Work in Progress

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I wasn't the mother I want to be this past week.

My son abruptly dropped his nap about two weeks ago.

It's been a rough transition. My normally sweet son traded his halo for an impressive set of horns.

I resorted to the thing I know best - yelling.

My mom is a champion screamer. If yelling was an Olympic sport, my mom would be a contender for gold.

Turns out that I can do a spot on impersonation of her when properly motivated.

This is not a feat I'm proud of. Quite the opposite actually.

So I took a step back, let the house get dirty, ignored the laundry pile, and did a little soul searching.

I pulled out my parenting books and tried some new things. (I've always had good luck with No-Cry Discipline Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.)

And things are getting better. My son still acts like an overtired three year old, but at least I'm not acting like one myself.

It was scary to meet my inner banshee, but I think she is safely caged up again.

And I will continue to do everything in my power to be the mother my kids deserve.


Feeling Just Right April 11, 2010 at 5:33 PM  

Ah! I love that you realize you were blowing your top and took the effort to make necessary changes! That is exactly what a good parent is all about. I'm clapping for you :)

This 3 year old is going to love you more. Watch.

Stacia April 11, 2010 at 6:47 PM  

Sleep disruptions are the absolute worst, I think. They bring out the cranky in every mommy. I hope it's a temporary glitch for your little guy, and good for you for taking time to reflect and adjust your strategy.

Green-Eyed Momster April 11, 2010 at 7:13 PM  

Don't beat yourself up. We all have bad days and weeks. They kinda make you appreciate the good days and weeks even more.'


That corgi :) April 11, 2010 at 8:11 PM  

I think you handled it just fine; you know what you don't want to be and you know what you want to be in a mother and you didn't allow what you knew from your upbringing to influence how you were going to be as a mom and you decided to break the cycle and to think about breaking that cycle. Its a good accomplishment indeed

(and honestly I cried for a bit when both gave up their naps, it was "my time" and it was hard to give that up)

perhaps your little one could be encouraged to have a "quiet time" in his room looking at books or playing quietly for a bit by himself to give you a little "down time"


Ami April 11, 2010 at 8:35 PM  

I'm awed. Because I yelled quite a bit at my youngest when she was a lot younger.
I don't yell much anymore (old habits and all that) but you know... pulling out a book and, um, FIXING my methods didn't exactly occur to me then.


I wonder if any of us are ever the mother we want to be.

sheila April 12, 2010 at 4:17 AM  

My mom could probably beat your mom in a screaming match, lol. When my kids were around2 I became a yeller. But that didn't last very long. I think mostly because I realized it didn't work. But it's a normal first reaction. I think we all do it. At least most of us, ;o)

Lady Fi April 12, 2010 at 4:52 AM  

Oh goodness, I struggle with this balancing act almost every day. Good for you for beating your demons...

Jeanie April 12, 2010 at 5:30 AM  

Don't be overly hard on yourself. There is no such thing as perfection in being a parent. It sounds like you are very aware of how you don't want to be and that will keep you on the right track.

JP April 12, 2010 at 5:30 AM  

An important thing to remember is to not be too hard on yourself.

yes you are a mom... but you're also human... you screw up... it's ok.

T.J. April 12, 2010 at 9:44 AM  

I so hear you, Scarlett. A few weeks ago Bear was going through a no nap type week and I thought I was going to lose my mind because it was clear the poor child needed sleep and I (the poor Mama) needed at least a tiny break of calm each day. After contemplation and a few teething tablets, we were all set.


I read through a few of your posts and quickly signed on as your newest follower. We are kindred spirits in so many ways (Enoughism- what a perfect description!) :)
Thanks for swinging my Any Given Moment!! TJ

Kelly April 12, 2010 at 10:14 AM  

Ahh... any mother who will consult a book about how to better discipline her children and who recognizes when she's not at her best--that's a GOOD mother.

Mrs.Mayhem April 12, 2010 at 10:38 AM  

Love the "inner banshee" part... I can so relate to this entire post. Good for you for trying new tactics. Yelling at kids only teaches them to yell (I learned that the hard way).

mosey April 12, 2010 at 12:01 PM  

As a hollerer from a family full of them, you sound normal to me. But I also take a step back from time to time (and maybe even consult a book or two), take a deep breath and try to act like the grown-up.

just making my way April 12, 2010 at 1:50 PM  

The loss of naps is a cruel, cruel thing. I don't remember my parents yelling. Unfortunately, I find myself doing it too often. Something which I would like to curb. If my parents could not do it, and still make us want to obey them - why can't I?

Snooty Primadona April 12, 2010 at 3:00 PM  

My mother was a screamer too. I hated it. I also hated it when I yelled at my own children. Funny thing is, I acquired a cat who used to literally fuss at me when I yelled at the kids, which kind of kept me in line. Thankfully, they both grew up relatively unscathed. I used to call us The Loud Family because we are all kind of loud when we get together, LOL.

I will say that I always apologized for yelling, afterward. I think that helps.

You sound like a great Mom to me...

Aging Mommy April 12, 2010 at 4:57 PM  

Hi there - I am stopping by from Just Making My Way who writes in glowing terms about you. My daughter gave up her naps a while ago but like your son would get cranky without a break at some point. So I take her to her room for about 45 minutes after lunch for quiet time. I bought a bookcase and put all her books in it, with a ladybug bean bag and some of her favorite little toys in the drawer too. Most days she enjoys just spending some time on her own and can then cope with the rest of the day without any major problems. It doesn't work for every child but several of my friends also do it successfully. it's always worth a try!

Jenners April 12, 2010 at 5:30 PM  

You are NOT ALONE with this. The day my son gave up naps was the worst day of my life ... I still haven't recovered. And my inner banshee makes appearances at least twice a week ... usually when I'm really tired.

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