Hashem, I’m at my wits’ end. My kids are driving me crazy, and I don’t feel I have the strength to go on. Every day it’s the same story, from morning until night. Every morning it’s a fight to get them up, to get them in the bathroom, to get them dressed, to get them out the door! My oldest one doesn’t want to wake up, the baby is crying because he’s hungry, and my other two are throwing toys at each other. I end up having to literally pull my oldest one out of bed, and walk him myself to the bathroom. If not, he escapes to the living room, and we end up doing the famous ‘Round The Couch dance. We miss the bus practically every morning. I don’t know why I even bother making them lunch, because it gets returned unopened and uneaten almost every single day.
Every afternoon it’s chaos- fighting, screaming, crying, more fighting, threatening...and that’s just me! I try to separate them, but it doesn’t work. It’s almost as if they have some secret magnetic attraction that keeps pulling them back together. I don’t understand this, because they end up fighting all over again! What bothers me the most about their fighting is how they hurt each other. They kick each other in the stomach, hit each other in the face, and become human targets for any toy they can get their hands on. Unfortunately, their aim is dangerously accurate, and even more unfortunately, the bullseye is located on some part of their heads. To me, it’s invisible, but they can see it clear as day. Their screaming and rowdiness is constantly waking up the baby, and that really gets me upset. I’m convinced that our neighbors hate us. They probably think we’re a bunch of lunatics... And the mess! Just after I straighten out one part, there’s another mess that magically pops up right behind me! I know because I almost trip over the spot that was once clear, which is now covered in blocks and cars. Do my kids have a daily quota of how many disaster zones they’re supposed to create? What compels them to make the entire house look like a tornado just passed through?
And then comes the nighttime nightmare- getting them in the bath, in their pajamas, trying to get them to eat dinner, brush their teeth, and go to sleep. There’s more fighting in the bath, water absolutely everywhere, then naked kids scurrying around the house laughing gleefully as I chase them with their clothes in one hand and a baby in the other. At dinner, no one wants to eat the food I made. (Yes, I am a good cook.) One kid wants pasta, while the other kid wants pizza, and the third wants soup. What am I, an all-you-can-eat buffet? In the end, no one ends up eating anything, and then all of a sudden they’re crying from hunger as I try to get them to sleep. “I want an apple! I want a banana! I’m huuungry!” And forget about having them brush their teeth- many nights I give up because I don’t have the strength to fight. Just as they’re settling down, they remember that they have to go to the bathroom. That drives me crazy- especially if I’m in the middle of trying to get the younger one to sleep! Hashem, do You see me night after night, sitting on one of their beds, sometimes for two hours, until they all fall asleep? It’s absolute torture for me! Many times I end up falling asleep with them, and by the time I wake up, it’s late at night and I haven’t had a chance to get things done around the house.
I’m mentally and physically drained, Hashem. My patience runs out every single day. I try so hard to have more patience with them, to not yell at them, to be the best parent I can be. But it’s nearly impossible, Hashem! Every day I find myself doing the same reactive behavior, even though I know I shouldn’t! Why can’t I stop? Why can’t I just control my temper? Why do I have to end up snapping every single night? I feel like a complete failure, Hashem. I don’t know what You want from me. I don’t know how to handle these kids. On one hand, I am supposed to let everything go. On the other hand, I am supposed to show them limits. I don’t think I can do both, right now. Please, Hashem, please help me control my reactive behavior. Please help me for one night not to yell at them. My Evil Inclination is so strong inside of me, putting all of his energy into this one area of my life. I can almost see him dancing joyfully as I fall into the obvious traps again and again. I feel like an idiot, because I’m supposed to know better. I’m supposed to see the game for what it is- a test to see how I will react. I can see it when I’m not caught up in the moment. Why can’t I remember that it’s just a test when I need to?
Hashem, I see that I have such a dark side to myself when I’m reactive with my kids. It’s so easy to forget it when it’s not being forced out of me. It’s hard to remember that I have serious character refinement to work on when they’re at school or sleeping. But You keep reminding me day after day, that I must get rid of this extremely ugly part of me. Why do I want to hold onto this so strongly? Why can’t I just let it go? I know I must get rid of this, so why do I insist on carrying this heavy burden day after day?
Deep down I know this is why You make them so difficult. This is the only way You can clearly show me that I still have so much to work on, so much to correct about myself. It’s so easy to lie to myself otherwise. No one pushes my buttons like my kids do. I feel awful about it. Where did I get such an ugly side to myself? Why do I turn into “Mommy Dearest” when my kids misbehave? Hashem, please PLEASE help me get rid of this ugliness. Help me see that it really is only there for my ultimate benefit. Help me to see that when I correct myself, my kids will change without any effort on my part. Hashem, I can’t take it anymore. I want to change. I need to change!! PLEASE HELP ME, HASHEM!!