I thought I should write about this since a good day is rare around here lately. Heather posted on her blog about her bad parenting day and I can totally relate. I felt like she was writing straight from my brain every day the last few months. Lately I’ve been thinking about what a terrible mother I am, especially to 2 kids. I just plain suck. I have no patience. It doesn’t help that Porter is in the middle of some destructive, terrible two’s and I just don’t care to be patient with over-the-top behavior (ok, so over-the-top toddler behavior warrants over-the-top mom behavior, right?).
So many days I find myself just plain screaming at Porter. And often screaming horrible things at him that I have every right thinking but I should practice enough control to not say them out loud- especially TO my toddler. I won’t write these things because honestly, its quite embarrassing how out of control I get. If you’re an avid reader, you know I don’t hold much back on this blog so for me to hold something back- its not pretty.
I know some of Porter’s behaviors are mimicking mine. Like how he’ll yell at me or talk in an angry tone of voice or say things like “stupid dogs shut up!” or “Oh damn!” or “Get out here right NOW mommy!” I know I need to have a little restraint and censor what I say around him. Especially when I’m angry or frustrated. I need to learn to control myself and censor my anger and model more for him how to react in situations. Instead, I’m finding that I’m watching my little guy turn into a terror- an angry, destructive out of control terror. And its because of me. I’m setting the example and I’m so ashamed of it.
Not only because I have a mean streak myself, but also because quite frankly I’ve really sucked at discipline lately. I’ve spanked way too many times. I’ve threatened without following through. I’ve turned a blind eye to behaviors. I’ve reacted and punished before giving warnings. All things that I HATE… things I KNOW better than to do, but I just can’t seem to pull myself back into control lately.
Back to my post topic… One fine day. Today was beautiful. I’m not sure what made it different. I’m not sure why I had such a positive outlook today but I did. I woke up and I was tired. I knew I had a to do list a mile long, but I told myself… give yourself some time to wake up, hang out with the boys, check your email. Get warmed up for the day. And I did. And we tackled a few things on our list and Porter went outside with me to get laundry.
We’ve been having trouble with transitions and getting him to come inside (he wants to stay out and play) and it usually ends in a tantrum. Today, I gave him my expectations up front (which I ALWAYS did when I nannied… but it slips my mind now that I’m the mommy). I told him we were going outside and when I said it was time to come in we needed to come in, no tantrums or he’d be in time out. Then I had him repeat it to me what was going to happen. We went outside and when I was about done I gave him a couple minute heads up that we’d be going inside in a few minutes and he cheerily said “Ok mommy!” When it was time to go in we had a little fight about bringing in a sandy loader, but for the most part things were fine. No mommy screaming at him to “Get inside NOW!”
And then we did a few color/shape pages in one of his Pre-K workbooks (that I bought months ago but never sit down with him to do) and then we had lunch. I had been wanting to try these Muffin Tin Lunches that were sweeping through Blog World so that’s just what I did. And Porter was so excited about it. We sat at the table and talked and ate and had a great lunchtime. I again gave him a heads up that naptime was after lunch and he had a great transition to naptime. He even woke up happy- which lately he’s been waking up cranky and whiny.
What a great day. I had to blog it so I remember.
baby carrots, block cheese, chicken nuggets, cucumbers
He even ate with a toothpick (idea from Heather– thanks!)