“Your boys are so well-behaved.” An older mom helped me watch my boys during practice and when we finished I about choked on her comment. But it’s true. Overall, my boys are well-behaved. That day, however, not so much.
We had spent the day correcting simple, ridiculous issues that we’ve covered before. We’d struggled through even the easiest things and I was ready to leave them at home when it was time for practice. I didn’t, of course (practicing not acting how you feel comes in handy occasionally).
Volleyball practice is a sort of juggling. I’m running a drill for my girls but I’m also glancing out of the corner of my eyes to count the boys. One “helped” another go to the bathroom by waiting until he got in a stall and turning off the light. Another one really want to help coach, aka, blow the whistle.
They did great at ball practice. What’s to not love about a big gym to run around in with basketball goals and volleyballs and plenty of people to play with you? While I was hitting balls over the net, I was also burning off some steam and remembering what was true.
My boys are good boys. And I enjoy being their mom even though some days have me ready for bedtime before lunchtime.
We’ve also had enough bad days for me to realize a few things about them.
- Bad days are what you make of them. Sometimes bad days aren’t so bad because, for whatever reason, I’m just striding through that day like a boss. On one of those days I realized that our bad days were more me reacting badly than the boys behaving badly. Let’s lay the blame where it belongs when we have bad days. We mamas are at least half the problem. Own that responsibility.
- Don’t let one bad day, or even a bad season, brand you or them. Bad days are part of life. We had them before we had kids and we’ll have them no matter how old our kids are. You have good kids. Kids who are small, who are learning, who need your love and correction. You are a good mama, exactly what God knew your kids needed, despite your lack of perfection. Remember the truth.
- Remember what the work accomplishes. You are struggling through these bad days at home so that you can do life with your kids and enjoy it. I rarely (although it does happen) have a major problem with my kids in public. That’s because we force our way through those days when I’d rather quit. Don’t give in. The easy route won’t give you the results you want.
- Change what you can. Go for a walk. Go for a drive. Make popcorn and watch a movie. This probably isn’t the afternoon to tackle errands or grocery shopping or learn something new. Basics, plenty of snacks, and an early bedtime might help everyone.
- Fill your tank. It’s going to be hard to overflow Jesus onto your kids when you don’t ever meet with Him. Get some rest. Leave the laundry and go to bed early. Eat a snack when you need to. Do some yoga or other exercise during naptime.
I don’t have anything to help you not have bad days. But I can tell that you’re going to make it. Every day will not be a bad day and you’re doing better by those children than you think you are.