Welcome to my digital writing journal, or mydigitalclutter. What started as a family blog almost two years ago has morphed into my writing therapy. This is where I do a lot of free writing, mostly about my life with my family and the things that catch my interest. While nowhere even close to perfect, in each post I like to see how my writing is changing with time and practice. Most posts are left unedited for this reason, so if you don't mind, take the journey with me.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Need to be a better mother

If I could only bottle the stubbornness of my second child; I could inject him with it at the age of 12 to stand strong against peer pressure.

The other morning was a difficult one and I left for work chastising myself, feeling like I was a terrible mother, and wondering if I should just drive off and never return.

It all started with a fight about socks. Yes. Socks. Nige didn't want to wear the socks that were in his drawer. Then, after finding something he would wear, there was the fight over snow boots and tennis shoes, with him flinging whatever he was wearing across his bedroom. After a lot of quietly informing him of the unacceptability of his actions, I got to point that I just couldn't take it any more. I yelled. Yes, I yelled. Looking at the sweet face above, I have a hard time believing that I could even look at the kid cross-eyed, let alone yell. But I did. It wasn't pretty. In the throes of a temper tantrum, tears and sobs included, I was yelling at him. I just made him cry harder. The kid couldn't be persuaded to do anything he wasn't willing to do.

After taking him to the sitter's house, and spending at least 5 minutes talking to him about going in, and his pleas of asking to be taken to work with me, I left for work, tears streaming down my face. Nigel is six. He is too young to know what buttons to push on me isn't he? Or has he some devious idea of how much this tore my heart into tiny pieces? I was betting on the second option that morning.

I've tried to narrow down what causes the cataclysmic meltdowns on this kid. There doesn't seem to by any rhyme or reason, but they just come and devastate me all the same. This morning it is all about taking a bath and getting ready for the Primary activity in an hour. Not to mention eating a cold piece of Ghiradelli pizza from Pier 49 that has been in the fridge overnight. Sorry kid, mom gets to win on that one hands down, no amount of tears will sway me!

So, after all of that, I just sit back and wonder how I can be a better mother to this kid. How come he is just so darn stubborn and no amount of cajoling and threats seem to make him do anything he doesn't want to? I suppose his spirit is just some sort of super spirit, saved for the last days when he can resist anything. Even his mom.

4 Lovely Scribbles to Me:

Tonee + Brennan said...

Wow, Ter! That sounds truly challenging. I have this feeling I am going to have one like that, or some like that. My patriarchal blessing says I will have kids that have very independent minds and want to do things their own way! This is going to be a hard one for me seeing as I am such a control freak. Don't be too hard on yourself. You are only human after all. I am sure Nige will forgive you in a second (sure he already has!)

jt_mama said...

Oh Teri, I have one as well (my oldest), well maybe both of them. But Teddy is very emotional- I yell at him in frustration far more than I care to admit. I have even spanked him on the bottom in anger- a fact that breaks my heart.
More experienced moms tell me he will grow out of it- we have gone through a lot of evals this year for various things adn I can email you more about those if you would like.
Anyway- I too have a spirited child who taxes me to my limits at times and I want you to know you are not alone. I believe all us mommies are tied together by an invisible thread for support and are protected by the canopy of the Lord's love. We are never alone.

Hugs to you.- melissa

Geoff and Emily said...

My children have all been very strong-willed! (Morgan side? What?!) Jackson has become easier the older he gets, but we still struggle with the girls. I have learned ONE thing with this kind of child: You HAVE to make it seem like it is THEIR idea, and praise their independence in the process. I could never make Natalie do anything she didn't want to, but if I say, "I bet you can't get those socks on before I count to ten... she is RIGHT there putting them on and being so proud of herself! It IS a little harder to have to use so much reverse psychology on them, but it is a lot harder to constantly have the fights about every little thing! I don't know - just something I have picked up over the years of being SO frustrated as a mom! Maybe it would help, but then again every child is so different?! Good luck!

Terresa said...

My kids cry and it's gets the best of me, too, sometimes. Especially our oldest daughter, but then I think, maybe my buttons get pushed because we're so much alike.

Hang in there! Have you thought of switching to work at home for awhile, or do some special mom/son dates?

We started (and have forgotten but need to start again) special one-on-one date nights with our kids and that has seemed to help a bit. --sigh-- you're not alone. ;)

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