Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One of those days.....

Today was one of those days. The kind where when I finally get the kids in bed, and the house is quiet, I am left with a sense of failure.
   Last post I talked about how easy my kids were at their current ages. Clearly I was having a good day. Today I have to admit that my kids are frustrating me to no end. I feel like I've tried and tried and nothing is working.  Fellow moms out there: I need your advice!
    My two and a half year old is mostly a really sweet kid. But bedtime is driving me crazy. She's always been pretty annoying to put to bed, dragging the process out as long as she can. "I need some more water!" "I need to say goodnight!" " I need to say I love you!" etc. etc....... And I have to admit that rather than put my foot down and say "only one drink of water!" or "you already said goodnight 3 times!!" most of the time it is so much easier to just give in to the little stinker because she is so darn stubborn. So this has long been a problem. And then we had the bright idea of setting up her "big girl bed". At first it was fine, and she didn't get out by herself much. Then she started to want to do everything by herself - get her own water, climb in bed, get her dollies, and tuck herself in. Fine. But all this has to be done without anyone else in the room. And do you think she does any of it in a timely manner? No way. Left to herself, she would come out a million times to "say goodnight", so that I finally have to go in and demand she get in bed... but then she insists she has to "do it herself"...and of course if I put my foot down, which I am definitely inclined to do, she has a huge fit and cannot get over the fact that she didn't get in bed by herself and will scream and scream and scream and scream and scream. And the exact same thing will happen every. single. night. AND every. single. nap. And I'm tired of it..but don't know what else to do to get this kid to listen.
   And then there's my four and a half year old. Again, she's a sweet kid. At least on days when she wakes up in a good mood. But some days she has the hardest time listening. So over and over she gets in trouble. And every time it goes like this: ex. Maria hits her sister. Mommy says "Maria, that's a two minute time out." Maria throws herself on the ground screaming, "Nooooo I don't want a time out!!!!" Mommy: "Maria, go to your room now or I will make the time out longer." Maria: still screaming. Mommy: "Ok, that's three minutes." Maria: still screaming and running around "I don't want a time out!!!!!!!" Mommy: "four minutes..." Maria: runs into her room, and then back out still screaming. Mommy: "Five....six....seven..." Maria: still screaming and still not in her room. Mommy: "eight, nine..."and all the way to twenty, sometimes higher...until Maria finally slams the door to her room and continues to scream for at least five of the twenty minutes. Afterward, she apologizes and we have a nice little talk about how she has to listen and not throw fits, because if she hadn't thrown a fit then she would have only been in there for two minutes, which is really very short. And Maria seems to perfectly understand this. Until the next incident happens an hour later. And the exact same scenario ensues. Now, I have always considered Maria a smart kid....but how can she not get this, time and time again?! Am I expecting too much out of her?
    So between these two things, I feel like I have to be constantly mad at someone. And I hate it! I know I need a new approach, but I just don't know what that is. I feel like a) I am an awful mother, b) my kids are awful, or c) I am an awful mother and that's why my kids are awful kids.


  1. ah! I think its the season .. post Christmas .. pre nice weather. yick.

    Obviously I have no advice since my kids are still non verbal but someone recently told me to read the book "Love and Logic" ... I think its about discipline ... so I might have to see if our library has it!

    And you are doing a phenomenal job! Being pregnant on top of everything is a full time job in and of itself. Praying for you guys!

  2. :( soooo my friend constantly is talking about two books about parenting and they have to do with discipline. I ordered one on CD so that I could listen to it over and over again. "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk" and the other one is "Siblings Without Rivalry." We bought them about a year ago when we also had a 2 1/2 year old... it's a rough age. I think that they are helpful, and give practical tips. If you can do it without waking them, go look at your kiddos sleeping. That's what old people always tell me to do. You'll see what a beautiful job you have done. And I second Grace about the pregnancy being a full time job. You can do it!

