There’s something therapeutic about confession. We all are guilty of trying to make ourselves appear better than we actually are. Whether it is my portrayal of myself as wife, friend, mom, cook, housekeeper, employee or Christian, I want you to think I am better than I am. I’m growing by leaps and bounds in this department. I know that I find transparency in others so refreshing, so I am trying to become more honest and transparent about myself.
Therefore….. here are some (possibly sad, possibly comical) confessions about my life as a parent.
1. I pay my daughter to read.
In my defense, I got this idea from a friend. Her daughter isn’t a huge fan of reading books, so they offered to pay her $5 to finish a challenging book.
A few weeks later, I found myself incredibly frustrated. We take a weekly trip to our public library in the summer, and Ava always picks out a bag full of novels. She then brings them home, where they sit until our next library trip. The only thing that gets read are Archie comics.
(I may or may not have told her she will never be a smart person if all she reads are Archie comic books.)
So I offered her $3 for every library book she finished the rest of the summer. She finished her first one the next day.
2. I bribe and/or threaten my children.
Bedtime is a sacred time in our home. Not actual bedtime, but the quiet that follows shortly thereafter. There are no compromises when it comes to bedtime in the Rennard house. Both of my girls know that we don’t mess around with this rule. Ava knows that if she gets out of her bed, she will be grounded the following day.
When we moved Isabel out of her crib, we bribed her with M&M’s. She knew if she stayed in her bed all night, she would get candy the next morning. Don’t judge.
3. I allow some lazy mornings.
Many mornings, I have to be up early for work or to get Ava on the bus. On the mornings when Jimmie gets Ava on the bus or we have nowhere to go, I permit laziness. This means I get up to get milk and a bowl of Cheerios/craisins for Isabel, then get back into bed.
I either sleep a bit longer, get my Bible reading done, or catch up on blogs. I have been known to let her watch TV until 10 or so while I do this.
4. I sometimes hide.
I recognize this sounds terrible, but I KNOW you moms out there can relate. Sometimes the noise, demands, complaining and arguing get the best of me and I just need a moment of peace. My favorite hiding places?
Bathtub. I lock the door and let Jimmie be boss and referee for a while.
Bedroom. I have been known, very occasionally, to take my dinner into my bedroom while I eat and watch TV alone. Father/daughter time is important, right?
Shopping. When I’m feeling really overwhelmed, I take a quiet trip alone to Goodwill or Target or somewhere where I can wander in peace. This approach works wonders.
5. I yell.
I never thought I would be the parent who yells. With Isabel, yelling isn’t necessary. She responds well to discipline in a normal tone most of the time. Ava is a different story. She seems to not hear anything I say until I have dramatically raised my decibel level. I’m working on this one.
I think five confessions is enough for today.
As parents, I think we need to permit ourselves imperfections without feeling like failures. We have so many positive interactions each and every day with our kids. We give so much of ourselves to make sure they are fed, clothed, healthy and happy. It is so easy for me to overlook this fact and focus instead on the negative all the time. I will continue in my attempts to grow and develop as a parent, but I also want to allow myself room to be human. I want my kids to see my imperfections as well, so that they learn about grace, apologies, forgiveness and unconditional love.
What about you? Don’t leave me alone here… what are your parental confessions?
I know it has been quiet around here lately. My daughter starts school next week, so you will see more posts starting then. Have you missed any posts? Here are the most recent:
What I Gather About Worship
Gathering to Heal
You can also read my blog via e-mail by subscribing HERE!