A Parenting Theory

"Before becoming a mother, I had a hundred theories on how to bring up children. Now I have seven children and one theory: Love them, especially when they least deserved to be loved." (Kate Samperi)

I came upon that quote somewhere and was quite amused by it. Why? It mirrors exactly how I feel. Well, I do not have 7 children, thank you very much but still, raising 2 kids and awaiting a 3rd has afforded me some mommy wisdom, I think. There is no one sure fool-proof way to raise kids.

I graduated with a Psychology degree in college so I thought I was properly equipped with all the theories necessary to raise my own children. I worked with children for 4 years before having my own so I thought I had it all figured out. I would do this... I sure would not do that... I was one of those who silently passed judgement on those moms/parents who kept their children awake till late at night. Horrors! Yup, I was self-righteous! I was going to be the perfect mom. I was going to space out my children - I was going to have 2 children that are 2 years apart. If later, I want more, I can have another 2 after maybe 5-6 years. Yup, I had my plans all laid-out!

Alas, life did not turn out the way I had planned or imagined. I am now awaiting my 3rd child, and my eldest is only 4!!! Well, at least I got my 2 years age gaps right... hehehe...

My parenting theories? They are getting dusty as dusty as the books I had read them from. I was so sure of myself. Now, I do not know what the heck I am doing. I am constantly out of balance, second-guessing myself. Had I been too harsh in disciplining my son? He is after all, just turned 4. Do I indulge my daughter too much? She is going to be an older sister real soon. Am I being fair to both kids or am I neglecting one over the other? Am I doing a disservice to my son who is not yet in preschool because it is so darn expensive when all I hear is that preschool makes a lot of difference in the development of a child? (I plan to put him one in September)Am I being a bad parent when I plop my kids in front of the TV so I can have some alone time in front of this computer pouring my heart out in my blog? Will the questions in my mind never end?

I wish I could control my temper and not raise my voice as much as I do. I wish I could be more positive, instead of saying "No" all the time. I wish...

How do I know if I'm doing well as a mom? Sure, my kids love me. They tell me so. They kiss me. They hug me. They cuddle up to me. But they don't know any better, do they? I am the one who gives them food when they're hungry. I am the one who kisses their boo-boos. I am the one who wipes away their tears. I am the one who gives them treats. I am the one who tucks them into bed. I am the one they see when they wake up in the morning. Yet, I am the one who makes them clean up their toys too. I am the one who says "No more candy for you." I am the one who screams "Stop that" I am the one who sends them to their room when they're fighting or when..I...just...need...a...break...from...them. Yes, I am their whole world right now. I am the good guy. I am the bad guy.

Is this the best I can do? Don't my kids deserve better? Is this all the love I can give them? Is it enough? Is it enough to make up for all the I should-not-have done-or-said-that moments? Is it? Is my love enough to cover the hurts, the tears? How do I love them during those times when all I want to do is smack them? or run away as far as I can because I have had enough? How can I assure them I love them when all I want to do is climb into bed, hide under the covers and wish everything away?

Why don't I have the answers? Do you?