Sunday, March 13, 2011

Like any relationship, it's complicated...

Sometimes parenting makes me feel like a soggy, wadded up snot rag of tissue. All used up and no more room for blowing. Good parenting takes even more energy and most of all follow-through, consistency, intention...the list goes on. And...on. I often fail.

Tonight I lived through a full-frontal rage of my daughter's. Yesterday was one. And the day before. Whoever said the Terrible Twos are tough, has forgotten about the Sinister Sixes. Instinctively, I know that she needs these rages, that in the best of times I can help guide her toward a more satisfying way of expressing herself. Yet, when we are deep in the crevice of shrieking and screaming and YOU HATE ME! and YOU DON'T LOVE ME! and I HATE YOU!! is painful. Especially because I can't walk away. Much as I would like to.

I have to be a grown-up. It's what I signed up for. It's what is expected of me. Most of all, it's what I expect of myself. And, when my own head is cooled, it's what I want to do. But, it is bloody, agonizingly hard.

When you fantasize and imagine and dream... of having a family, there is no vision of children with tantrums. It simply...doesn't exist. You chuckle over the idea of changing poopy diapers, and losing sleep over a newborn. You imagine that parents with unruly children just don't know how to manage them. Then you have children. And, they teach you well. Hopefully you learn to check your judgement at the door, because if you don't? That very same behavior happens with your child, and there are... witnesses, just in case you ain't keepin' up.

The bad days can be turned around. Just when you think you can't get through another five minutes, you have. The very same children who drive you insane, are sitting across the table from you, and you can't bear to look away from their precious faces. You are blessed beyond words. Like any relationship, it's complicated...

It's the journey...Some days are amazing. Some feel like your soul is being eviscerated. Then you get up the next morning, and do it again. Because it is a privilege to be a parent. And, you want to earn it...

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  1. I needed this, after a similar day with Hugo....

  2. Thank you. Because I consider you an amazing mom. And it is nice to hear you go through it, too.

  3. My son turns 6 today and he is already starting with the "you don't love me" garbage. Oh and I get "my life is so horrible" nonsense.

    I needed to hear that this is normal and it's not something I'm doing wrong.

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  4. She hasn't outright said "I hate you," But I frequently hear "This is the worst day of my life," and "You're the meanest mommy ever." This is usually because I haven't allowed her to buy a toy at the store or have someone for a sleepover on a school night. I hope that missing out on yet another toy is indeed the worst thing that ever happens to her.
    We don't really have the screaming fits - it's the little pissy attitude that I can't abide. She has the eye-rolling down to a fine art.
    You hang in there, and I'll do the same, and in a few years we'll get our girls together to compare notes on how awful their Mommies were to them. :)

  5. That's what bathrooms/bedrooms are for--to lock yourself in and take deep breaths so you can ride it out.

    Good luck! I had a rager, too--it can be quite tough.

  6. Be strong. She only does it because she feels safe doing it with you there - she knows the love is there.

    It's a tough time.

  7. About those witnesses - the ones with kids are just thinking "Oh thank God I'm not the only one". The ones that don't have kids yet - they'll learn soon enough.

    You weren't asking for advice, so feel free to tell me to shut up, but here are my could tell her to go to her room and scream or throw stuffed animals against the wall until she feels calm and then she can come out. You could also get her a "Feelings Journal" and when she is mad, she can write about how she feels. Hey, it helps us feel better, right? You're a great mom, and you are doing a great job!

  8. Glad to know my six is right on track with the "you don't even love me" saga. If things haven't gotten too out of hand, I find my best response is: "nice try kid".


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