The Ups and Downs

This has been such a week of ups and downs.  Today, specifically, has been a roller coaster of emotions.  I don't know if there's something in the air, if its residue of the ongoing sickness, or a result of my hectic schedule but I'm ready for a meltdown myself.  Seriously.  I can't seem to keep up with work, house, activities, and kids.  I don't feel like I'm getting much help in the way of the day to day housework, yet my workload remains the same.  Very frustrating.  I really don't like to complain about that stuff.  I'm grateful to have such an amazing family, blessed with a big, beautiful house, a flexible job, and super opportunities at church.  I just need a little more help.  Guess it doesn't help that we've all been sick.  Unfortunately, the world doesn't stop and wait for us all to get better.  If I stop, it just piles up higher.

I've felt like such a crappy mom lately, too.  I question all my decisions.  Am I doing the best thing for my kids?  Am I warping them forever?  What can I do better?  I feel like I butt heads with my 5 year old a lot.  She is strong willed and defiant.  I'm a pushover and inconsistent.  Not a good mix.  When I do try to put my foot down and hold strong, she becomes more defiant and disrespectful.  My 3 year old is just that - a 3 year old!  We never had the "Terrible Two's", so we're making up for it with the "Tremendous Three's"!  The sassy mouths from both of them are about to put me right over the edge.  I can handle most things - but the talking back sends me into monster mode.  I try to remain calm and then BAM, enough is enough!  I swore I would never raise my voice to my children because I grew up in a screaming home - and I hated that.  My husband and I have never once talked to each other in loud voices.  Never.  So, why do we have shouting matches with a 3 and 5 year old?  I feel so disgusting afterward. 

The attitudes seem to cycle.  We'll have a good month - and then we have a horrible couple of weeks.  Then we'll have a great month followed by a really bad week.  It's just a vicious cycle.  Right now our major fight is with the girls' first response to everything they're told to do is "No".  It's like they don't even think before they speak - it's an automatic response to anything we say.  They argue with everything and I am so over it!  Don't think that it goes without punishment.  We go in steps - starting with time out, followed by a spanking at the next offense, and then spending a long time in their room alone, etc.  It just doesn't seem to be working.  We're going to have to find something new.  I've tried taking all the toys out of their rooms, taking the TV away, etc.  Today I got creative.  Maddie was so cranky this morning and yelling at me in the car disrespectfully.  I pulled the van over right then into a church parking lot, took her out of the car, and put her in "time out".  (Don't worry.... I didn't leave or even pretend I would do such a thing.  She just wasn't allowed back into the car until she calmed down.)  She did much better throughout the day - until tonight.  Did the same thing with Audrey this afternoon.  She was mouthing off as we were pulling out of the drive way.  I pulled the car over and made her get out.  She couldn't get back in until she apologized for her behavior and assured me she wouldn't do it again.  (Again, no worries.  She was never in any danger.)  Everything was great until we got back home.  Tonight was a BATTLE.  It was just one thing after another that ended with her losing her bedtime story and songs.  It broke my heart because that is a special time we share together at night.  But, I had nothing else to take or do. I'm trying so hard to understand her.  It's such a roller coaster with her.  I don't want to make excuses for her, but I don't know to what extent (if any) her medication plays in her behavior.  She is on medication for her Epilepsy with side effects being "behavioral problems".   She is NOT a bad kid, she just has her moments. 

So, to share the "ups" of this post.  Tonight on the way home from rehearsal we got on the subject of "keys".  (She loves to unlock the front door by herself.)  So, out of the backseat I hear her say, "I wish I had a key to my heart so I could open it up and let Jesus in."  I told her she didn't need a key to let Him in, all she had to do was ask.  She responded, "I already did that."  To which I replied, "when did you do that?"  And, she said, "One night in my room when I was praying."  Then we went on to discuss baptism (and her fear of going under water).  I was so elated for her. 

This is the same child that went to bed screaming and fighting with me following that beautiful conversation. 

Sigh.

3 comments:

  1. Must be something in the air. I have been having mommy meltdowns too. Overwhelmed and wondering if I am doing the right things. And then the behavior issues. It's all just too much isn't it?

    I think we need to head your way then have a girl's night out. Make the boys stay home and watch the kids. It's long overdue. I miss you so much!

  1. Darsi said...:

    Aww, Kimmie, obviously I know nothing about parenting, but from all of your Facebook posts, etc., I can tell you're an amazing Mom. I DO know something about being a belligerent child, and it will pass!!

  1. Kim said...:

    Thanks, friends! I appreciate the encouragement. And, yes, Allie you guys need to head to the ATL for a weekend!! Thanks, Darsi!! I try to be a good mom. Good to know they'll grow out of the craziness. LOL!! For the record, the girls were great today! Go figure....

 
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