Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Not "THAT" Mom

Ugh. These are the nights I dread. The nights I have to play "enforcer." The nights I don't get to be "fun, cool Mom," but instead have to discipline and enforce consequences. It's especially brutal at bedtime.

I've found myself lately slipping into an "ANNA" voice. Meaning that everything that comes out of my mouth is IN ALL CAPS. Seems like the kid is CHAMPION at tuning me out unless I SPEAK TO HER LIKE THIS at certain times. And I don't want to be "that" mom.

I read "Parenting with Love and Logic" this past summer. I think it might be time for a re-read. I know most of my consequences are natural consequences. I explain the circumstances calmly, but still, I find myself getting so frustrated at times that I can't help raising my voice. And I don't want to be "that" mom.

Bedtime is an especially tough time for us. I'm usually exhausted. She's usually wound up. It usually ends in tears. All around. Tonight she peaked her little head around the door and whispered, "don't be made at me." And my heart broke. Granted, she'd earned it by being violent and not listening. She'd already lost all her bedtime stories. But I'm giving the victory of that battle over to her, because she's sleeping peacefully and I'm sitting on the couch, still stinging over those 5 little words. I wanted to go back in after I closed her bedroom door and tell her I changed my mind and just read her some stories. But I don't want to be "that" mom.

This whole parenting thing...just a constant battle of what we know will be best for them in the long-run versus what will make them happy now. I love when she's happy NOW. Her little eyes light up and she has the best smile. But I want my kid to learn that there are consequences for her actions (or lack thereof). I want her to grow up to be responsible, to take initiative, to be respectful. I want to be the mom who sits back proudly in 10, 15, 20 years and says "yeah, that's MY kid."


  1. I can completely relate.
    Malayna will say to us, "you don't love me anymore" when she knows we are upset with her or if we even slightly raise our voice at her. Those words coming out of her little sweet voice are heartbreaking. You are doing an excellent job "parenting" with little Anna, and someday you will be "that mom" that says, "that's my kid!"...No doubt about it. :)

  2. Dear Kerry~You are already "that Mom" and so much more! This parenting business is not for the faint of heart and we all make mistakes or aren't the mom we want to be every minute. I like to joke(?) that we make most of our mistakes on our first children...so what does that say about that sweet husband of yours? You are an amazing mom and that whole "being human thing" isn't going away anytime soon so cut yourself some slack!I've known a lot of mothers in my time and you rank right up there with the best of them so be kind to my favorite daughter in law~ You are doing a hard job very well and "that kid" of yours is going to turn out just fine!!! I love you!

  3. Thanks for the support Vic and Billie! I imagine things will get tougher before they get better...after all I've yet to tackle lying, peer pressure and driver's ed! I honestly never knew that discipline was just as hard on the parent. My parents must have had nerves of steel.

  4. I'm with you on this one. I struggle with this a lot with Ian and his toddler limit testing. Holding fast is really hard to do sometimes but being a good mom means feeling like the "mean" mom every now and then.

  5. Nerves of steel????? It felt more like nerves of jello.