I sometimes (okay often times) feel like there's a huge discrepancy between the mother I want to be and the mother I actually am, and the childhood I want my children to have and what I'm actually giving them. To some extent I can blame this on the pervasive "supermom" myth and agree that in many ways I'm not different than any other mother. But I don't think that's always true, and those are the times that worry me. Although I've never felt I posed a danger to my children or crossed the line to abuse, too many times I really toed that line, which is painful and embarrassing to admit. I can certainly blame much of that on my abusive childhood, but at 26 and with 3 children, I also have to recognize that whatever factors might contribute to my anger, ultimately I decided how to act.
Unfortunately what I usually do is think about all the ways in which I'm a lousy mother and throw a pity party for myself, vow (sincerely) to do better, and then find myself right back in "angry screaming mom mode." I know that when I feel myself going there I need to stop and pray, but normally I'm already gone and then I'm too angry to "offer it up" to God and ask for His help and too ashamed to pray Hail Mary. So it's usually a depressing cycle.
So today when the kids were stressing me out and I felt myself going into "angry screaming mom mode" I stopped and got my 7 year old and we sat down on the couch while the little ones played and prayed the rosary together. She cuddled up next to me and kissed me on the cheek and more than once I got choked up at the loving and calming presence the Lord can have in my life when I humble myself to Him and the cross.
I don't think it's an understatement to say that God's love and mercy can be radicalizing and life-altering if we open ourselves up to Him and His presence. I know that if I took every moment when my anger was simmering to sit and pray and ask for strength and guidance, not only would my life be dramatically different, but so would my children's lives, and my husband's life.
Jesus, You willing carried Your Cross for love of Your Father and all people. Grant me forbearance and patience to carry my cross in difficult moments. Amen.