Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kids: The Owner's Manual is Missing

As a mom, I am perpetually confused.
  • Why must kids be dragged out of bed Monday through Friday, yet the same kids jump out of bed wild and raring to go on Saturdays and Sundays?
  • How can a child decide that he doesn't like peanut butter all of a sudden even though he's been requesting it daily for 6 months?
  • I can look a child in the yes and ask {twice} if clothes are picked out for the next day, and then in the morning be told there are no clean underpants. What?!
  • Some days a child will begging for me to get him dressed and some days he screams at me when I try to help him because "I can dooooooooo it!"
  • If I pick up the kids early from after care, they cry because they "aren't finished playing," but if I pick them up late they get mad because they had to wait so long.
  • Remembering lunch boxes, musical instruments, signed paperwork, and pairs of mitten is evidently too taxing on the brain; but the same children can remember a reward I casually mentioned three weeks ago.
I have a degree in Psychology and an endorsement in Education. I have taught and worked with children for 15 years and been a mother for 11. And I still just don't get it! I am trying to be a good mom. I try to be consistent in what I do and how I react. I want to nurture a feeling of security in my kids and to let them know I am always there for them. But to be honest, I'm just confused. I don't know which days to plan early morning fun and which days to try and sleep in. I don't know what groceries to buy or which laundry to triage to the next load. I don't know when to offer help or when to step back. I don't know when to arrive early or when to let them stay late.

I feel guilty when I make the wrong call, but then I feel silly because there's just no way to predict these moods. My brain is exhausted from trying to stave off the inevitable meltdowns and tantrums. And there are days that it breaks me. There has been some begging for attention at my house. I recognize it quite readily, but I can't always remedy it as immediately. I left work right on time on Monday and decided to alter my pick up routine to pick up someone first and get in some extra hugs and snuggles. Instead, I arrived to tears and "I'm not ready yet!" So I turned around defeated and felt my own tears coming as I walked to the van.

I just can't get it right and I hate feeling so out of sync and confused. I want to be able to offer the comfort that is needed, while also allowing the freedoms that are craved. I keep looking for an answer and resigning myself to the fact that maybe there isn't one. Maybe we just have to take it one day at a time and make what we think is the right choice and deal with the consequences. And maybe tomorrow I'll guess correctly and we'll have smiles instead of tears for a while.

Is there an owner's manual I forgot to read somewhere?

I'm linking up today with Lisa's One Word Challenge. The word choices were tomorrow, guilty, and confused. This week I fit them all in!  Did you find them?
http://www.the-golden-spoons.com/

18 comments :

  1. There's a reason there are so many parenting books out there - NOBODY gets it!!!

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  2. I found them all and you just explained the sorry of my life in one simple blog post! Kids!! ;)

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  3. If you ever find the instruction manual, let me know because I am completely lost here too!

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  4. I had one of these days on Sunday. The last straw was when dinner ended up broken and splattered on the kitchen floor! I don't think there is a manual out there that would work anyways. We have to take the good moments with the sad in order to more fully savor the incredible moments.

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  5. Amen! We're all lost together. I guess I can take some solace in that.

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  6. Ugh! Just when you think you have things figured out, they go and change it up on you!! Kids!

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  7. If I find it, I will publish it on my blog and watch it go VIRAL!!!! LOL!

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  8. Oh no! Dinner, RIP!! What a mess! And I don't handle stress well when I'm hungry! You're right about making it through the sad moments to fully appreciate the wonderful ones.

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  9. Oh, I've been there so many times!!! It gets better and then they start with the hormones:) I just drink my wine in the evening and carry on!!!

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  10. Oh my gosh - YES!!!!! To all of this. I read your bullet points and said "Yep!" to every one. Just tonight my middle one asked what we were going to have for dinner and then complained profusely about my answer. Yet, when dinnertime rolled around, she ate 2 helpings of the food she had so intensely protested. I don't get it. Obviously, I don't have answers or that elusive parenting manual. Just know you are not alone. You are a great mom!

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  11. Aw hugs, mama! We have all been there. What pisses me off is when you plan an outing thinking it'll be the most exciting thing ever and they'll love it, and instead you're met with tantrums and whining and you end up miserable, vowing never to do another nice thing ever again lol.

    What really helps me is to notice the triggers of when I get frustrated, and actually acknowledge that I am. Because then I have a choice of whether to continue down the path of being frustrated or to take a breather and realize it'll pass.

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  12. LOL! I don't usually have wine on hand, but I did have a beer to get myself through cooking dinner one night last week!

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  13. I think the one day at a time approach is a wise one - you can always start fresh in the morning. You can paralyze yourself with second guessing. My bet is you are doing much better than you give yourself credit for.

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  14. I've been wondering about that same owner's manual, and Scarlet will absolutely hate food that she's always loved. Just one day! Out of the blue!
    And the sleeping in on weekdays but not weekends??

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  15. Jodi @the noise of boysFebruary 13, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    This is so true! My kids are SO different even when I think I know something I get schooled again :-)

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  16. Thanks, Dana. I hope you're right. Some days just feel more successful than others!

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  17. Henry got mad at me for not offering him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich the other day. He's hated them for A YEAR!!!!

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  18. They certainly keep you on your toes, don't they!

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