Your wisdom.

May 5, 2012

I just came in from hanging out the washing – on this magnificent day in Sydney. Clouds are starting to come over now – but that sun is yummy, when it pokes through. It’s made a weekly chore a pleasure to do; in that peace and warmth.

The best part is – my children aren’t here.

This is hard for me to write admit because I’m going through a very challenging time with my girls – especially my youngest. She’s 5.

I need your advice.

I never thought motherhood was going to be such a tough gig. I know in my heart that I couldn’t imagine a life without my girls…although on days like today, I cherish not having them around – so I can reboot.

Sometimes I feel like a great mother and I think how lucky I am – and at others, more often than not, I feel a despair and think, “What am I doing?” I hear a lot of mothers really sound like they are having such a positive and wonderful experience with their kids, and I feel like a fraud. Sometimes.

Basically, our home is one of fighting. The majority of the time, it’s the girls with each other but it always trickles down to me. They fight about everything – about who hurt whom, who took what they were playing with, who’s not letting them have a turn – everything. Hubby and I rarely fight – and if we do, it’s not in front of them – so it’s just a battle with each other…and me.

I have alone time with both girls, for about 3 hrs every afternoon. Some of the time, it’s a battle-of-wills with my youngest – who always says, “No” or “Awww?” to just about every instruction or statement I make. Now, I’ve always had a short temper – but I truly believe that I have improved over the years (it takes longer for me to get worked up) because I want to have control over it and model it to the girls.

So, I’m making the best of efforts, to be a better role model – by expressing what I need to, without anger – and positively reward their good behaviour. I do that with a spontaneous show of affection (lots of kisses), tell them I love them, say a, “That’s the way!” when they do a good gesture toward each other…I even took them to see Mirror, Mirror last week, as a treat…

…but on some days, I just reach a stage where I lose my block. It’s always verbal (shouting); we don’t smack – but when I lose it like that, I think it’s just as bad as a smack – just as damaging. I sometimes feel like I have an out-of-body experience, watching my behaviour show my daughters how to deal with tough situations –  in 3D; with Dolby Surround Sound; on an IMAX screen!

On days like these – I feel like it’s all for nothing because of the GIANT leap backwards, we just took – thanks to me.

But it’s incessant – the asking, the asking again – even though the reason was calmly given with the answer, the whingeing – when they know it might not go their way, the debate – loathing sentences that start with, “But you said…”

Let me say, that they don’t get their way – especially if they engage. But that’s the biggest problem – I don’t let up and they don’t let up. Especially my youngest; when she latches on, she’s on tight for the ride…

Every. Time. About. Anything.

It’s exhausting.

I need enlightenment from my sisters – of any age.

Question #40: Are there any wise words to impart?

I saw the name of the image below, The Wisdom Path, and loved it.

…looks like a long trip, doesn’t it?

Deep Breath

x

4 Responses to “Your wisdom.”

  1. Michelle said

    Welcome to my world 🙂 I have just come home after having some “me” time out at the shops. I didn’t need to buy anything, I just needed to get out!!

    My 3 boys are very challenging in many ways. Ages range from 15, 8 and 6. The teenager mainly locks himself away in his room and it is a constant fight to get him to do anything!!! (I did find one effective way of getting him to do things recently and that was to disconnect the internet!!) but there is a lot of arguing and losing tempers before I reach for the internet cable.

    My 2 youngest can be the best of buddies or the worst of enemies. The 8 year old has a very dominant personality and has to have the last say on everything. He is always right and never wrong. He always saves his most embarassing and explosive moments for when we have visitors over. I will often send them to their rooms for time out when they are bad and a few minutes later they will come out like nothing has happened between the two of them.

    Honestly I believe children will always push our buttons and definitely push the boundaries all the time. If they didn’t I would think that something would be wrong. I honestly dont know how we can solve the issue but in sharing out stories with each other we at least know that we are not alone. I know some mums try to paint a happy and glorious picture of their family life but often it can be a different reality behind closed doors.

    Looking forward to reading some responses to your blog. 🙂

    Michelle

    • questionsforwomen said

      Thanks, Michelle! I’m terrible – I wonder, sometimes, whether I would have signed up for all this, had I truly known what it would be like. Deep down I know I would have – because I would have thought it would be different with my children! Delusional! Hahaha! x

  2. Kathryn said

    Thank you for being so open and honest about your feelings. You are not a fraud. The mothers who live in ‘fairy world’ have convinced themselves that motherhood is the most positive and rewarding experience. It’s not…. it’s hard work! Let me reassure you, that you are doing an amazing job. I have only been a mum for 15 1/2 weeks, so I don’t have the experience that you do, but I do know that you care. You may blow up at your kids, but at the end of the day, if they feel loved, then that is the most important thing!

    As a Kindy teacher, I also know, that girls go through a transitional stage with their friends as they gather their social ranking and will display the same behaviour at school with their friends as they do with their siblings and parents at home. This is because they haven’t learnt to differentiate their social interactions in different environments. I hear the same things from parents every year when they start the attitude at home and the parents say to me “But they used to be so nice…” She will get there, but at the same time… siblings fight!

    On a last note, hang in their, mum!!! You will never stop being a mum and you will never stop caring. Hang onto moments like ‘Mirror, Mirror’. It will get you through the times when they are acting like the evil witches!!!

    Thanks for your blog. I enjoy reading it.

    • questionsforwomen said

      Thank you so much, Kathryn! It’s great to get the perspective of a Kindy teacher. Deep down I know that all siblings fight and that that’s normal – it’s just the frequency of it and the fact that I’m in a continuously bad mood when I’m around them. I hate that.
      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog! x

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