You're Invited to My Pity Party!

January 18, 2011

a person or thing that proves unsuccessful

Yep. That's what you will see if you look up the word "failure" in the dictionary. That definition with MY picture! I don't think I look like a failure. Do you? I look pretty normal. It doesn't seem like I am on the verge of going over the edge. Okay, so maybe I'm being slightly dramatic. But, I have had fantasies over the last several days of running away from home- ALONE. Then I think- "Where would I go? What would I do? No. That wouldn't be any fun." And I change my mind. I think I'll just stay here. "Maybe I'll lock everyone in their rooms." Just kidding. But, maybe I could bribe them to stay in their rooms with a new movie.

What's all this drama about? What am I a failure at? Well, it feels like I am a failure at being a good parent! I feel like every attempt I make at discipline is a bust! I feel like my kids are not learning their lessons regarding behavior. I feel like I am wishy-washy, unpredictable, loud, and bullying. I don't want to be ANY of those things. Yet, day after day, no matter how calmly I start out, I still must tell, (okay, so I may or may not end up yelling at) my lovely children more than once to get them to do anything. You would think that after 9 years or so you would just KNOW that you've GOT to brush your teeth and take a bath every day! That's not the only thing I fuss about. I actually fuss about everything~ chores, whining, fighting, school, whining, and have I mentioned fighting and whining?

It is a shame that my new phrase is, "If you don't want to have to go on a scavenger hunt for your lips, I suggest that you watch how you speak to me." I am certainly embarrassed to admit this. But, I've never claimed that I'm perfect. (For the record, I would NEVER slap their lips off of their faces! And, yes, I know that they speak to me with disrespect probably because that's how I often speak to them. I am not a proud girl right now.) And in all fairness, I don't always yell. I often yell. But, I also often try speaking calmly to them. In a whisper if need be. And it "need be" quite a bit lately. Is it more effective? No. Just quieter. Maybe calmer. Maybe less dramatic. Maybe not. But, maybe less damaging.

The thing is, I am trying (and failing) so HARD! But somebody forgot to tell that to my Patience. She is no where to be found. She must've gone on vacation, and I think she took Consistency with her. They left Idle Threats home, though. I struggle with feeling like I am being too hard on my kids if I punish them. I feel sorry for them. And then I cave!  Probably because I feel so guilty because I've yelled at them. Or maybe I feel guilty because I am constantly in "drill sergeant" mode. I feel like a nag who's asking for too much. Am I? If I analyze my expectations then I would say no. If I look at my kids faces I would say yes.

Unfortunately, I don't have a very good example from my own upbringing. My mom did the best she could, but I was raised most of my childhood with a mean-hearted, overly strict, bully of a dad who was on one end of the spectrum and a wishy-washy, constantly yelling, easily manipulated mom on the other end of the spectrum. Yes, I know. I have qualities of both of them. Boo. Why does this have to be so hard? Why can't I just have all the answers? The bible says "Don't make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord." Ephesians 6:4   Well, I'm pretty sure that I make my children angry. How do I not do that? It drives me nuts to hear them fighting with each other all most of the time. (Yes, I know. It's not a far drive. Hardy Har Har.) They usually seem to act up the most when I am on the phone (can anyone out there relate?) or when I have several "irons in the fire". Of course I am going to be less able to keep my cool. But I WANT to be able to! Instead, I jump the gun, hand out a punishment that does not fit the crime, and then later, I recant. Way to go Mom! Let's show them who's boss. I would like to be able to think clearly or, if that's not possible, I would like to have the ability to wait to react until I've had time to think clearly. And then, I want some confidence in my decision-making skills! (I'm almost certain she went on vacation with the others. She's probably the one who made the reservations.)

Freddie and I have different parenting experiences. Our children listen to him. The end. He doesn't have to "stay on them all the time" like I feel I have to do. He goes to work and handles that aspect of our lives. (Which I am super grateful for, by the way!) I am at home All The Time with the kids and so I have to be the primary disciplinarian. I feel as though that, at least in part, has caused me to lose some effectiveness with the kids. They know my weaknesses. They know exactly who's on vacation at any given time. And believe me, they work it!

Okay. So, now I've got it all out. I've had my time to cry about how hard it is. I've had my pity party. Thanks for coming. It's over now. You can go home. I'm off to put on my big girl pants and read my Bible to find out about "bringing them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord." (If you get a chance, I'd appreciate it if you'd keep me in your prayers. My kids and I thank you!)

"If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don't love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them." Proverbs 13:24

1 comment:

Marty said...

Oh, my. I think you must have been at my house lately!
This is exactly how I feel, and yep, they obey Dad.
And yes, I do feel guilty for yelling, so then I don't enforce punishment. =\
Thanks for posting this. I think I'll let my kids read it. Maybe it will help all of us.
Thanks, Dana.