There are some days I lay my head down so exhausted. I’ve felt like my entire day was filled of me saying “No! Don’t! Stop it! Go to your room!” Do you ever have days like that? … where you feel like all you’ve done all day is discipline?
As homemakers, we sometimes deal with the stigma of being “the mean one” or the “bad cop”. We spend the day disciplining and teaching, making sure that our children grow up to be successful, responsible, respectful human beings, and some days require more of that than others. What can make it difficult sometimes, is it seems the moment Dad walks through the door, all the bad behavior of the day is forgotten, and Daddy is home to save the day. He’s the hero. The children are so excited to see him, they drop whatever is in hand and run to the door with excitement. And of course, daddy is beyond excited to see them as well after a long, hard day at work. Meanwhile, we may be standing in the background exhausted and at our wit’s end. And now that dad is home, the children only want to be with him, and we immediately become the bad guy. All we’ve done all day is discipline.
It can feel really draining sometimes. It can feel so unfair at times! Why do I always have to be the bad guy? Why must I be the one to constantly say no?! Why don’t the children seem as excited to see me?
It took a long time for me to deal with this problem. For a very long time it really wore me down, it made me feel like an awful mother, it made me want to give up on things. It made me question everything. Then one day I realized, somebody has to do it. Do I want to be my children’s friend or their mother? Do I care more about them liking me or about them growing up to be good people? This, along with so many other things, comes along as part of the sacrifice. They might think I’m the “mean one”, and that is okay. I can deal with that because I know at the end of the day, I am doing the right thing, I am doing what is necessary. I’m doing what I need to do as a mother and wife.
For some time this whole thing actually caused me to resent my husband at times. I was mad at him, and for what? I was being so unfair to him, and it was causing tension. It was really awful. Eventually I sat down and looked at the big picture. How many hours a day do I spend with them, compared to the time he spends with them? By the time he gets home sometimes they are already in their pajamas and getting ready for bed. So guess what, if that one hour of that day he gets to spend with them he gets to be the good guy, he deserves it. He shouldn’t have to spend his limited time with the children disciplining them. That is my job. That is the responsibility I hold by being a homemaker. It’s one more thing to add to the list of what truly makes this job difficult sometimes, one of the things other people don’t even think about.
If you are currently in the situation I was once in, I encourage you to take a step back. Take a deep breath and look at the big picture. Realize that this is all part of being a stay at home mother, it comes along with the job. Besides that, things will get better! Children will get older and things will change. Make sure you are taking at least a little time out of your day to do something for yourself. Keep your head up and stay positive!