A Parenting Failure

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This week is nearly over and it feels like it just begun.  The kids had Monday off of school because it was President’s day and tomorrow the wind chill is going to be 20 below so they are off again.  My world revolves around the kids.  They consume my thoughts every single day.  How can five small people make such a huge impact on someone?

The school day for the four younger ones doesn’t start until 9:30, yet I wake at 6:30 because I know my boys will already be awake and be hungry.  My day begins with the kids and ends with the kids. Where I go they go. I feel like a mama bird and her chicks.

image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

I’ve been told many times by different people that I am a strong person and can accomplish anything.  They are correct, but this parenting thing is waring me out.  Chris travels every week for work. I don’t get a break at 6pm like most stay at home moms do.  If I want to go out the kids go with me.

Sometimes I question how good of a mother I really am. I am trying, but sometimes they embarrass me and it’s those times I say, “Cascia you can do better as a parent. You can teach them better.  You failed this time, don’t fail again.”

My kids have many of my traits.  Some are good, but some make my job very difficult.  I’ve always been strong willed, independent, creative and very determined.  I want it my way.  My kids want it their way.  Only one person can win.

Today is Ash Wednesday.  For us Catholics that means we go to mass and receive a cross of ashes on our forehead.  The ashes are made by burning the blessed palms that were distributed the previous year on Palm Sunday. After the priest blesses the ashes and sprinkles them with holy water, we come forward to receive them. The priest dips his right thumb in the ashes and, making the Sign of the Cross on each person’s forehead, says, “Remember, man, that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return” The distribution of ashes reminds us of our own mortality and calls us to repentance.

Ash Wednesday also marks the first day of Lent.  Lent is when we prepare for Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday.  

I decided to play my flute for mass this evening.  Chris is up in Minneapolis so I toted all five kids to mass.  Before we left I said, “Mommy is going to be playing her flute at mass today. You must sit still, be quiet and behave. I can not chase after you during mass.”

They didn’t wait to embarrass me. Right when we got to the front of church, Parrot started yelling at Monkey. Monkey decided he needed his own music stand right next to Mommy. He wouldn’t sit still either. Bear took off when I was in the middle of playing one of the songs.  Kitty got upset when Parrot decided that the ashes were too weird and he didn’t want them on his forehead.  By the time mass was over, I had a missing kid, one kid lost his jacket and broken crayons littered the floor where they were sitting.

Where did I go wrong? After mass was over the liturgical director approached me.  She was sitting in the pew right in front of my kids.  She told me that she and the music director want to help me with my kids.  She noticed that they are naughty and she wants to help teach them how to behave in church.  She also said, “We want you to continue to play your flute, because you have a gift.” I almost cried.

Cascia Talbert is a Catholic mother of five special needs kids. In 2018 she published the book, "Taking Care of Your Family's Health and Well-Being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith," available anywhere books are sold. She is also a professional flutist and an Avon Independent Sales Representative. You can learn more about Cascia on the following websites, cjsfunandgames.com and avoncrystallake.com. She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, children and Baby, the playful black kitty.

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