Monday, October 3, 2011

guilt

Several nights ago while lying in bed with my husband, I finally admitted it. It has been weighing on me for a very very long time. Too long.

My admission was that I feel like an awful mother. I feel like my children hate me. And please don't say that all moms feel that way. This is extreme. The feelings are not unjust. I have treated my kids like crap for far too long now. I'm not sure when it happened, when I started dreading getting out of bed each day because I knew I was going to be mean to my kids. I was going to yell, and grab their arms, and get in their faces, and be hurtful. Without control.

Motherhood is what I do. But I do not act like it is a gift. God has been revealing to me how cruel I've really become. No, I do not harm my kids, but I do not treat them with love or respect. I have been careless with my words and actions. I have been thoughtless when it comes to them. Forgetting that they are actually people, too, with real feelings. I've just been a controlling jerk.

I think in some fashion, a bit of depression has a little to do with it, though I'm in great denial about that. I can't go into great detail, but our whole life is about to change with this move and I really feel that it will help. It's not a cure, but adding the needed structure to my life is going to improve so many things in our home. Right now, nothing is consistent or stable, and I look forward to when it is. And I think this instability is causing this awful dip in my mood and behavior.

It's still no excuse to be so rude to my family. But it helps explain it a little. Carrying constant guilt around is hard work. It's draining, exhausting. So is regret. And the "if onlys". If only I could be a good Mom, if only I could not have anger issues, if only I could show affection to my older kids, if only I knew how to discipline Jonyn effectively, if only I was a touchy-feely mom, if only I wasn't making my kids hate me more and more each day. If only.

I admitted to my husband that the last time I remember being totally in bliss was when Taylan, my oldest, was a baby. At some point after I became pregnant with Kanyon or had him, something changed. I know birth control made me crazy after I had him, but something else in me changed. I don't know what. But I want those feelings of bliss to return.

I do know that after admitting all these things and him talking to me so sweetly and being so supportive although I don't deserve it, I feel better about being my kids' mom. I don't deserve their love or forgiveness, but they give it, none the less. I love them something fierce and could not imagine being without them, but I have not shown them near enough how much I love them. The baby gets nearly all of my affection, and I want that to change. I want to share it with all of my boys.

Toby and I both agreed to a no yelling policy, and it goes for every person in this house, there are consequences for each of us if we yell. It has helped so much just not yelling. Other urges (like getting in their faces) have already lessened. My patience has grown a miniscule amount, which is progress. I don't want to be a perfect mom, but I want my kids to grow up and say they loved their childhood, that they felt loved and knew beyond a doubt that they were. I also don't want to hated by them nor do I want to constantly be angry at them for no reason at all. I just want them to be happy loved kids. And I do not want to carry guilt and regret around every single day of my life any longer.

I am so hesitant to hit publish. My children are not abused, and I do let them know I love them, just not nearly enough. But here goes...

2 comments:

  1. Brooke, I completely get where you're coming from. I have those depression funks, that I hate also getting up from bed to just be with the kids. At some point it becomes resentment towards them because I'm unhappy. Luckily for me, I give myself a good smack in the face(sometimes LITERALLY), cry a load, and I enjoy the GOOD things I have, and focus on that. It's human nature to always see 'greener grass on the other side' and expect a big change will bring normality, but you know what? You have it all right there with you...ya just gotta train yourself to get that attitude change. I hope all goes well with this enormous move.

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  2. I love you. I love your honesty.

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I am so happy you are here. Your words make my heart so happy.

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