a brick in the face.

so it’s late and i should get to bed, but i wanted to post this before i forget what i’m thinking/feeling:

i never knew i had a temper until i had kids. layne’s not there yet (not really old enough), but harper can make me madder than i ever knew i could get at anyone. sometimes i am utterly shocked at how seething mad a 35 pound little curly-haired ballerina can make me. i don’t know if it’s normal, but i’m assuming it is (feel free to leave comments affirming this fact).
bedtime at our house is almost a nightly battle. we spank, we take away toys/privileges/etc, we turn off lullabies. nothing seems to matter to harper…she will think of any excuse to stay awake, even if it involves a negative consequence. tonight was pretty typical, but ryan was at a function for work, so i was on my own. i lost it on her. i got extremely angry in a matter of about 10 seconds and said and did some things that i am regretting. that’s all i’m going to say about what happened…no need to call CPS or anything, i just wish i’d reacted differently.

when i came out of the girls’ room, heart-beating, tears streaming, i went on a cleaning rampage. it helped me clear my head a little and also gave me something to do with my hands, which is always a plus for me when i’m upset. one of the thoughts that kept going through my head was this: “i do so much for her. i give her so much. i teach her so much. why does she turn around and treat me this way?!” now, i understand that these issues we’re having with harper are more about her than they are about us. she is testing boundaries and learning how to express herself just like any other 4 year old does. she wants to stay up a little later and she knows that if i’m angry, she’s getting attention and doesn’t have to go to sleep. she’s not logically thinking through things, remembering everything i did for her today, but not caring. however, when i was super ticked off and had that thought for the 5th or 6th time (about how much i do for her), it hit me like a ton of bricks in the face that that has to be EXACTLY how God thinks about us. oh man, the floodgates opened when i had this realization. it’s a simple truth: God loves us. He invented love, so i know He feels it far deeper than we do. He does amazing things for us every day, provides us with not only the things we need, but with the things that make us super happy, and how do we repay Him? We sin. He arranged and re-arranged and sacrificed so much for us just to keep us close to Him and how do we show our appreciation? We choose not to spend time with Him. We are only passionate when we need something. We keep His amazing gifts and truths to ourselves.

maybe you don’t treat the Lord this way, but i realized tonight that i do. and i am so thankful that my kid was a brat for 10 minutes so i could get the slap in the face that i deserve.

Lord, i don’t ususally pray to you via my blog, but i just wanted to tell you tonight that i do realize how blessed i am and that every second i have on this earth is a gift and an opportunity to give you praise. i am so ashamed that i don’t do more to show you my love and appreciation. i am so sorry for my anger tonight, but i thank you for using it to teach me more about your infinite mercy and grace. thank you for never reacting to us in anger. amen.

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5 Comments to “a brick in the face.”

  1. Yes, Yes, and YES!!!!

    Katie, I know EXACTLY how you feel and I too am constantly amazed at how angry I am all the time with a 4 year old in the house. Just this morning I finally spent some time begging the Lord to change me because I feel I am becoming that parent that is nice some of the time and a mean bully the rest of the time. I can see my son’s face having that bit of hesitation at times when he doesn’t know what mommy he is going to get and that BREAKS MY HEART!
    That lesson of how our home situation reflects our walk with the Lord is so true. When I see Sebastian whining, complaining, and crying because he’s not getting his way, I realize that I am NO different. I may not show it in the same way, but I too am a bratty child who thinks I know more than my master. And my tantrums look different, but they are there.
    So, thanks for sharing this. It’s encouraging to know that there are others who feel the same way I do. The only hope we have is to CLING to the Lord because He is the only one who can give us what we need to parent these little blessings. Love you girl. 🙂

  2. Seriously- I have had this same feeling, more often than I care to admit AND experienced the same realization. Like when they are being so bad and you just want to fling them in their room and shut the door- not so much for their punishment as for your own relief- I realize that never does God do that to me. No matter how many times I disappoint him- which I often feel I am working on a record, He would never turn us away. That must be why our love is considered conditional-we are not so inclined to ALWAYS show it even if we feel it. Thank you so much for posting this- its such a relief to hear from others on things that often make me feel like monster mom!

  3. You should know that you are not alone in this! 🙂 I think it was about a year ago that I had major issues with Trey on talking back, attitude and bed time. He is actually really good for me at bedtime now. But Leilani tests me EVERY night! Some nights I deal with it rationally, who am I kidding… very few nights. Most of the time I lose my temper and just go off on her. She is definitely going through an “exploring her boundaries” stage and tries to get her way most of the day. It takes all I have not to just give in to her every time just to avoid HER temper tantrums.
    I’ve actually had this conversation with a couple of different strangers I have met at pools, play grounds, etc… That by evening/night time, it just gets to the point of wanting to rip your hair out. It’s nice to know that other mom’s are having the same daily struggles as I am, and even though I am so so so so blessed to stay home with my kids… it still takes its toll and I’m still human.
    Thanks for sharing… made my flood gates open a little bit too just reading about your lesson :0)

  4. Group therapy with a small group of young mothers is a God thing!

    Thank you Ladies …

    God loves you and your childern, too.

  5. that’s why I always called the dinner hour and the hours before bedtime…the deathhour. Gordon was often at school or at work & I was a solo parent during many of those evenings…kids are tired/hungry, moms are tired/exhausted and it takes more patience with little ones than is humanly possible…
    you are right…they are checking your locks…it’s their job but it’s so tough to stay consistant. You are in the company of many, many moms….keep up the chatter among the moms (group therapy)..expression (confession) often helps! You have the very most important yet challenging job in the world, by far!
    You are doing a good job!

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