October 5, 2010

Mommy Guilt

Being a mom is tough sometimes.  Kids are quick to cry foul when things are not going their way.  They tend to forget the things that did go their way and choose to focus on what's currently going array.  The day could be going so well and suddenly come crashing down when you ask your kid to eat their peas.  Or not take forever to finish their dinner.  Or that they can't play on the Wii.  Etc, etc...

My eldest daughter, Hayley, is an awesome kid.  She does well in school, does her homework, plays with her little sister (most of the time), helps with her baby brother and likes to help around the house.  She's a happy kid.  Lately though, she's been having these meltdowns occasionally.  I don't know if it's adjusting to being a school all day, she was only in half-day kindergarten last year.  I don't know if she doesn't like not having as much free time at home. 

For example, last night I made Chicken Pot Pie for dinner.  It's not her favorite, but normally she eats enough to make me happy and get dessert.  I put the timer on, because she takes forever to eat and then complains about not having any time to play before she has to go to bed.  She wined, complained, tried to get up to do other things and just was not eating.  Her Daddy tried to help her and that didn't go well at all.  She gagged and then proceeded to cry, hysterically. 

Dessert was no longer an option for her because she threw a fit.  I tried talking with her, but she only continued to be upset.  She said that she was having a bad day, forgetting that she played with her friend all afternoon and had a good day at school.  Soon, she cried the favorite of every kid having a fit:  "I NEVER GET MY WAY!"  And went on and on about my dinner choice and that she didn't like it.  She said she wanted to go to bed.  So off to bed she went, no dessert and no iPod music to help her fall asleep.  After she had claimed down I explained to her that I am not always going to make her favorite thing for dinner.  Even if she doesn't like it, I still need her to try and eat.  I told her that throwing a fit was not acceptable and would cost her privileges.  I also explained that I didn't like it when she threw a fit and I had to take things away.  I think our talked helped, I told her I loved her and kissed her good night and left her to think about our talk.

It's so hard to have days like that with my kids.  Days like that are infrequent, but still brings a sense of failure when they do happen.  I feel so guilty when I have to punish them even when I know it is the right thing.  I know I have to stick to my guns though.  There are always going to be things that are not acceptable and my kids will never learn unless I stay consistent.  Even when it makes me feel like the worst mother on Earth.   

I knew long ago that I wanted to be a mom.  I also knew I wanted to be my children's mother and not their friend.  Kids need rules and structure.  They don't need to be micromanaged though.   It has to be balanced and battles need to be picked.  I don't see any need to get on my kids if they accidentally spill their drink or forget to put a plate in the dishwasher.  I had rules and I turned out well.  

When I was a kid, my parents were not my friends.  Don't take that the wrong way, they were awesome parents.  They were my parents and I am thankful that line was there.  I wasn't then, what kid is?  I always knew when I asked my mom to do something and she answered with: "Go ask your Dad and see what he says." that is was a lost cause.  I still get a little miffed that my parents would never let me stay a couple hours out past curfew to go cosmic bowling.  But again, I turned out the way I am today because of my parents.   

That is why I just remind myself that they will learn.  The situation at the time is not ideal.  It's difficult to be a parent when your kids are having a bad day or throwing a tantrum.  I just remember that I am their mother and it's not the end of the world, for either of us.  I want my kids to know that I love them and would do anything for them.  I don't like to be mean and say no, but that I am doing it for their own good.  You can't always get what you want.  (I have that song in my head now.)  Again, I just want them to know that they are my world and I want them to be good people and make our world better. 


Amanda-The Nutritionist Reviews said...

What a beautiful family you have!

I just found your blog through a Tuesday Blog Hop! Have a great evening!

Amanda @ www.nutritionistreviews.com

Jessica - Mom of all Trades said...

Thanks for following me at Mom of all Trades! I'm following you back.

RN Mama said...

I can totally relate to this. Last year when my oldest daughter was in 1st grade her teacher did tell me that it can be a huge adjustment going from half days to full days! I'm sure you are a wonderful mother:)

Karla said...

I hate having the kids have meltdowns. It's hard to because we love them so much and we just want them to be happy. Sometimes making them unhappy now will help them to be happy in the long run (as you obviously know.) : )

Sometimes I get the you can't always get what you want song stuck in my head when I'm talking to my kids too.

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