Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's Been so Bad, It's Gotta be Good!

Oh. my. word.
This has been an awful, terrible, I-want-to-quit-being-a-mother day.
It started with the boys messing around when I was telling them to get ready for school. Once we were out the door Matthew was yelling at Joshua repeatedly, in spite of my instruction to stop. Finally, I told Matthew if he said one more thing to Joshua I was going to take him right back into the house and spank him. Then he yelled at me. That was all I was going to take.
I told Joshua to go on to the bus stop without us, and I told Matthew if he didn't come in with me now, he was going to get two spankings. So I walked back to the house with my son following me crying out, "NO, mom!!!" Hmmmm, what must the neighbors think? Yes, sign me up for Mother of the Year.
After Matthew's spanking we got into the van and I drove him to the bus stop - no way we were going to make it if we walked. Somehow he managed to smile and wave good-bye to me. But my stellar mothering was not yet finished.

This afternoon I was going to walk up to meet the boys at school and walk them home. Joshua even reminded me about it this morning so I wouldn't forget. And, technically, I didn't forget. I just lost track of time. So, four minutes after school got out I looked at the clock and realized my mistake. I got my shoes and coat on quickly and walked to school as fast as I could.
The boys weren't concerned that I was late, but I felt terrible for not being there on time and giving the boys the impression I had forgotten. Bad mom moment number two for the day.

When we got home I tried to get the boys started on their homework, and it just wasn't going well. Joshua needed help, but wouldn't accept my help, except that when I began to walk away he would cry out, "Mom, I need help!" I wanted to yell back, "Then why won't you listen to what I'm saying???" I was doing a lot of deep breathing and he looked at me is if to say, "What's going on with you?" I simply said, "I am trying not to yell at you."
While all this was going on with Joshua I was also making trips into the other room, trying to keep Matthew on task with his homework, answering his complaints, and on the verge of insanity. Thoughts of hopelessness and failure were rampant in my mind as I wondered how second and fourth grade homework could cause me so much grief. Bad mom moments three and four.

Before I knew it, it was time to get dinner ready, and I added that to the mix of things I was juggling. So when Brian called and asked "How's it going?" and I burst into tears, I knew I had reached my limit.
Shortly after Brian called, my phone rang again but since I didn't recognize the phone number, and I was already overwhelmed with everything going on, I let it go to voice mail. (This decision would lead to bad mom moment number five.)

Although the chaos continued, somehow we managed to make our way through dinner. With the table cleared, the boys sat down to finish homework. (I was so glad Brian was home to help me!) And I finally had a moment to listen to that voice mail...It was someone calling to remind Elizabeth about an activity at Impact tonight - yeah, the junior high youth group meeting that happens every Wednesday night at church, which was already half over, and which I totally forgot about tonight. Bad mom moment number five. Thankfully my daughter is full of grace and said she had forgotten about it, too.
Even with Elizabeth's graciousness, though, there was nothing I could do to hold back more tears. I felt just awful. Failure Mom was the label I had on today.

Yes, this has been such a bad, yucky, rotten day, I just know this weekend is going to be good. I am doing a couple workshops at a women's retreat - giving the talk I present to moms' groups - and I know, from past experience, the days before an event like this are usually pretty bad.
So I am making a decision - here and now. I will not take an attack like this one lying down. I'm taking it on my knees! The more my enemy throws at me, the more I am going to my Father for strength and courage. The more my enemy tells me I am a Failure Mom, the more I am going to seek my Father and remember from where my hope comes. The more my enemy tells me I have no place speaking to women about motherhood, the more I am going to ask my Father to speak to them through me!
God is bigger than my struggles.
He is stronger than my weakness.
I can trust Him fully - for the days and weeks and years to come.
And if you think of me this weekend (especially Saturday between 12 and 2 EST) would you pray for me and the women to whom I will be speaking? Thank you, friend. You are a blessing to me!

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Karen said...

Oh Karen, may grace abound for you. Some days are just so hard. I find it fine having one child around me at a time, but more often than not, one aggros. the other and you hear "No I didn't", "No" "Yes" and we have to keep intervening and then after the umpteenth - stop taunting each other, interfering, trying to get the most attention etc, out come the shouts. Did you know that in New Zealand we are not allowed to spank our children? A bill was passed in May (I think it was May) this year making it illegal and if there was talk of spanking or knowledge of parents who did this they would be accountable to the law and possibly fined etc - isn't that incredible? There was a lot of resistance and prayer to this Bill, but passed it has been, so as you can imagine many things have changed for many people here.


Heather @ Desperately Seeking Sanity said...

hugs... hugs... hugs...

Dakota's Mom said...

I'm so glad you're in our lives and share so much of yourself. I gave Dakota her first bloody nose last night trying to suck the boogies out of her nose. This morning she woke up looking like she had been in a fight. One side plugged up with boogies and the other side with dried blood. Sign me up for honorable mention! The cutest thing was waking her up and seeing her big bright smile! It made me feel a little better!

annie said...

You know my favorite thing about days like that??? You get a redo the following morning and for me things always look brighter in the morning.

I'll keep you in my prayers Karen.

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Oh my. I think your blog title says it all though - you survived yet another day and hopefully the next will be better. It all seems to balance out eventually... I hope that today is bringing you much more joy and satisfaction. Hugs...

Anonymous said...

I love your honesty! So many of my days are full of bad mommy moments!
Thanks for sharing your struggles so that I know I am not alone! God is good and He is using you in a mighty way.
Thanks for your continued prayers!
Renee Blain

Wendy said...

I can't help but want to cheer for you at the end of this post. Yes, you had a bad, terrible day that brought you to tears. Yes, it felt overwhelming, almost defeating. BUT, you know the best way to combat that! You didn't struggle with it for days before realizing that you fight the enemy best on your knees. What an excellent encouragement and reminder for all of us when we struggle with those "bad mommy" moments and days.
God must surely have something wonderful in store for your weekend for the enemy to work so hard to distract you from it. I'll be lifting you up in prayer.

TCC said...

It's refreshing to know I am not the only one who has days like that! You must have some powerful stuff to share with the ladies on Saturday!

Rochelle said...

Okay... first I want to say I am so sorry I never got around to posting about your give-a-way... I had a crazy week and didn't make it to blogville for a long long while. :( Secondly... oh... you did have a day. I second Annie's comment. Hang in there.

Jenileigh said...

Oh Karen! My heart cries out for you! I know days like this all too well and I must admit you are some warrior! You handled the stress so well by not allowing it to take you over and turn you into a screaming banchy which is where I end up so many times. I bind this attack from the enemy, satan in the mighty name of Jesus and I loose His peace and strength to you in the name of Jesus.

I will remember you in prayer this weekend, especially tomorrow. Go get em girl!

I love you!

Coach J said...

I know that God teaches the teacher. How can we teach if we never go through it? :) ((Hugs))
I will pray for you on Sat. I will remember because my MSU Bulldogs will be playing football, & I will pray for you. :)

Real World Martha said...

I have been there! It is a blessing to hear others that have too. So often you read about Moms come right out of Mr. Rogers neighborhood and think is this real? It's nice to know others have those days too.

The Combes Family said...


Thanks for your honesty! I appreciate it so much!

Julia still talks about you and the your favorite Bible verse which she has memorized and marked in her Bible.
Karen Combes

Juloyes said...

Oooohh..we must live in parallel universes. You just described most days with my children. My oldest is my most difficult and dad had him all day doing a hospital visit and I hate to admit how peaceful our home was with just the 4 year old and the baby. I want it to be that way all the time but with everybody here!