Family Meeting.

The straw that broke the camel’s back tonight at dinner was Luke gagging on some peas. I don’t know why, but it just sent me over the edge. And I yelled. For a couple of minutes. Totally not proud of that.

Immediately, of course, I felt awful. And after dinner was cleaned up, I called a family meeting. The children had no idea what was happening.

I told them that we are a team, and that I needed them to be a better part of the team, and:

-That they needed to come to the table when I called them. The first time. (To be fair, I always give a warning that dinner’s in x minutes, so that it doesn’t just come as a surprise that they have to stop what they’re doing.)

-That I was sick and tired of the complaining about what I make for dinner. I explained that I can’t always make their favorites, and I can’t always make crappy food like chicken nuggets and pizza (believe me, they are a regular part of the rotation; but I can’t serve them every night). Matt told them that someday they’d appreciate that their mom made a variety of things. And the gagging on peas? Please.

-That I shouldn’t have yelled, and asked for their forgiveness. Luke took the brunt of what was a bunch of things all built up, and that isn’t fair. I did further explain myself though, and asked if he thought maybe it was a bad idea to try to eat too many peas at once, thus gagging on a food he’s (reluctantly) eaten since he was 1. He agreed.

-That attitudes needed adjusting around here. I looked directly at Bennett and said something to the effect of him needing to get a better outlook and drop the stomping and eyerolling and door-slamming. Facebook friends know that yesterday was rough, culminating in me being crowned “The Worst Mom in the Whole Wide World” or something really prestigious like that. He nodded in assent to my comments, and after a couple of minutes, these very poignant words came out of his mouth:

“I am going to have to change my whole life.”

At this point, I looked at Matt because I was doing a very poor job of stifling my laughter and declared the meeting over.

We hugged it out, and all was well. The boys played a little Wii, and they all went to bed without incident.


Seriously, nothing prepares you for the dailyness of this parenting gig.

And there are days when it all piles up on you, and out of nowhere, you blow a gasket. I know it means you’re human. I know it’s a sin. I know it’s an excellent time to show your children what it means to be sorry for your actions and to ask for forgiveness. But it still feels rotten and leaves you praying you haven’t permanently scarred your children over a mouthful of peas.

Tomorrow is a new day. What’s that verse? “…His compassions never fail. They are new every morning…” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Counting on it.

11 responses to “Family Meeting.

  1. I was reading along, feeling so bad for you–and for poor Luke, gagging on peas, if I’m being honest–and was almost tearing-up . . . knowing that all of this was a culmination of little things that just build up . . . when I came to Bennett’s remark–and just burst out laughing!!!!!

    As parents, you & Matt rock. And so do the boys. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

  2. For the record – you guys are incredible parents! We all yell – not that it makes it okay – but you are not alone in feeling bad for yelling at your kids. Glad your kids seemed receptive!!

  3. Oh, I also meant to tell you – in regards to being the Worst Mom Ever – last week Norah told me I was the meanest mom ever and THEN proceeded to list for me the mom’s who are nicer than me. You made her list – so you can’t be the Worst Ever – I must be that! Ha!!

  4. I think Mommy’s blowing gaskets must be the “thing” this week – me and some friends were just discussing how we have all had it up to here and had to scream at the kids this week – then discussed how terrible you feel afterwards….. but like you said – we are all human and do make mistakes and do have to let off the steam. Love Bennett’s comment!!! Too cute!!!

  5. So are you saying I should just stop my dreams of having kids after Connor? 🙂 Maybe one is just enough..

  6. It must be the week for blowing gaskets! Since school started last week for both kids, I think our entire family is feeling overwhelmed adjusting to the new schedules. I have been making an effort to not yell and raise my voice but it is very frustrating when my kids tell me to stop yelling at them when I am only talking in my “mom” voice.

  7. Oh I so identify. In fact, I had a similar day yesterday…or maybe it was Tuesday. Not sure. They all start to run together after awhile. But yeah…sometimes I feel like all I’m doing is asking their forgiveness and getting overwhelmed and on and on the cycle goes. My nightly prayer is that my children will be protected from my sin. 🙂

  8. i think there is something in the water, or the weather, or the peas because it’s like these past few weeks adali knows every. single. button to push with me. last friday i remember waking up and thinking how good the day was going to be and not even 3 hours later i was laying on our bathroom floor crying like i haven’t in a long time and yelling mercy up to the heavens and asking forgiveness for what i just said to her.

    after reading your post and all of the comments i’m so glad i’m not the only mom with weak moments.

  9. I feel this anguish. There can’t be a doubt in your mind that you’re a good parent. Take a minute and read your blog. That proves it.

  10. if my boys had there way, kenny would eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and luke would eat a hot dog for every single meal. i’m not kidding. it drives me nut.
    (in your luke’s defense – i still gag on peas too:)

  11. bennett!!!!

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