Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm won't eat my young...

I won't. I won't. I won't.

I hope.

Lately I've been having mommy issues. I posted recently about my stress from adding my stepdaughter to our household. But it's more than just that. Kinda.

While she is there, for however long that may be, I must find a way to deal with the situation. While I much preferred the full-time family consisting only of Hub, Boo, and me? That is not my reality now. Like it or not.

So, that being said, I'm having some real issues dealing with the situation. I feel like I'm Evil Fire-Spewing Demon Mommy more often than not.

I am fairly old-school in the sense that I have rules (and by I? I mean the royal "I" of Hub and I...) and I expect them to be obeyed.

At least make an effort to obey.

Could you pretend to obey?

Jesus, at least try to make it look like you're obeying.


I try not to sweat the small stuff. I try to be relatively laid-back as long as no one is doing anything illegal, immoral, destructive, or inherently dangerous.

When I explain rules, I try to explain the general principle

(no playing on the stairs!)

and then try to close the loopholes

(that means no jumping on the stairs, no sliding down the stairs, no bouncing down the stairs, no throwing anything down the stairs, no rolling anything, no dropping anything - by "accident" or on purpose, no tossing anything. Do not play on the stairs in any way!)

CYA is important with kids. They're like little lawyers. They will find the loophole and exploit it.

I've learned to be consistent with discipline (about 98% of the time...I'm not God after all) and I have also learned (and am fervently trying to teach Hub) not to threaten things if I can't follow through.

I don't bluff.

Unfortunately? I kinda suck at discipline, in the sense that I'm just not very creative.

I was a very obedient kid. I didn't like disappointing (or angering) my parents. I got spanked a few times as a kid, got grounded a few times when I got older, and eventually (because I am an introvert and had virtually no friends and grounding was therefore kinda pointless) my parents took things away from me. Not a whole lot of creativity in my punishment background. And really? I wasn't punished that often because I didn't do much to deserve it. I saved most of my idiot behavior until I was an adult.

Hub? Was beaten. If he was being disciplined? He got "spanked" with various inanimate objects (switches, belts, etc.). He spent a fair amount of time being beaten by drunk father-figures as well. That didn't work out so well for him over the years. And it didn't keep him (or his brother) out of trouble. At all.

So our backgrounds are not offering a whole lot of useful information from which to draw.

I do make a strong effort to reinforce the positive. I have a psych degree. I know all about behaviorism. Reinforce the positive, punish the negative (well kinda, but I'm not going to argue the various forms of positive and negative reinforcement vs. punishment, how & when each are to be applied, etc. If you want that level of anal specificity? By a book on behaviorism.)

But dammit, they just don't seem to learn. We go thru the same stupid things over & over. Getting punished for it every time. And. They. Still. Keep. Doing. It.


And my God, do they push my buttons.

I don't want to be the parent with those kids when we go out. I refuse to shop with both of them anymore because it's just too horrendous. Princess has her own special behavioral problems I discussed before. On his own? Boo is very well-behaved. With both of them? Everything goes to hell.

Perhaps it's just because I have 2 kids that are only 10 months apart. Perhaps it's because Princess has some serious behavioral issues as a result of her early childhood. I don't really know why. I can't quantify every variable.

But I do know that it is wearing on me.

I resent having to always be angry and disciplining. I resent that I no longer look forward to seeing them after work because they are so damn frustrating. Consistently.

I want my sweet Boo back. The one that is polite and isn't constantly trying to push buttons (he does this on purpose for his own amusement because Princess always whines to the occasion. Always.) The one that asks me science questions and wants to learn. The one that will talk to his mommy instead of squealing and grunting at her. The Boo that I knew for 4 years and still know every other weekend.

I want to find they joy I used to have in being a parent. I want less frustration when I go home at night. I don't want every night to be a tortuous countdown to bed time.

This situation is kicking my ass. The bad mood resulting from the constant frustration brings guilt. Guilt that I am so angry with the kids. Guilt that I sometimes scream at them when I've already asked a dozen times & they haven't listened. Guilt that Hub bears the brunt of the bad moods & the moods aren't even his fault.

I'm tired of feeling guilty. And I'm tired of being angry. But I can't just let them run wild. They have to learn and understand the whole concept of consequences and accountability. I refuse to raise spoiled, entitled little brats.

Does this require so much constant frustration & guilt?




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