The biggest rule in my house is “Be Kind to Others”. Perhaps I need a Rule subsequent to that saying, :” Be Kind to Mom.” I know that I am not alone in this battle. Our children believe they can tell us what to do at all times, speak how they want, lash out all they want, and yet, they cannot put their own underwear on.( “Mommy! I need you!”)
I also know that I am not alone because I did it to my own mother. The one who never left my side no matter what, the one who supported me the most –she is the one that I told I hated. But, I didn’t. Truth is—I would die if anything happened to her.. I may know how to put my underwear on now, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t need her at 33.
So, why does this happen? Are we too lenient? Too Strict? Too passive? Or the most constant in their lives that the trust doesn’t fear away the verbal attacks? Why are we screamed at when we are simply just trying to help them as they get older? We haven’t even hit pre-teen years at my house and sometimes at the end of a day I feel more punished than they had been.
Realistically, we can understand as an intelligent adult, that our children are just simply doing what they are supposed to be doing, which is…..being children. It isn’t as though all the siblings form a huddle, make a play call as to who will torture mom how and then “1..2..3..Break!” But…that doesn’t mean we never take is personal. We do. And we do more frequently than we perhaps care to admit. So, as an intelligent adult knowing that children cannot always control their emotions; they cannot have a martini to relax and that it is up to us to teach them how to respond to situations, we should understand this. However, it is impossible if we are the ones that are on the floor kicking our feet and screaming. (and I mean that literally by the way).
So to be the devil’s advocate, when they say that yelling is ineffective when they are yelling, I say, well when my son is kicking his sister in the face and she is crying and my other daughter is yelling at me telling me what is happening, then what! The idea is fantastic, but if I don’t yell…then who will hear me at all? It’s like looking in the parenting magazines and seeing all of these creative, decorative designs to get your child to eat. No one has time for that. (except for my friend Tracey..You go girl!).
It is knowing when to stop the yelling. To separate yourself from the constant chaos of raising a family to avoid creating more of it. I haven’t found that secret yet. I have yelled. I have kicked on the floor, I have thrown water bottles with no one looking, only to continue to torture myself more by having to clean up the water that is left all over the floor…All for what? After it is said and done, I feel awful. I realize that they are kids and that they are looking to me to give them the answers..When I don’t have the answers, I panic…like I believe others do. We don’t have to have all of the answers. We are learning as they are. We try to avoid the mistakes that our parents made, and with that, make the same ones because we, too, are trying to be perfect parents.
But it still hurts when we our children refuse upon us, and do anything for others immediately after. We give, they take…but isn’t that their nature. We are the ones to teach them to give back and to appreciate..When we are, too, are wrapped up in our own selves, feeling attacked and mutilated from child with homework vs. mom, than we cannot do this. Instead, we are crying with our child that is crying over 2 + 2 equals…”I cant freaking remember!”
I am not a robot. I understand what is more “correct” in responding to situations, but I am also human and have feelings. Moms feel the pressure to be all, do all and be present for every second and circumstance that arises. It’s a constant humming underneath your skin all day long to tackle these things, so when we are getting yelled at and disobeyed the entire day in the process, we are sad, we are hurt, and we are angry. But, at the end of the day our children are humans as well. They respond to things just as we do. They cry, they get sad and they get angry, so why should we expect anything different?
So my biggest advice to myself is to take each day as a new one, and I can do only that. I do not have to wait until New Year’s to try harder or do better. I can look at the day that happened before and see where it went wrong and try to fix it. If I feel like I cannot survive through it, then I can call my own mom who survived through it, the one who I told that I hated…and tell her that I love her and can only hope that down the road, my own children will do the same for me.