Never did I imagine that I would be the kind of mom that would scream and yell at her children. Never did I think for one second that I would use the harsh words I have used. Never could I envision having such a hard time keeping my cool. And yet here I am hanging my head in shame.
Sunday morning was really tough. The boys threw their worst tantrums and behavior at me and I responded in kind. I tried walking away. I tried counting to ten. I even locked myself in the bathroom. Nothing worked. Each time I blew my top. I screamed, red-faced and wide eyed. I shook my finger in their faces. I told them how awful they were being and said things that were ridiculous and out of line. The minute the words came out of my mouth I was desperately trying to grab them and stuff them back in.
I'm the adult. I should be able to do this. I should be so much better at this than I am. What is wrong with me?
By the time we were ready for church I had decided I had tried all I could that morning. For the first time in their lives I dropped the boys off at Cherub School and went to church by myself. Happy to be playing, and not trying to sit still in church for an hour, the boys eagerly waved goodbye as I left all three of them in the church daycare. And though the boys were happy, I was miserable. I felt defeated. Like a failure.
I sat down in the pew at church and had all I could do to keep the tears from coming. I feel as though I am failing these boys every day. Every day there are moments I can look back on and hang my head in shame. Times I could have done better. Should have done better. This, my most important job, seems to be the only one I am not succeeding at and yet it is the only one I must.
Mass started and I listened to the scriptures. The music soothed me and the sermon inspired me. I became more and more at peace as the mass went on. And I realized, for maybe the millionth time, that we all fail at times. It is human nature. No one is perfect. We all fail. And it is in failing that we learn how to succeed. We learn how to live. And we learn how to love.
The good in this is that every day is a new day. Every hour is a new hour. Every minute is a new minute. A fresh start is just around the corner. And I'm taking it. And I'll do better this time.