just like my child won’t always behave as I’d like.
But we don’t often learn the most important lessons in life from the moments where things go exactly as planned.
The learning is in the moments that are most trying. That leave us thinking about how we could have done things differently. So next time we can try a different approach.