Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sad and Frustrated

 The little flower and Superbaby are finally asleep. Chris is still at work. My throat is sore from all of the hollering I did today and I'm fighting back the tears. It makes me want to just curl up into a ball and sob when I think about how my little flower looks at me when I lose my temper. 

 It was a long day with both girls. No school, no activities. Just us at home. From the moment she woke up this morning, little flower tested me. She said 'no', ignored me, and cried/whined. I yell out of sheer frustration and then wonder how she is ever going to learn to cope with her own emotions if this is the example I provide. I often wonder if my doctor would think I was crazy if I went into the office requesting Ativan or Paxil or both because "I have a two year old".

 I want to have fun with her, to laugh and play and tickle. But I also want her to understand that 'no' means 'no'. I expect her to do what I ask of her. Not for my good, but for her own. I pick my battles, but there are still so many to be fought. For instance, being rough with her sister? Unacceptable. Running away from me in a parking lot? Unacceptable. Eating her Old Maid cards? Unacceptable. Spitting? Unacceptable. Slamming the washing machine door on me while I'm taking the clothes out of it? Unacceptable. Ripping the pages out of library books? Unacceptable.   

Some people tell me she's well behaved and I wonder if we are too strict. Her teachers tell me about some minor issues she's having in preschool and I wonder what we are doing wrong. We don't let anything slide. Should we? Is that the problem? I feel that I would be doing her a huge disservice if I did not provide discipline. I believe children need it and want it and that it makes them feel valued. It takes no energy at all to say 'yes' all day every day.

 However, lately I feel all I do is "discipline". I nag and say 'no' and can't seem to just loosen up and enjoy my girl. I feel guilty even thinking this, but I look forward to taking her to preschool some days. I breathe a sigh of relief as I drive away. Not because I'm free to thrift store shop 'til I drop, but because while she's there I'm free of worry. I don't have to worry about losing my cool or if I'm doing damage to her fragile psyche or if she's ever going to outgrow this.

I just want to get it right, to be a good mother. I want my girl to feel loved because she always is and always will be. And if people want to stop saying "just wait until she's a teenager", I would be okay with that, too. 



Nikki said...

The only thing I can say is this-- remember how GOOD she was when you were on bedrest? Think of what a shock it all must have been to her and then to end up with a new baby too. She's only 2, and a first child and a girl as well. Talia didn't give me those kinds of problems but we have others (like, why is she awake right now, at 4:30am?). On the worst days I really try to put down all of my chores and spend some real quality time with T, playing a game or doing art TOGETHER instead of me just setting it up for her. It's hard because my head is SCREAMING to clean the kitchen or make dinner or try to sneak the newspaper into our play. It sounds counterintuitive-- don't reward them for bad behavior but-- all they really want is you. I find saying yes to be incredibly difficult and take a lot of energy but try saying it more. Say it for everything except the things you mentioned-- no running in the parking lot, no hitting your sister. So what if she ends up watching a little more TV or having cookies for breakfast or walking around outside with no shoes? Take a deep breath and say YES. Remember how lucky you are to have your two healthy girls and hug them tight. Now go take those girls out for ice cream!

Stephanie said...

Oh, Holly. I could have written (and probably have!) this post so many times. I have felt that same way about yelling at them...you see their little eyes so wide, it's awful. But you know what? If overall they are getting mostly love and a little yelling? They are going to be fine. My kids totally go in stages, too. Stages of testing and growing and making me feel like there is something really wrong with them and myself and then, boom, they are back to being basically the same good kids I know they are.

I have really been struggling with the days at home, too. Please don't feel bad about being thankful for preschool because then I will have to, too. :) And I've been pretty successful at talking myself out of it. Wanting and needing a break from your child DOES NOT mean you are a bad mother or that you can't handle it...it just means you need a little break!

Maybe don't give her access to any library books that aren't board books for a while (that's what I did for Ruby, been there.) or anything paper-y.

Have you ever read any of the love & logic books? I really really recommend (sp?) them. NOT that I am saying I am a perfect mother (oh please.) but I think that when I use their advice, it really works.

Anyways, this was a book, not a comment. I just wanted to let you know I feel exactly this same way sometimes. xoxo

NAna said...

Holly you ARE A WONDERFUL MOTHER & WE ALL know HOW MUCH YOU LOVE ! LOVE ! LOVE! those two little miracles.You are just like any other mother and SHE IS A WONDERFUL ,BRIGHT & WAY TO SMART little girl that is why they test the waters because ,they are smart enough to get to you yet smart enough to know no matter how mad mommy may seem that you & daddy will always love unconditionally.Dont' get upset she is a normal two tear old & it will pass (well maybe not with your brothers HAHA) I LOVE YOU ALL Nana

Anonymous said...

YOU are not alone. We struggle with Brayson constantly and are on him to teach him the ways to act when we are not around. You are doing the right things. Parenting is SO NOT EASY. I have cried many times, even in front of Brayson b/c of the way he acts or the harsh words said to me. We need to remember, they are learning. They do not realize what they are doing is wrong and are very compulsive. They do not possess the ability to think through the consequences of their actions. The world is all about them. They are to be revolved around. We are here to teach them this is not the case, that others have feelings as well, and that their actions affect those around them. If you feel you are going to go insane or scream, simply walk in the other room, take a deep breath, and then tell Poppy we need to talk about what just happened and think of what you should have done. Be truthful with her about her actions and that she is hurting mommy and you don't want to act like this but she is not doing what is right. I often tell Brayson to go in the other room because I cannot be around him right now because he has hurt my feelings or done something totally unacceptable. He too is rough with Brooklyn and sometimes down right mean. I have to seperate them often. I feel I do not get the quality time wanted with Brooklyn because I am constantly dealing with Brayson taking a toy from her or pestering her. I too look forward to school for him. He is ready. He gets bored here and I want to spend quality time with Brooklyn. I worry to death about him, though. How people will treat him, how he will deal wtih situations, and if he will be homesick. He likes to kick and yell whenever ANY emotion occurs. If he is sad, scared, frustrated, or mad, he goes off and kicks and yells. I anticipate some calls from the school. Hang in there, I will be praying for you. God knows you can do this and admires your parenting or He would not have trusted you with your two BEAUTIFUL little girls. He is at your side and guiding you the whole way. Love you

Sheree Craig
Sorry so long