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Monday, July 20, 2009

The Not So Pleasant Side of Motherhood

I have always been a lover of math. Why? Well because it consists of formulas. Two plus two always equals four. There are no exceptions. I am a person who functions on formulas. I follow directions and never break the rules because I like knowing what the result is going to be. However, I am quickly figuring out that raising kids is not about formulas.
While pregnant, I read every parenting book in the world, I asked current parents a million questions, I observed others carefully, and I decided exactly what "formula" I would use on my children. I was going to be consistent, not spare the rod, instill manners at an early age, and teach them to treat people with respect. I just knew that if I did all these things, my kids would be well-behaved and not ever be "those kids" that no one wants to be around. Just reading that makes me laugh out loud! As we speak my daughter is on the floor in my room throwing a full blown tantrum. My formula is definitely not working.
This past weekend consisted of Noah whining and throwing the worst fit I have ever seen any child ever throw, all while we were on vacation. One morning, we held everyone in our group up because of Noah's awful behavior. We were all ready to walk out the door when Noah tells us that he wants to take his pacifier. He knows that his pacifier is only supposed to be used in bed. It is a very strict rule that we have established and he knows it very well. However, on this particular morning he decided to test us. We told him that his pacifier had to stay in bed like always and he went crazy...no seriously...he completely lost it. Ricky and I found ourselves in a dilemma. Everyone was waiting on us but we couldn't take him out in the out of control screaming state that he was in. We told them to go on without us and Ricky and I followed our formula of time out, spanking, and then just holding him telling him we loved him but that the pacifier needed to stay in bed. He screamed, fought, cried, threw himself on the floor, and refused to calm down. I prayed for wisdom, started crying, and removed myself from the situation. Somehow, after 15 minutes of complete chaos, Ricky got him to calm down, and we left for a day at the lake. All day long, all I could think about was why my kid would act that way and what I did wrong and how could I be such an awful mother. To make matters worse, the rest of the day consisted of one battle after another with my son. And since Maia is such a "mommy's girl," who cries if I put her down or if anyone else comes near her, I held her all day long in 115 degree weather. By the end of the day I was exhausted. I wanted to be as far away from my own kids as I possibly could get and I was so disappointed in myself because I felt like their behavior was nobody's fault but mine. My formula had failed me and I was my own biggest critic.
Up until about 4 weeks ago, I loved being a mom. I enjoyed my children and everything was going according to plan. Now, well it's a much different story. I know these days will pass and people say that I will miss these days but let's just say I am ready for the hourly battles, multiple tantrums, constant whining, clinginess, and daily spankings to be over with. I don't know if this is a common result of having 2 kids so close together or if it is me, but I am exhausted!
I will continue to be consistent and raise my kids the way that I believe God has called me to raise them because I have seen it work. I am a living example. My parents tell me that I was a "devil child" who got spanked every day for a year before I finally changed my behavior. They stuck with it and I finally broke. So, my mom is the perfect person to encourage me in times like these when I feel like a complete failure. Tonight, I will be having a long conversation with her to get the boost I need to make it through another week with my Terrible Two Year Old and Tantrum Throwing Clingy One Year Old. Pray for me!

6 comments:

Kathy said...

Ohhh mama! You're the best at spelling out what we all seem to go through! I'm definitely learning this too. And it's great confirmation that it's not just my kid that is doing this! Seriously! I start to worry sometimes when he pouts like a teenager and throws himself down like he's about to die from not getting his way. Focus, focus...I'm learning that as long as I am consistent with discipline and love, I don't get bitter or angry with him...sometimes I forget that he's only 2! How can a person of this size, who only knows 2 years worth of stuff, try to rule the world?!!

Bridget said...

praying for you my friend!

Pat said...

Thanks for sharing. I think we all go through those storms. If you haven't read Boundaries for Kids by Townsend its a must read.
Thanks again for sharing what you are goin through. It will definitely encourage other parents.

Lorayne Nazur said...

You are right. It is so hard. And yes, those of us with young kiddos close together have all had those days. We've all felt like "that mom".. Those who have raised kids understand, those who don't understand & make you feel inferior don't matter anyway. Some days all you can do is cry & pray. We can't control all of their emotions.. we just do the best job we can with them. Big hugs...

Nana said...

You're doing a great job. Hang tough, this too shall pass. A 2 year old can't handle making choices and is learning about decisions. He can't always make up his mind so sometimes you have to make it up for him to help through the transition. Take charge on move on to the next thing without reacting and explaining. Just say no, not now. It's not always necessary to explain yourself. Love you lots.

Sarah said...

As moms it's so easy to think were always doing a bad job. But no matter what we think about ourselves we have to remember that the Lord gave is this baby at this time becuase we were the perfect fit as a mother. So stop being so hard on yourself! :)