I yelled at my kids today. Loud. Like gave-myself-a-headache-loud.
The small people often respond with ‘what???’ when I call their names. It is like nails on a chalkboard.
And they don’t always say ‘please’ or ‘thank you’. They ‘forget’ to clean their room, make their bed, pick their clothes up off the floor, let the dog out or eat their breakfasts.
I’ve let them eat McDonald’s. Twice in one week.
I’ve made pancakes for dinner and let them skip the fruit and vegetables.
I often think they are spoiled. Life is so easy for them – their rooms are too big, they have too many toys and they have someone who picks up after them ALL.THE.TIME. (me)
They say “I caaaaaannnnn’tttt” all the time, have actually rolled their eyes at me and have been known to throw a world-class tantrum complete with stomping up the stairs and screams of, “I KNEW you didn’t love me”.
But I do. And their Daddy does.
And they know it. And I know they know it.
Yesterday, my husband looked at me and said, “well….they are happy. I guess that means we are doing something right”.
I think he is on to something.
I spend a lot of time worrying about being a good parent, a fair parent, a guiding parent. But the loving parent? There is something to be said for being THAT parent.
Kids sense when they are loved. It is because I love my children that I sometimes yell, that I stand over them to ‘remind’ them to clean their room, pick up their clothes and let the dog out. It is because I love them that I try to teach please, thank you, and ‘yes, Mommy’ instead of ‘whaaaat?’. Love is what motivates the ‘stern’ parent in me – the one who enforces bed times, separates fights and holds them responsible for poor decisions – like coloring on the wall. It is love that drives the need to teach lessons, give hugs and yes, even the desire to see the smile that comes with the occasional skipped vegetable or trip to McDonald’s.
It is the comfort of knowing they are loved that puts the sparkle in their eyes.
And even when I’m not feeling like a ‘good parent’, it is knowing that they know they are loved that makes being a Mommy simply extraordinary.
What reminds YOU that you are a good parent?