Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tough love - and why I hate teeth.

I am only able to write this now that I believe the worst is over. But, man! These past few weeks have been rough! My sweet, loving, gentle, child was taken over by a demanding, high-maintenance, rough-and-tumble boy. I lost my patience more times than I care to count, and had some of my worst parenting days ever. It's really hard to go to bed several nights in a row not being able to think of anything positive from your parenting that day, but that's how I felt. And the overwhelming feeling of "Did I yell too much today? Is this going to scar him for the rest of his life?! And I ruining my child?!?!" can really break you down. But I just didn't know if I could take any more of the screaming, the throwing toys, hitting/climbing on Mr. L., breaking things (like the ceramic waste basket that he THREW across the bathroom), and just being ugly towards people. And the worst day? It was 4:00. He'd been awake for 10 hours with no nap. So tired, he couldn't stand up, but wouldn't let me hold him. Laying on the floor crying and screaming and rolling around. Him, not me (although I was about 2 seconds from joining him.) So I just went and put him in his crib, praying he would just fall asleep on his own. Next thing I know, he is KNOCKING ON HIS BEDROOM DOOR! He crawled out of his crib. AWESOME.
I was at my wits end. It also didn't help that Mr. L has been going through a severe attachment phase, and would scream if I got more than a foot away from him. 9 hours a day with 2 crying/screaming boys is not good for your sanity or your health.

Then last week, Jackson had an eye tooth break through. His behavior got a little better, but it was still nothing to brag about. 6 days later, second eye tooth. A little more improvement this time. Yesterday, I found a 3rd eye tooth. And he was an absolute angel all day. Jackson is back!
I've always heard that the eye teeth are worse than the molars, but I just did not expect it to be that bad. I'm praying that this is not foreshadowing his 2's or 3's.

God has really been working on my heart about how important my job as a mother is. I try not to take it lightly that Chase and I have been given this little soul to mold and teach and raise to the best of our ability, but also to God's standards. But, man, is it hard or what?! It's a very daunting task when you really think about it. I want to be "gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy." (Psalm 145:8)

One verse that I have to constantly remind myself of is Ephesians 6:4 "...provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." To admonish Jackson is to show him "gentle reproof." Not yelling correction. Not screaming "NO!" at him. Not getting on to him out of anger. But showing him right and wrong out of love. Wanting to correct him so that he learns what he should do next time. Not scaring him out of doing it again.

I know I will fail. I know that there will be more days when my parenting falls short of how it should be. But I also know that "It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not." (Lam 3:22) And that's encouraging.

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