Sunday, January 13, 2013

Parenting OR Am I Doing It All Wrong

Sometimes I get the itch to blog. But, I have nothing to say. Honestly, most days around the Bear house are pretty much the same. And our same isn't always that exciting. Well, Jaime thinks it is, but he is easy to impress! So, tonight I got the feeling that I wanted to blog. Like I need to pee, only I need to blog instead? Yep. I pushed it off since I could peruse Facebook instead without putting any thought into it at all. But the feeling stayed and I'm not tired (thanks to a sweet husband who let me sleep in this morning, whoa I'm not used to sleep!) so here I am.

There is one thing on my mind lately. It's there a lot because it is ever present in my life. Parenting. It's hard. I want to be completely honest but complete honesty makes me look bad, and it makes me feel sad. But, here it is. Mad Maddie is rough these days. I waiver between feeling like Stephen and I have too high of expectations, or perhaps don't truly understand what is normal behavior for little kids (perhaps a little of both?), and feeling that Maddie is a truly spirited child. I think it really is a bit of both of those things. I struggle with the yelling that so often accompanies her activities. I feel guilty when I don't have the time/hands to clean, nurse the baby, AND pay attention to her constantly. Add to that the time I spend on myself, showers, computer time, coffee, 15 minutes to stare at the wall and have no one touching me, I guess I put her off too often.

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We aren't the sort of family that has crafts and projects going every week, so often her activities are reading, coloring, and playing with her toys. No pretty blankets and picnics out in the woods, or trips to the market with mini child sized carts. No season pass to the zoo where we bundle up even in the bone cold Winter to watch the polar bears laze around. Our days have too many trips to "the stairs", which is a non-excluded version of time out. She never really sits there but she also can't be running amok and causing trouble for a few minutes, which we HOPE gets her to calm down just a bit. I tell her no, be quiet, stop doing that, put that away, go play in your room, way too much for my own liking.
I was so annoyed she wouldn't smile for this picture. Mom fail.
The hardest part is, she is amazing. She is SO affectionate and tells me constantly how much she loves me. She adores Jaime, hugging kissing, rushing to his side when he wakes after naps. I feel like if I could JUST find her best way of disciplining things would be easier/better. We talk, we try to talk things out, allow her to have feelings, problem solve when she does something that isn't ok (hitting, mean words, yelling, waking the baby, torturing the cats, bossing her cousins.....etc), but the lessons never really last until the next episode. Which could be 5 minutes later or a day later, we never know. I want her to thrive while keeping my own sanity. I just don'
The best big sister. The best.
I feel like we need a screen free week VERY soon. A week without tv, for any of us, computer, ipads, or phones (except for phone use). I bet if I eliminated the time on all of that we'd have more done around the house and have more time to play the way she wants. At the heart of all of this I believe that more time on her terms would be a good solution. Maybe a membership to the zoo is in our future.......


Gillman said...

I think you are way more normal than you realize. You just wrote about my life, exactly. On the days when I give both my boys my undivided attention we are all happier. But the truth is, I can't always be their playmate. Every year I tell myself I'm gonna buy museum and zoo passes, but never do. Maybe this year I really will. I think you are a wonderful momma and I look up to your parenting. Although it is hard, you should give yourself more credit!

Heather said...

True Confession: Three is my all time forever least favorite age for parenting so far. Every one of my kids were SO HARD at that age, and they aren't crazy hyper high spirited defiant kids. It's just that hard time between being a 1-2 year old who is still a baby and easily distracted, and being a Big Kid who can do all kinds of things... I think they are so much more aware of how things work and what they WANT and so much less eaily distracted and redirected when things go wrong... It's just hard. Lots of hugs for you. It gets easier, promise.

PJH said...

You just wrote about my life, too! Parenting is SO hard. Especially with a spirited toddler and new baby (I, too, have both). The first few months after baby #2 were miserable for my first babe...I feel she was truly getting left out with all the nursing, etc. It is HARD. I recommend checking out Her discipline solutions just make sense to me and when I have an issue I just search her page and find an answer. Good luck and thanks for sharing the honest truth!

Jess said...

Yup, girl...I'm in the exact same boat!!! I'm always thinking to myself that Emma takes away my precious time with Lea...and Lea takes away my precious time with Emma...and then I feel guilty for thinking that! LOL It is a very difficult balancing act. I've recently decided to stop ALL forms of yelling and I'm trying hard to say "no" less often. It's hard but I'm determined. :)


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