Monday, April 11, 2011

Being a parent is hard....

When Britton was born, my life did a 180. 

I was 33.  I thought there was nothing that I really couldn't handle.  I mean, I have a degree.  I've lived through some rough emotional things.  I consider myself to have a good head on my shoulders.  I think I'm smarter than the average bear.

And guess what?

And 8lb 6oz baby threw me for a major loop.  MAJOR.

Oh how I wished he had come with a manual/handbook.

I constantly second guessed myself and my decisions about tending to him.

How much do I feed him?  How often do I feed him?  How do I feed him (bottle vs breast)?  Why is he crying? When will he go to sleep?  When will he wake up?  What does he want?  How long will this last?  What if this?  What if that?

I read tons of books and read tons of things online.  And there are SO many opinions out there.  I wanted THE BEST ones.  The BEST option. The BEST advice.  The BEST gear.  The BEST toy.  The BEST of everything.

But to see him now, I'm glad I did what I did.  Even if I wasn't 100% sure it was the best thing.  No harm, no foul.  He's alive.  He's healthy.  He's smart.  He's right on track.

I feel like the first 18 -24 mo are about keeping them fed and alive.  I mean, really, how much can a "manual" help you there?

But now, oh my. 

HOW I WISH THERE WAS A MANUAL FOR THESE TERRIBLE TWOS!!

Lewis and I talked waaaay before we were even engaged on lots of hot topics, including how we would raise our (future) children.  We knew we would be strict.  We knew we wanted to raise obedient, respectful, kind, polite children.  But we didn't talk about HOW to do it.

Lewis trained/raised his dog from when he was a puppy.  The dog is AWESOME.  He listens.  He obeys.  He LOVES Lewis to the moon and back.  And sometimes, I see how "strict" Lewis can be with him, and I'm taken aback by how "rough/mean" he is to him.  But the dog eats it up.  He would do anything for Lewis.

I think the biggest thing is consistency.  I HAVE to do the same thing with Britton everytime or he will eat me alive.  Sometimes, I want to just throw my hands in the air, and be like "fine, do whatever you want", but I know that is not what is best for him, now or in the long run.  I do try to pick my battles.  I don't ask him to do anything I don't expect him or myself to follow through on.   I don't "count" (1-2-3).  Lewis tells him once and that's it.  I don't quite have that discipline and will give him a "chance" or two.  Perhaps that is my downfall.

It hurts me to "hurt" his feelings.  He cries, he whines, but he has to know that we are the parents, and he is the child, and what we say, goes.

We spank.  We put him in timeout.  He gets put in the corner.

He is generally very very good about staying there until we say timeout is over.  I don't know how we lucked out with that.  I'm just glad we did.

He KNOWS when he's done something wrong.  I can see it in his eyes and see the wheels in his head turning.  He can be SO stubborn sometimes.  And other times, he can be so good and sweet.

But it doesn't make it any easier to disicipline him.

I felt so sad today as we left United.  He refused to walk beside me, so the consequence was that he had to hold my hand.  Well, he didn't want to.  I try to give choices, but sometimes he doesn't like any of them and wants to do his own thing. 

So he threw himself on the ground.  He immediately got a spanking.  Which threw him into a fit.  But he grudgingly took my hand as we walked to the car.  But then he decided to "go limp" and I was basically dragging him.  So I let go.  And he fell.  And he cried.  And cried.   Not because he was physically hurting, but because he wanted to walk to the car on HIS terms.  And, I'm sorry, buddy, but in a parking lot, my terms outweigh your terms.  So I grab his hand again, get him to stand, and we walk.

He fought me putting him in his carseat.  He waved a toy phone around and hit me on the head.  On purpose. Another spanking for that.  And still the crying.

I got in the drivers seat and he's "yelling" at me while still crying.  So I turn around and ask him to stop.  And he screams at me again.  So I get out, open his door, and spank again.  And ask him to stop. 

He does.

I get back in the drivers seat, and he starts it again.  I turn around, ask him if he wants me to come back around...and he stops crying as shakes his head no.  HE KNOWS.  He KNOWS what he's doing and knows the consequences but CONSTANTLY tests me.

We drive back home in silence.  He is sucking his thumb.  I can see the dried tears form white rivers near his eyes.  He looks so sad.  And I feel awful for having to be "mean".

I turn around and tell him I love him. 

I ask him if he's "mama's boy".  And he shakes his head no.

I ask him if he loves mama.  And he shakes his head no.

And my heart breaks.  My child doesn't like me.

But maybe that's a good thing.  I am his parent.  Not his friend.

And this parent thing is HARD.

2 comments:

kfranco said...

OMG, this makes me want to cry. Your right though, you're the one that has to be the "mean" one. I'm the tia and get to be the "nice" one; however, you get to keep him forever. I can't wait to see him again.

april said...

not that i am a parent so my opinion probably doesnt count. but i do agree with you 100%.

and youre not being mean...just firm and consistent.

love you!