Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bad Mommy Day

My kid is turning into THAT kid. You know the one who is yelling in public, acting up, making his mother want to pretend she doesn't know him. And I'm turning into that Mom - the one who didn't really need to discipline much and now is up to her eyeballs in the terrible toddler years and doesn't know what to do.

Today started well enough. Child slept well and we headed out to his grandparents where he's left while I work. The ride was quicker than normal so there wasn't much chance for incident. He was dropped off without a hitch. Then the afternoon hit. His lunch wasn't great. He did not nap. He hates having to go home as it is, but today was the added torture of the dentist.

He told me he'd be a little scared, I said that's ok and walked him through the visit (the dentist just looks, it's not even a cleaning!). He said he'd be brave. He sat down in the chair and completely lost it. Flipped out way more than a kid should. The dentist wasn't too thrilled, I think mostly because my kid was BITING him! I can't believe it. I have the kid who bites the dentist.

The rest of the afternoon was a disaster - begging for a cupcake he brought home from his grandparents' house, throwing things, screaming, etc. I know most of it was fueled by a lack of nap, but I honestly can't say this is isolated. Like I said, he's becoming THAT kid.

I can't make excuses for it anymore. I can't blame his lack of sleep or he's hungry or moody or whatever. This is my fault. I let it happen. I am his mother.

I can take away toys, but who cares, there are millions. I can say no treats or snacks, but that's all he eats are snacks. I could take away TV, but then I lose the 15 minutes I get to get something done (yay, a punishment for me). I tried the sticker chart for good behavior. He didn't care. I tried telling him he would eat what I made him or he'd starve, he said he'd rather be hungry (for two weeks... no one can say I didn't try...). He said he couldn't try the potty because his butt was dying.

I've let him get away with too much. Now I have to put my foot down. I've always said he's the kind of kid who will take a mile when you give an inch and yet I fall for it anyway. Sometimes it's because I'm too tired to deal with it or I don't want to fight. Sometimes it's because I feel bad for him for whatever reason. Mommy guilt is a killer, but it has to stop.

I don't have a plan yet. I need one. The task seems so daunting. Moms who have been through this and so much more because their kids are older probably think I'm being ridiculous. Moms my grandmother's age would say that he just needs a swift kick and some tough love. I don't have much personal experience growing up to say what worked for my mother. All I know is I can't let this get worse and I'm at a loss for how to make things better without making all of our lives miserable in the process.

I guess I've got some thinking to do.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

End of October

It's that time of year where I'm getting ready to be extra busy (holidays, work crunches, etc.) and suddenly desire to be thinner and more organized and a better mom and wife. It's almost as though I wait for the most impossible times to self-improve in anticipation of failure.

In light of that, I'm going to give it another go. Last weekend was my 15 year high school reunion. I saw a lot of people I hadn't seen in, well, 15 years. But what I saw the next day was far more frightening. A friend posted his pictures on Facebook and there was a crowd shot. Off in the background was a group of us talking and my back was to the camera.

I. Am. Enormous.

Naturally this realization comes right before my anniversary (must have take out!) and our celebratory dinner out (must have rodizio!). I let myself have the preplanned dinners and they were delicious. But now, on the eve of a new week, I must recommit to eating better. Seriously this time. I truly feel badly for everyone who has had to stand behind me and see me from that view. And like any insane person would, I cropped the picture, blew it up and put it next to my computer so that as I work and dream of food, I can look over and see what that behavior has gotten me. It's also serving as a not-so-gentle reminder that I need to get off my FA and work out. And also that I shouldn't wear shortsleeves in public.

The other things - the more organized and "good" wife and mother - I don't have a plan for that at all yet. I think I need to get back to what I know works, which is to create a schedule and stick to it. Left to my own devices, I will do nothing. I will sit here and hit refresh to see if anyone on Facebook had a new thought. I will stare at my checkbook and think about the bills I have to pay next pay day. I will look at a pile of work and think about how much physical space it takes up instead of doing it and getting it out of here. So perhaps if I have a plan - work is during THESE times, cooking and exercise HERE, cleaning is on THIS morning - maybe I can actually look back on a week and know what I've gotten done.

I know I should be flexible, allow for the curveballs life will throw me. But anyone who has known me for a long time knows that I'm not flexible and I can't be spontaneous. If I stop trying to be and rather embrace my true way I will actually get things done. How did I get through school and college and an out of the house job? I had things to do at certain times and that's when I did them. Period. Now I try to be flexible it always blows up in my face.

The next part of this, and maybe I'll leave this for my next post, is that I don't have any interests any more, simply because I don't have time for them. What I need to do is schedule in some time to do something that I enjoy. Writing, reading, cooking, exercising - all things I enjoyed at one point. I must get back to that point in my life. I can't just be about cleaning and working and complaining. But I think that topic is for another day.