Each morning I wake up resolute to remain patient and kind through all the ups and downs of the day. Some days I manage to fulfill all the promises that I make in the early morning hours of the day. Other days, I fail. Miserably. There is no denying it, parenting reveals your weaknesses.

On days when I am well rested (and my kids are too), it’s easy. But let’s face it. We are all human and we all have moods and attitudes. My second son is much like me. We are not morning people. I must greet him in a very specific way each morning or his day goes pear-shaped.

Moms are notoriously low on sleep. Do you spend that extra hour or two at night to gain a little “me” time, or do you wake up early to exercise and start the day off positively? Either way, it leaves us low on sleep, tired, and well, moody.

On the days when I’m running low (or my kids are), it’s harder to stay positive. To help them through their hurts and struggles. It’s easy to get sucked into their drama. Parenting kids of trauma  is draining and sometimes I knock that ball out of the park. Other days, I feed into their drama, and instead of being the calming, nurturing person that they need, I overreact and make the situation worse.

There are days when I can barely keep it together. How many times does one repeat “put the shoes on the feet,” or “buckle up,” or “stop screaming like a wounded pterodactyl.” I find that after the fifteenth time, I lose my mind. When I’m stressed by life I react instead of acting, then the cycle of guilt, sadness, and shame sets in. I don’t want my kids to remember me as the mom that yells. But sometimes that’s the only way I can get them to act.

Temper can sneak up and bite at the worst of times. Usually when my kids need me to be the most patient and calm. I formulate the plan to be the mom they need me to be during quiet times at night. A calm, nurturing mom, not the frantic, loud mom that they got the day before. I’m getting there, bit by bit, little by little.

Tomorrow. It is hope that maybe one day, and maybe even soon. I’ll be stronger, softer, and more patient. Until then, I’m good at apologies and get in lots of extra hugs and kisses.