Monday, April 18, 2011

Thoughts on mothering preschoolers

I need to get something off my chest. I feel like I have used this blog to complain a lot lately. While I do want to use this as an avenue to share personal stories I do not want you all to think that I am unhappy. Or a generally unhappy person. That could not be farther from the truth.
Truth is, I am a happy person. I try to see the glass half full. I like to be an encouragement to others. I seek out God's promises in the everyday. I am pretty posititive. Most of the time.
The way I see it, being a mom is hard. You are trying to stay positive for yourself. Your spouse. Your kids. It is really hard to be that positive all the time. Sometimes I need to vent a little of the negativeness somewhere. You get the point.
Anyways, lately I have had lots of complaining stories about this and that. They have mainly related to my 3 1/2 year old daughter. I absolutely love her to pieces but she is completely wearing me out these days. In my opninion, this is the hardest age yet. Honestly, there have been many many many days lately where I have been re-thinking my decision to be a stay-at-home-mom. I feel like I can't do it for another minute. I find myself in tears and angry at my behavior. Thinking that I am the worst mom in the world and surely "ruining" my daughter.
(On a side note, all these images are un-edited. Sorry)
While daydreaming of having a live-in nanny or children shipped off to childcare everyday, I realize that as bad as it can be, I still would not have it any other way. This is a phase. My daughter will not whine forever. She will not throw meaningless tantrums and doddle at the dinner table forever. She will also not snuggle me on the couch or adore her baby brother forever. I know that her days of desperately wanting all my attention and thinking I hang the moon are passing. I am certain that I will never regret my decision to stay home with my children. I may regret how I respond to her when she makes me angry (and I often do), but I will never miss all the normal days that we get to spend together.
At the end of the day I generally want to pull all my hair out but it is because I got to spend that much time with her. Then I stop to think, not many parents can say that. That they had too much time with their children. It is a blessing not a curse. And while it sounds like a reminder, it is. I have to constantly remind myself of this.
So, yes, I may share my grumbles and complaints ocassionally. I take breathers on facebook and watching HGTV before daddy comes home. I text with other mommy friends and steal away moments to blog. Those are just my little pick-me-ups throughout the day. The ways that I take a breath. Calm myself. Stay sane.
Having preschoolers is hard work and I am certainly not the most qualified. I don't spend hours teaching life lessons and planning activities. I would be a horrible home-schooler. We kinda just roll with it most days. We watch tv and read stories and do play-doh. On ocassion I do something fabulous like bake cookies.
Regardless, I know that lazy days at home with mom are better than those organized days with a childcare professional. I know that the days where we can do absolutely nothing are fleeting. Before I know it my daughter (and son!) will be in school. Their days will be organized for them. They will be taught fabulous things and get to learn and be social and creative to their hearts content. There will not be another chance to be home with them all day just because. This too is a phase.
So, I just wanted to put this out there. Consider it a semi-apology/explanation as well as an encouragement to all you mothers to young children. Before I go, I want to share a link. My fabulous mother-in-law shared this video with me the other day. It sums up what I am trying to say. (Here is a tip: Have a tissue handy)


bethany said...

This is how I feel every day basically-that I'm ruining my children and all of the other mommies are doing amazing things with their kids that I'm not. Good to know I'm not the only one that often gets a little overwhelmed. I always love your honesty Sabrina!!

Tammy @ she wears flowers said...

I can't watch the video yet, because your words just spoke right to my heart and I can't sit here sobbing. I have 2 ten-year-olds--you would think I would remember all of this. With a challenging 3 1/2 year old also, I am going through some of these things and forgetting how important and wonderful it is--not every moment, but the opportunities and experiences we can have with these precious little children. I wouldn't change being at home for anything, but I think about it many days! Your post is so eloquent and expressive and such a wonderful reminder. I feel your pain (I live it, too ;) but I finished reading feeling more motivated to enjoy the good parts and move past the frustrations. Thank you so much for sharing this!

Amanda said...

Girl, I am right there with you! I was reading an old post of mine from last fall that is one of the most read on my blog. I have no idea why. But it is one huge complaint about all the hardships of motherhood. You know what? Every single thing I complained about is no longer a problem. It was kind of encouraging to realize that. We are on to new issues but that is life. Also, I challenged myself to have a better attitude about motherhood this week. Pray for me! :) You are a great mama, Sab. Love you!

Young Family said...

I stumbled on your blog some time ago and find it very real and refreshing :) I was a part-time working mom of one for almost 4 years until my son came last year. I just recently quit to become a full time working mom of 2!! Being a sahm is ENTIRELY more difficult than managing a full time job and part time motherhood. My daughter is almost 5 but you will probably hear this from many moms...I honestly did not think either one of us would live past her "3" year (and even a little into the 4's but is so much better now!). I think it's a challenging year for girls as they start to test boundaries with a female in the house as well as become their own little bossy selves (like their grown up moms). So thank you for being so real, so honest, and so normal!!

Mama Lusco said...

You spoke to my heart! I also have a 3 1/2 yr old girl. Oh, the struggles! Thanks for encouraging me to focus on the blessing of having time together. I recently went back to work part-time which has helped my mental status, but I really enjoy being home full-time the most :) Being a full-time mom is the hardest job out there!

Kate said...

You have not ruined your daughter, we all have those days! Kids are a challenge, especially preschoolers. Preschoolers are known for testing the limits. Why is it that children have so much more energy than adults, not fair if you ask me!

As for me, I love getting outside when I can with the kids, go for a walk, to the park, a bike ride, a picnic.... or a simple relay race in the driveway! Trust me on the relay races. They are oh so very simple, but kids seem to love them and they will wear your child out, fast!

I'm sure you aren't looking for advice and I completely understand letting kids be kids and enjoy their time just being home, without having to follow a structured plan everyday. I just thought I would mention this book I have, its called "Unplugged Play," I love it! If you happen to come across it, it has some really cute simple activities in there... The "ripped construction paper collage" seems to keep all the children I know busy for hours! (It's also helped us to decorate the house for everything from Christmas to St. Patrick's Day!)

hollycraftoriginals said...

I am a full time stay at home work at home mom too...I know exactly how you feel...some days I feel like I want to tear my hair out! LOL I feel for ya! Thanks for a great blog post! :D

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