I never knew I am capable of hurting someone and the worst part is, that someone is my child.
Contrary to most people think of me — strong woman, supermom, Proverbs 31 woman — I don’t think any of these are true. I am not perfect, not even close. Sometimes I look at my posts on social media and ask myself, “am I really this person?” Because if we are being honest, I am a total mess, a terrible human being.
A couple of weeks ago I tried to ignore a sensation I’m feeling. I know it was not good. I hated myself, I hated my life, I don’t want to talk to anyone not even my husband. I want to be left alone. It was a dark feeling and I was trying my best to fight it.
Mike and I usually start our day at 5 in the morning. We gather our thoughts, make coffee, have our devotions, prepare breakfast, then the kids will wake up and they start being “kids”. Except this particular morning is different. I didn’t open my mouth that much and whenever I do, the words that came out are unkind. I checked my calendar and no, it wasn’t my hormones. I tried to be very silent but every time Mike starts a conversation, I react harshly. He left the house that morning without me saying goodbye to him. He knew something was up and he keeps on sending me messages but I am ignoring.
As if it ended there…
Coincide with my annoyance is Miguel’s decision to use “NO” as his favorite word for that day.
“Miguel do you want to pee on the toilet?” “NO!”
“Miguel can you please pack away your toys?” “NO!”
“Miguel please drink water.” “NO!”
“Miguel please eat your food.” “NO!”
In the middle of lunch, he still insisted of not eating his food even when I try to feed him myself. Aggravated by his attitude, I quickly threw the spoon filled with food directly to my son’s face then I stormed out and left him crying as Ryry froze and watched this action film called, “When Mom Loses It, Part I: The Flying Rice.”
I lost it, again. For the nth time even when Mike and I strongly agreed to apply the proper way of disciplining a child (the use of a rod for spanking and only Daddy can do it).
I wasn’t ready to surrender. I feel like there is still some reprimanding to do so I shouted and I made it my daughter’s fault as well. After a while, I saw my daughter cleaning all the rice that fell on the floor while my son is still crying. I told my kids to go upstairs for a timeout while I finish cleaning. I gave Miguel a bath and prepared him for nap time. As we were lying down on the bed, I talked to him and asked for forgiveness. Finally, he said yes!
On a much bigger case, more than my son, I know I have to talk my daughter. I was so ashamed to explain myself to her because clearly, there’s no excuse for my violent behavior. I told her what I did was very, very wrong, that I am sorry and I am really trying my best to change.
Shall we name that sensation? I have to admit it was depression.
I’ve been trying to play it over and over in my head, what is it that triggered my anger? What did my husband do to me? What is going on me with me?
I tried to retrace my steps and somehow put blame on Mike for not helping more lately, not realizing this is what I do most of the time — always finding fault with others when in fact my actions need some questioning.
So I questioned. That Sunday at church, I asked.
Take me, Mold me, use me, fill me
I give my life to the Potter’s hand
Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the Potter’s hand
Depression got me because it was so arrogant of me to think that I can do everything in this life but in fact, I can’t. I can’t just lock myself at home and stare at the four corners of the house while listening to my kids cry, whine and fight all the time. I can’t wash the dishes every time the people in this house eat. I can’t teach my grade-schooler while my toddler insists of sitting on my lap and writes on everything he can reach. I can’t alone do all of these.
Will I give up?
If you know me, you can probably tell what happened next. I cried. I tear up so hard, finally admitting to God that I cannot do this. So take me Lord, mold me, use me, fill me. I am all yours because being a hands on stay at home mother is so hard that it breaks me all the time. Every single day I ask myself, “is this what I really want to do? Am I still a good mother?” And all I ever need to do was to admit that I am a mere human being, wasn’t born with superpowers. It was a humbling moment that although my kids feel that I am their superior, someone above me is ranked the highest and I am answerable to Him.
Going back to God’s design, I was called to first and foremost nurture my family, to mother my kids, to love them and not to hurt them. The rest can be done later. My depression taught me to say my son’s favorite word, NO, to some things and YES to fully embracing motherhood. So when people ask how my baking business is doing I tell them my kids need me the most. This is me, trying to live this season in my life.
“Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
This isn’t my prime moment. This isn’t something that you talk about everyday. I never wanted to tell this to the world for the fear of being judged because honestly, my behavior is unforgivable. But it’s amazing how our kids forgive and forget easily. Just shows how merciful God is.
Often times we ask ourselves a lot of questions and search for answers as if all we do is doubt. Doubting if you are ready to be a mother. Doubting if you will become a good mom. Doubting if you are doing a great job raising the kids. The uncertainties are scary but that’s what makes us dependent on God. He alone will give and sustain.
I’m not sure if you are going through the same phase like I do. Not even sure if there are people out there who will admit that they are going through some stuff, but I know however you are feeling today, you will be better just like I did a few days ago when Miguel had a potty accident. I was in the verge of throwing a fit again when all of a sudden in a very sincere tone he said, “I’m sorry Mommy.” Then my daughter told me that I am the best Mom in the whole world. I was reminded that all my hard work is not seen in vain.
Just like what we often hear, that Motherhood is the toughest job on earth (and if I may add: the job that will make you lose your sanity) it is also the most rewarding of all. Believe that.
Don’t give up! Not right now! Your child sees you and you are his most prized possession. Happy mother’s day to you, lovely lady!