I like to think that I’ve evolved since childhood, and, in many ways, I have. As a nearly 35 year-old-woman, I can drive, grocery shop, manage the kids and am generally a productive member of society. However, when it comes to not getting my way I’m not so sure I’ve come all that far from my 3-year-old self.
Inevitably there are disappointments in life, especially with kids. Mommy’s probably not going to buy the giant toy at the store or feed you chocolate for dinner. When these moments arise, almost every day, I tell my children, “it’s OK to be disappointed, but let’s move on and enjoy the moment,” or “God doesn’t want us to be sad, so let’s do our best to focus on all the wonderful blessings in our life.” After I’ve imparted this wisdom on them, I unreasonably expect them to have a 180-degree attitude adjustment and say, “you’re right Mom, my toys at home are awesome, and I don’t need anything else!”
Does that ever happen? No way! Most of the time they sulk, pout, cross their arms and hide from me until something else comes along to shake them out of their funk. I think this is probably typical kid behavior, but … is it normal adult behavior too?
A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to put our home on the market. We have loved our house, but as the kids grow up, we realized we just don’t fit in it the way we used to. It’s a bitter-sweet decision, but after a lot of thought and prayer, we felt sure it was the right thing to do. So we did our best to whip our home into shape and get it up before spring break, and we did!
I knew that selling our home would be hard, but I didn’t realize it would be quite this hard. Physically getting it ready for showings is tough, but more than that the emotional rollercoaster of having it shown, and anxiously waiting for an offer to come in has been almost more than I can bear. Twice now we’ve had verbal commitments from realtors that an offer was on the way, and twice, it’s fallen through. It’s understandably disappointing, but does it give me free reign to have a bad attitude, pout, and sulk until we get an offer?
It shouldn’t, but that’s pretty much what’s happened.
I’ve lived my life having faith that everything happens for a reason. I’ve done well with this philosophy for the most part, but now at a time when my faith is really being challenged … I’m struggling.
So what does this say about me? Hopefully that I’m a normal human, dealing with normal life dilemmas, and at the moment, I’m finding a little bit of solace in the fact that I haven’t thrown in the towel. I’m doing my best to work through it constructively, and I think I’ll have a lot more compassion and understanding for my little ones the next time I help them reconcile a disappointment of their own. Life is hard sometimes … maybe we should have chocolate for dinner once in a while.
Jordan Schupbach is a mother of three living in the Houston area. She blogs at www.lattesandliving.com - sharing the good, the bad and the frenzied.