Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Yesterday I had a bad day. It all started with my morning, my morning set the tone for my day and all I wanted to do was go back to bed and start all over again. I hate when my mornings start off crappy because it screws up my whole day, mentally I just can’t get into that positive mindset and I know I’m not working at my full potential like that, not as employee, mom, wife or friend.
Atiana woke me up at 5:45 a.m. She typically sleeps from 8:00 p.m. – 6:30 a.m. so usually when she’s up that early consistently for a week or so she’s battling a sickness or some sort of change that’s going on in her routine. When she wakes up at 5:45 a.m. and comes into my room I make her play quietly with the dogs on the bed or I ask her to lay down with me until the sun comes up. She’s pretty good at doing one of the two so I can get my 15 extra minutes of sleep. See, I’m a horrible sleeper and sometimes my best sleep happens from 2:00 a.m. until it’s time to get up so I hate being woken up when I’m finally in that deep sleep mode.
Anyway, I gave Atiana options for breakfast that morning. Yogurt, granola bar, oatmeal, hardboiled eggs, scrambled eggs etc..she wanted scrambled eggs, so that’s what I made her along with some cut up fruit. She asked if she could watch TV while she ate it and I said yes and then started to get myself ready for work. 15 minutes later nothing on her plate had been touched. So I gave her a warning “Atiana, eat your breakfast or you’re going to school hungry because we need to leave in 30 minutes and you’re not even dressed for school yet.” She responded with “ok mommy.” 10 minutes go by and she still hasn’t touched anything on her plate so I raise my voice “Atiana, eat your breakfast or the TV is getting shut off and you’re going to school hungry.” Five minutes later all hell breaks loose because guess what? She still hasn’t touched her food! So, the TV goes off and I force her to go in her room and get herself dressed and she’s screaming and crying “but I’m hungry, I need to eat.” I dealt with a 30 minute long tantrum that had me so frustrated. I had to force her clothes on her, force brush her teeth (this is all stuff she normally does on her own but refused to do because she was upset) and yank her hair up into a ponytail while she tried running away. She’s crying and talking back, I’m yelling at her to stop talking to me the rudely and being disrespectful, then she proceeds to yell “I’m not rude and I’m not disrespectful…stop saying that…I’m not rude, you’re rude.” She just wouldn’t stop so in her room she went AGAIN and she screamed so loud for an additional 15 minutes that I was sure the neighbors were going to come over and ask if everything was ok. I was done. We left the house at 9:00 a.m. (she’s supposed to be at school by 9:00) and I didn’t get to work until almost 9:45 a.m. (I normally get in around 9:00). She went to school hungry and probably missed snack time because we were so late. I drove to work angry and sad. Angry because at times there is no getting through to my kid, anyone that knows Atiana knows exactly what I mean. She is literally the most stubborn kid I have ever encountered. She will argue with you about EVERYTHING and I mean EVERYTHING and does not like being told what to do. Well news flash kid, I am your MOM and I will tell you what to do and you WILL listen.
For those reading this judging what I’m saying and how I choose to respond to my kid’s behavior, let me just say this. Yes, I understand that my kid is a strong willed kid, yes I know that it’s important to allow a strong willed child to be who they are, but, I will NOT allow my kid to walk all over me, have “options” on how she wants to listen to what I tell her to do, and I will not allow her to disrespect me by ignoring me or talking back. Talking calmly to my kid gives her the upper hand in a situation and she starts to manipulate, I’ve learned this about her, and it does not correct her behavior. Yelling upsets her because she hates when she’s made me mad. Spanking works, although I’m not good at spanking, her dad is and she responds quickly to it. But sometimes NONE of these things work and I am left frustrated and defeated. I refuse to raise a spoiled brat who feels entitled to having everything and everything her way. This is a common behavior problem for kids that are the only child and later when they become adults they still feel entitled. I also refuse to raise a kid that feels like she shouldn’t be disciplined for her actions/not listening, and time outs do not work for my kid.
My whole drive into work yesterday morning was awful. I was so tempted to just call in sick, go home, go back to bed and just take a day to myself. I drove to work thinking about the way I handled everything, thinking about what I could have done differently to make the morning smoother, thinking about if I was too hard on her, thinking about how much I love her and how much I miss her when our mornings aren’t enjoyable together (after all I work all day so I don’t get a lot of time with her), thinking about my own frustrations that morning, etc…I texted my husband about how our morning went and he responded “I’m sorry love, we really need to sit down and talk to her tonight and figure something out, I’m tired of yelling at her constantly too.” Then he tried to talk me into taking the day off work to relax but I had too much going on at work to do that. He offered to make dinner when he got home and told me to just relax so I did just that until Atiana came home from school…..
Josh walks through the door with a crying Atiana and says “Well, she screamed the whole way home. I got to school to pick her up and she was on timeout for not listening to the teachers. They said she was on timeout a lot today, wasn’t listening, not napping or doing anything she was told to do.” As much as I didn’t want to hear more crying and yelling after the morning I had with her, she needed to be punished for disrespecting her teachers, so we took away cartoons and snacks for the night. She was allowed to listen to music and eat her dinner but nothing more. So, as you can imagine, that led to another hour long tantrum while trying to get her to eat the dinner I made her that she also complained about not wanting to eat.
Bedtime couldn’t come soon enough…..
She went straight to bed at 8:00 p.m. Josh made us dinner (a really really good healthy dinner) but I was craving pizza and mentioned it to him. He said “let’s order pizza, I’ll pack this for our lunches tomorrow” and he ordered us pizza! We sat on the couch, caught up on our day, cuddled with the dogs, had champagne and pizza and went to bed at 9:30. Somehow that last 1 ½ hour of my day made my whole day. It was what I needed to feel better and when we went to bed together that night I couldn’t help but feel thankful that God has given me a husband that truly knows what I need to feel better on days where I feel like I’m failing as a mother.
I know I’m not failing as a mother, I’m doing the best job I can, but when my daughter acts out and is disrespectful I blame myself for her behavior rather than realizing she’s 3 and she’s testing boundaries and pushing buttons because that’s what 3 year olds do…. I’ve been told that Atiana is very smart for her age and I think sometimes I expect better behavior from her because I know she comprehends everything just fine and I know the kid she’s capable of being. She has great manners but she also has this tendency to say hurtful things to people that don’t want to do what she wants. She’s also very good at ignoring things we ask her to do and that just doesn’t fly with me. I know this is just the beginning of what’s to come. With each passing year she’s going to get smarter and harder to deal with so we have to be consistent with our disciplining regardless of how shitty of a mom I feel some days. It’s a part of life and I wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t love, care and want her to turn out to be an amazing woman one day.
Parenting a strong willed stubborn child is hard. Every day is a battle of working on trying to raise a decent human being while also working on bettering yourself as a person/parent. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like I’m doing an AMAZING job as a mom, my kid is hard, and she makes feeling like I’m doing awesome with her hard. What I do know is I have the best support system around, and together I feel like we balance it all out pretty dang well.