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20 February 2015 @ 09:04 am
Confessional 2015  
Tell me a secret! Tell me a not-secret! Whisper sweet somethings in my comment box. Express your maddest crush or deepest curiosity! Expound upon the fabulousness of your friends or lovers or would-be friends or lovers! Or people you know or want to know. Do it anonymously or with your name attached; anonymous commenting is on and IP logging is off.

You know you want to!

[Please note ground rules here.]

[Link to flat version of comments is here.]

A note on user experience: If you're starting a new thread, if you give it a subject, it'll be easier to pick out comments in response to it down the road.

ETA: IP logging is back on!
 
 
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2015 02:14 pm (UTC)
I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
3 year olds are hard. When they don't listen. And laugh at your mounting frustration and anger, even when you are trying SO HARD to be the adult, and use your words and "I Feel" statements, to start this kid off on the right track. And then you end up literally screaming in their face. And making them cry. And feeling like a monster. And then apologizing...

I know it won't always be like this. That I'm only human. That I have 2 books waiting for me at the library reserve desk that might help. And set up at the school system for ongoing screening to see if there really is a disconnect here, or this kid is just 3 and we have to wait it out and try hard to not yell.
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2015 02:21 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
For what it's worth, I think that showing your kid(s) that you're human, and that humans lose it sometimes, especially when people around us are difficult, and that even though that happens, you still love them and hold yourself accountable for your mistakes is essential.

Or, in other words, on the basis of this, at least, you're not a bad parent.
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2015 04:20 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
This, totally.

Before I had kids, I used to think the hard part of it would be getting the kids to take on the veneer of civilization. You know; using forks and not hands, saying please, taking turns, using the potty.

Turns out figuring out how to cope with your own and other people's emotions is way harder.
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 20th, 2015 04:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2015 04:51 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
Some of the most emotionally intimate moments I've had with my children were when I lost my temper and snapped at them, and then calmed down, apologized, explained what was going on in my day that pushed me over the edge, and listened to how they felt misunderstood from it. It is extremely difficult to be vulnerable to them, but it gets easier with practice, and afterwards I think we felt closer than if I had simply kept infinite calm.
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2015 03:03 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
Right. there. with. you.
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2015 03:53 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
I try to let it show that I'm "really" mad BEFORE I lose control. I think one reason kids prod at our self-control is that they're trying to figure out what's really going on. And they're just not as good at understanding people as adults are, especially about emotions that they don't see much.

And oh my god, I have so much sympathy. Because that feeling of being *forced* to lose it is so foul.
(Anonymous) on February 20th, 2015 08:12 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
It won't always be like this. I promise. And it is and will continue to be legit hard-when this phase is over, something else will come up. I remember feeling really scared and upset when my parents yelled, at me and my siblings or (rarely) at each other during a fight, and I hate that I've started yelling at my kids too. I wish I could figure out how to take care of myself well enough that I could stop feeling so stressed and stretched and overwhelmed.
(Anonymous) on February 22nd, 2015 03:59 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
I rarely yell, and I feel a lot of societal pressure to do so.
(Anonymous) on February 22nd, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
What form does this pressure take? I'm asking because I don't know of any parent who doesn't yell, but every single one of them that I've talk to hates doing it. So it's interesting to me that there would be pressure to adopt a behavior that everybody hates having.
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 24th, 2015 02:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 24th, 2015 04:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 24th, 2015 12:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 24th, 2015 02:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 24th, 2015 02:10 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 25th, 2015 05:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 27th, 2015 06:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2015 04:53 am (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
I totally hear you. Except my preschooler just giggles at me no matter how loudly I yell.
(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2015 05:44 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
A neat blogger that I like addressed this: http://www.raisingmyboychick.com/2009/09/toddlers-are-triggering/

tl;dr: you aren't alone. Kids are hard.
(Anonymous) on February 24th, 2015 05:56 am (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
They are so sweet, so amazing, and so, so hard.

Our 3-year-old's tantrums are fucking epic. Last month he had his first one in public and it was just about the most mortifying thing I can recall in years. Amazingly enough, everyone around us was sympathetic and not judgy at all.

Try not to take it personally, is all I can say. Even when they say they want you go to away, don't want you anymore -- it's not personal.
(Anonymous) on February 25th, 2015 03:37 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
It's just so hard.

I have worked with kids my whole adult life, and I am kind of known among folks I have worked with for never ever getting angry with kids pretty much no matter what. Professionally I see probably my greatest strength when working with kids (and families in general) as endless empathy and compassion.

Which is true.

For other people's children.

My own though, I feel like all my creativity and patience just runs right out of me and leaves me with nothing but ashes and frustration. Yes, they have special needs, pretty challenging ones at times, but so do so many of the kids I work with.

I am pretty much in a place of despair actually. I know the parent I could be. The parent I should be. The parent my children need and deserve.

And I just can't.

I could when they were younger, but the ages they are at now and how those ages interact make it so hard.

Some days I feel like I can barely keep them from screaming at each other all day and making a huge giant mess of the house with food and toys everywhere. Some days I can't manage even that.

So I let them play on the computer and watch videos way too much. And I try so hard to be emotionally present when they aren't absorbed by a screen, but even that is really hard these days
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 25th, 2015 03:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on February 25th, 2015 03:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on March 1st, 2015 04:00 pm (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
Something for the not-bad parents out there:
https://boganette.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/i-am-grateful-now-fuck-off/
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on March 1st, 2015 05:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but... - (Anonymous) on March 1st, 2015 06:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Anonymous) on March 2nd, 2015 05:45 am (UTC)
Re: I know I'm not a bad parent, but...
Last night I had parenting fail when my 3.5-year-old, who had just woken up from a nap and was very hungry, had a screaming fit at the Panera where I'd taken him to get some dinner. He was disoriented and starving, and it took some time for his food to arrive, and he wouldn't eat the piece of shortbread cookie I tried to give him because the icing was green and he won't eat green things, and instead of being compassionate and comforting I was mortified and muffled his screaming with my hand. :( It did get better when food finally arrived, and he appeared to forgive me my lapse.

This afternoon, while he was refusing to cooperate with me so that we could do something he said he wanted to do (go shopping), I told him that I didn't like being mean, angry mommy, but I was going to be. He said that I wasn't being nice to him, and I said he wasn't being nice to me, either. When he finally calmed down and decided to cooperate, he said, "I don't want the bad mommy. I want the good mommy." I hugged him and assured him that I always love him, even when I'm angry.

Wouldn't it be nice, though, if we could do things that he WANTS to do without a huge fight first? It's not like I was trying to drag him to something he hates. *sigh*