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."