Friday, January 9, 2009

This Is Awful

My heart is breaking. As I sit and write this with tears streaming down my face, I can hear my 6 year old in her room sobbing. Why? Because I yelled at her. Because I had to. And nothing breaks my heart more than getting on to her, because its so very foreign to me, it makes me feel awful and not right and ugly.

She was Hero Of The Week at school today. Had a great big assembly and we all came- it was great. I was so proud to see her up on the state. Jas took her out bowling when he got home for a treat. And then she came home and it starts: the griping, picking fights with Luke, yelling at the dog, doing a half-ass job of something I've asked her to do, complaining that she thought Luke's pizza was bigger than hers, pitching a fit over taking a bath on a weekend night, on and on and on... And by the end of tonight I was done. I walked by her room and saw that the place was a wreck- but the biggest thing (and you may think I am insane for being a stickler about this) was three of her dresser drawers were wide open. I CANNOT stand this- it think it looks lazy and irresponsible and it just so happens to the the one thing she lost her Pet Shops for this week, that she JUST got back this afternoon. So, lesson learned? No. I'm pissed. So I find her in the kitchen, playing on the computer and I tell her to get off right now. Does she? No. "Hold on, I want to finish...." and that was it for me. I lost it. I said alot of things that needed to be said, as hard as it was to say them. I sent her to her room, sat down and started crying.

We have been having some seriously rough patches lately, and I feel like everytime something happens I just sort of stand there, stunned. Because that is not my Olivia. Almost every day she picks a fight with me about something small and honestly-insignificant, and it infuriates me to no end. Partly, because I don't have the energy to argue with her (ever feel like that?) and secondly because she is sounding more and more like a spoiled brat. (I just cringed seeing that written out loud.) and less like the sweet, kind girl we have raised for the past almost 7 years.

We made a behavior contract with her when things started going wrong about a month ago, and she was really doing well- but now that things are slipping again, I have had to enforce the discipline part of that agreement: loosing bedtime stories and Littlest Pet Shops (her two favorite and special things) when infractions arise. And it kills me. I hate to get on to her. I hate to look in her big blue eyes and see tears brimming over because of what I said and had to do. And I think, 'Was I too mean? Was that too harsh?' And I start to beat myself up. And then I stop and realize: This is part of the job description. (I just think with her it was in very tiny print). It is my job to raise her be a good, honest and upright citizen of this world. Sometime, I feel like more than anything, she has been learning the hard but true "Rubberband Lesson" of when you push someone too far, they can come snapping back at you. Which hurts.

So please, send some prayers our way: Some for me and Jas that we have strength to do the hard, but right thing, and wisdom to know when to pick our battles. Pray for Miss O that she can stay true to herself, I fear its being widdled away by the outside world and growing up too fast.


Anonymous said...

I know.
But you're doing the right thing. It just takes forever, with one step forward and two steps back.
Same for you, as a mom.
If you only knew all the resolutions I made when you all were little...
Heck, I'm 56 and I still don't live up to my own expectations everyday.
It will get done, over the years. Just keep plugging away at the good character.

You know, in your heart, that you're a good mom.

love, mom

mommy4life said...

You're doing the right thing, as hard as it is. (We just need someone else, particularly another "mom" to remind us sometimes.) Keep your chin up!

Our life is a bowl of Barry's said...

It's always leaves such questions in our minds as parents when our kids do things that we have taught them not to do. We wonder what it is as parents we have done that would cause them to act like that, what have we done wrong? I can't tell you how many times a day I repeat's a pattern that progresses throughout the week. 'What do you mean I didn't ask you to brush your teeth? Isn't that something you need to do ON YOUR OWN?" 'Stop running in this house and quit bugging your brother' 'Yes you have to wash your hands, why? because your hands are dirty!' And of course those are only the little things. I am starting to realize with a big family (anything over 1 child constitutes a big family in my book) that stuff happens just because it happens, no matter how good a parent I try to be. And that's not to say I am a good parent all the time-how could I be? Every time we pray over our meal we ask for patience with one another and respect....some days God helps us and other days he leaves it to us-solo. Hang in there and know that they change with age and often in ways we don't like, but if we do a good job they'll hopefully turn out OK!

Lucrecia said...

My 7 year old is acting the same way lately! And until about 6 months ago he was so mellow - his little sister was much more likely to mouth me (and lets not talk about his 16 yr old brother!)

Oh - and the drawers. THANK YOU! My husband was pretty sure I was the "only person in the whole world who cares about that"

My mom used to tell me that she had to answer to God one day on how she raised me, so sometimes she had to make choices based on that. How could I argue with that??

Anonymous said...

Hey Anne, I gotta say... I just love reading your blog! It's hilarious and SO TRUE to life. You are doing the right thing -- and because you question yourself makes you an even better mom! I hope that today was a better day for you! :)


TheAustinEmpire said...

I think that's definitely the hardest part of being a parent for me, saying no and sticking to it. I hate that my kids cry because they don't understand why. But I have learned that they seem to do better when you really stick to it, then to give in after a few bouts of whining to get what they want.
I've also seen first hand how those whining kids can turn into deadbeat teenage moms that freeload off their parents who don't know how to say "NO" and mean it.

4Hoffman's said...

You poor thing! I know that's hard! I always hate to get onto Madison too! I think it would be bad if it didn't bother you! Be strong and hopefully it will get better!