Sunday, February 16, 2014

Imperfect Progess

Hey you!

Yeah, you!

The mom with all those kids running around while I'm trying to Zumba.

Do you have any idea how distracting it is to have your munchkins yelling and whining while I'm trying to cha-cha? It's hard enough to not complain while my thighs are burning from all those squats and now I have to listen to your kid whine and moan about how bored he is. Not cool, lady. Not cool.

Oh wait.

Those were my kids.

I was that mom.

At that moment I pretty much wanted to crawl under a rock and hide my face in shame. When they act out like that it draws attention to every inadequacy I have as a parent. Obviously, I don't discipline because they wouldn't act like that. Obviously, they're spoiled otherwise, they wouldn't whine like that. Obviously, they rule the roost because they got what they wanted when they left Zumba early.

On the flip side of that neurotic coin, I promised the children they would go to a play room during class and thus none of the little ones brought anything to keep them occupied...not even a stroller for the baby. They were bored and mom had misled them.
Maybe we should have cut back on the caffeine
(don't worry, it was empty)

BUT, then again, don't they see how absolutely inconsiderate they were being?

When I take a step back from myself, I see that they are well disciplined children (usually), who were tired and bored and did NOT get what they wanted by leaving Zumba early. In fact all were sent to their rooms for their behavior. While I'm not making excuses for them, it helps me to see that kids (especially bored twin boys, a rambunctious little girl, and a fidgety baby) don't see outside of THIER circumstances to see how their behavior affects other people. I don't believe they had any idea they were being distracting, rude, and generally bad behaved. But they were.

And I was calm(ish). We left early and I explained to them how I was disappointed, how I was embarrassed. Embarrassed not by THEM but by their actions. I knew it was God's grace because my flesh wanted to cry and blowup and act the fool, but I didn't. In fact, I made imperfect progress. I'm still not the peaceful calm mom that breeds peaceful calm kids. What I did demonstrate was grace in the time of frustration; something I may not have done in the past. And that was a step forward.

My body may not have gotten the workout it wanted, but my heart did.