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Dark days of parenting...

I've had some very dark days of parenting this past week. I have had several days in a row where I just didn't like E and L, or myself for that matter.

New epiphaies;

  • I get extremely angry with the kids when; I'm somehow already at a low ebb (tired, stressed out, sick, annoyed with someone else), or when I'm in a struggle of wills with them, and I feel powerless to effect the change I want to see (in them).
  • When I'm feeling powerless the anger within me expands like gas igniting, it is sudden and forceful.
  • When I lose my temper with the kids, I then feel angry at them for bringing out the worst in me, and I want them to disappear so I can pretend I never lost my temper.
  • If they seem afraid of me, I feel angrier because they're showing me I'm being a monster.
  • I resent them for hours afterwards because I feel sorry for myself always having to get really angry to get them to listen to me, or cooperate with me.
  • I don't feel this way about Bryn at all. I don't expect him to do what I say, be quiet, listen to me (even though he does these things a lot of the time).
  • My expectations and my inability to let go of my "goal" in the situation leads to my frustration when that goal isn't met.
It's not a pretty picture.

I was investigating Unconditional Parenting again today, and now have it on order through the local bookshop.

Then I came across a reference to a book called "Connection Parenting" by Pam Leo, and found a site with a audio of an interview with the author and when I listened to the interview I wanted to cry. This woman was saying back to me what I used to believe about children and parenting, back when Erik was a baby. Somehow I'd lost touch with those beliefs, and gotten lost in my need to control my kids.

I just want to love being with my kids again.

I have moments of loving being with them, and I always love being with Bryn, but so much in recent weeks I've have my love of spending time with them overshadowed by this low grade resentment of their attitude toward me and Dave. I need to begin seeing them for the children they are and not the people I expect them to be.

I realise I'm a pathetic excuse for a parent, but oh well, I suppose at least I haven't given up completely.

Ok, will have more thoughts on this another time...

Comments

Sif,

Firstly I think that you are far from a pathetic parent. You are a wonderful parent because you are constantly exploring the things that you don't feel you are doing right and working towards changing them.

Also I barely think that you are alone in the way you feel and react to your boys. I often feel the same way you have described and i have reacted in that way towards my son as well. I also felt that it was only me that did this, I am really trying hard to stop this behaviour, and the expectation I have on him to do the right thing, when in essence he is doing...for a 3 yr old! even if it is not what I expect he should be doing.

I love reading your blog and wanted to say thankyou for being so candid with your feelings and what you are going through as a parent. And also while you are on this self discovery path, and altering the way you parent your boys for the better, try not to be too hard on yourself.

We all struggle at times, the wonderful thing about you is that you are making changes so that the struggle wont be so hard or long lasting :).

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