Monday, July 31, 2006

Downs and Ups of parenting

When your four-year-old looks at you and says "I think that's enough of that" you start wondering...when did I train that child to talk to me like that!!

It was pretty funny, because I was tickling her at the time. And I thought "WOW! pretty smart for such a little kid"...actually proud of her wit, if I do say so myself! Then it occurred to me that this is only the beginning. Because her older siblings seem to take joy in arguing with me. Well, two of them argue and one whines through her nose. But I don't seem to remember it starting so early with them.

I've tried to raise them to respect me. Guess I haven't done such a hot job. I've taken parenting classes, tried being strict, being lenient, explaining everything and tried the old line "Because I'm the parent, THAT'S why!" Hoping to find something that works...

We have four rules in our house...mainly to keep anyone from bleeding or requiring a trip to the ER.
1) No running in the house.
2) NO jumping on or off the furniture.
3) Inside voices please. AND
4) Be kind to others. This last one kind of covers a multitude of sins...
And there's a consequence structure for rule infraction. Seems simple and organized, huh?
SO WHY THE HECK DOESN'T IT WORK??? And why do they feel the need to voice their opinions about me, the rules, the consequence structure and life in general while they are in trouble?? AArrggh!
I guess if you knew some of our family history, you would be surprised that we aren't more "messed up" than we are. Maybe I'll write and share that later...

But lately, I've had several people voice their opinions about my parenting skills. Like I ASKED for their input!?!!? NOT! I already have enough guilt without REQUESTING more! Maybe I'm just hormonal about the entire thing...there are just some days I feel like I should turn in my "Mommy License".

Then there are the up times! The moments that make your heart warm and fuzzy...

  • Like when the 8 year old comes to me and says "Mom, when I grow up, I want to be just like you...except not as fat!" ROFL
  • Or when I hear the 4 year old pray every night the same prayer "Dear Jesus, thank you for my mommy and I love her and I miss her and I hug her and kiss her and nosy-kiss her and I love her. Jesus name, Amen!" EVERY night the same thing. We have a ritual when I have to go to work that she gets a hug and kiss and an Eskimo kiss (rubbing noses) that she calls a nosy-kiss. TOO adorable.
  • Or when my 7 year old comes and asks me to draw her a certain picture because I can draw "better than ANYONE in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD!" In truth, my artwork is barely passable...you can usually tell what it is I've drawn (e.g. horse, cow, dinosaur).
  • And when the 12 year old boy (who is WELL on his way to polishing his "teenage attitude") wraps his arm around my shoulder and says "Mom, I sure do love you!" Yep, he's the same height I am (5'11") and we weigh within 10 lb.s of eachother...and he's only 12!! He's gonna support his poor old mom by playing pro football...in my dreams, anyway! :D

And when I stop and think about it, there are people who have told me that my kids are great. Maybe I am simply seeing only the negative, as we are all wont to do at times. The negative hurts more than the positive heals...IF we allow it.

One thing about raising them by myself now, I have no one to blame but myself when the youngest uses the "F%$#" word in Sunday School! No one is responsible for them...except me! It's an awesome thing.

I never planned on being a single parent. But now it's happened and dealing with the ramifications keeps me humble, that's for sure! To think I had to undergo INFERTILITY testing to get the first one! I used to sit and cry on Mother's Days because I had no one to call me Mommy. Now I hear "Mom!" about 1202 times a day...as in "MOM, she's hitting me!!" "MOM, He took my game!" "MOM, I can't find my shoe!" ad infinitum...

SO why do I care what others have to say about my parenting skills? Why should I care what they think? Because I care about my kids and I want to make sure I am doing right by them. I already have to leave them with a sitter for almost 10 hours a day so I can halfway financially support them. Please, God, DON'T let me screw up their psyches as well! All I want..my ONE goal in raising them...is for them to be responsible. Willing to say, "It was me and I'm sorry"; willing to be accountable for their own actions. This world is greatly lacking in responsibility and accountability.

Well, as Bekah would say "I think that's quite enough of THAT!" If anyone actually reads this, I hope I've made you smile once or twice. And if you'd like to leave a comment, I'd love it!

Later...

1 comment:

Debbie said...

You definitely made me smile several times. I can totally relate! It kind of backfired on me when I raised such a strong-willed and independent young woman! Argh! :)