  3. Hi there! I found you through Grace's blog and just read this post and totally relate on every level.
    I have 2 girls- 3 and 1 1/2 (ish) and your 2 1/2 year old sounds pretty much exactly like my almost 3 year old. We have ended up just putting one of those door knob covers over the knob on the inside, so that she cannot escape from her room- it took maybe one night of some crying and her falling asleep on the floor right outside the door, but boy was it worth it, it was seriously driving me crazy!
    I also feel like I end a lot of days just feeling like a terrible person/mother/everything. I am constantly raising my voice loader than their scream just so they can hear me when they are fighting. I just turn into a little kid and feel awful for how upset I get at them. But then of course the old husband comes to the rescue and coaches me out of my near-discouragement. We mothers of little ones are doing all that we can and loving unconditionally and that is all that matters. I say that I am sorry at least 10 times a day, because I screw up, some days, more than they do. Anyways if you ever need to vent I would love to chat more :) Thank you for posting and for being so real!

    1. Thanks for following Ana! We did the knob cover with my older daughter and it totally worked...but with Felicity its not so much that she comes OUT of her room...she will stay in her room and play...

  4. Oh Beka your kids aren't awful...my kids are awful! Just kidding, I feel this way a lot. I think its part and parcel of their age. I've got one kid who is so stubborn he won't eat any meal if you ask him too just out of principle of not eating when asked, another who tantrums every day at nap time, and another who pouts if I tell her a fact such as "we're out of bananas". Sometimes I have to call Paul at work because I've been angry for what feels like hours. In other words, I don't have an answer to this other than apparently I need more patience.

    I'd say you can still beat the Felicity thing, however, I'm saying this when I've still gotta break Luke of his soother. Maria sounds just like Gemma, they totally understand what you're saying and the consequences but still are really into pouting and slamming doors. I'm trying to go with making it less of a big deal and still punishing her with corner/timeout. Its frustrating though.

    Don't give up!

  5. Thank you so much ladies! You have no idea how much these words of encouragement help! So my kids are just normal...whew. haha...

  6. And thanks for the book suggestions! I will def check them out!

  7. I feel like you just wrote the story of my life ;) I know that a lot of my personal frustration comes from the discomfort of pregnancy. Unfortunately, every time I need to stand up, bend over or physically respond to my children, I am irritated!!! But as far as bedtime goes, we went through the identical thing with my 3.5 year old son. He would stay up until 10 every night either playing in his room or coming out to "tell us sumthin" or to get a hug and kiss, ask for food, etc. It was so aggravating. At a certain point, I started to tell him that he would get no shows if he continued. They usually watch a show before naptime and before bedtime. I was surprised when it actually worked! He would ask for a show, and I would say no, you were disobedient at bedtime, but you can earn a show by getting in your bed this time and staying there. I can't remember what age I started that at, but now he never leaves his bed - he is just bigger and knows the punishment includes way worse stuff now ;)

    And if you figure out how to discipline your older one without the fits, please let me know. I'm at a complete loss on that one!!! We are 24/7 around here with the crazy tantrums!!

    Best of luck. And rest assured the younger one will eventually stop getting out of her bed when she realizes that is makes you upset. She won't want to do it anymore :)

  8. Hey Rebekah...I just found your blog from Christy's! I did't know you've been blogging.

    You are totally normal, your kids are normal, and we all have days like this. My 5 year old HATES timeouts and will do everything not to have to be in one, even if it means flipping out and screaming. Perservere, mama! It is hard not to be angry when they act like this, and I have to remind myself that they are just kids and it has nothing to do with me. Sometimes I need to go lock myself in the bedroom, take a few deep breaths and just spend a few minutes collecting myself. The Serenity Prayer helps a lot too. So does a good cup of tea.

    Sometimes we do "time in" instead of time out, because so often I realize that the bad behaviour is really their way of saying "notice me"...so I try to give them some love rather than isolating them. A good story while sitting on mama's lap can often turn that nasty mood upside down. Or a snack. Or separating the kids and giving them different activities. With my kids I've learned that I have to be pro-active about our day or all hell breaks loose pretty quickly!

    You can do it!! We all have good days and bad days. Thankfully, as Catherine Doherty said (and this quote is on my fridge), "With God every moment is the moment of beginning again." We are doing a corporal work of mercy, just like visiting the imprisoned, when we go to our kids in timeout and hug them and forgive them and move on with our day.

    Blessings to you!