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Parenting Techniques are like assholes..everyone has one! Can someone explain to me how the Big Guy and I can be so far apart on our parenting techniques that we can not even slightly understand what the hell the other one is thinking when disciplining. I know that we all have our moments of roaring when we completely lose our shit and just scream for our little ones to figuratively (or literally) SHUT THE FUCK UP! God, how I pray for silence sometimes. These are not the parenting moments that we are proud of or want to share with outsiders but they do happen. We feel monumentally guilty and then we move on. If we dwell on our parenting failures for too long, we’d throw the towel in on the whole fiasco. I know I am guilty of having done this and honestly I am trying to be more patient.Oh but patience does not come to me easily, especially not this week. I wish it did.
On most Thursday nights, around bedtime, I can usually be found hiding in the shower tethered by a single fraying shred to my sanity. I know, poor choice of words considering but Thursday nights are hell on me. The girls are over-exhausted, mouthy and resistant to any and all suggestions that I may try to voice. This is why I try to hand Thursday night bedtime parenting off to my better/saner/ more tolerant half, the Big Guy. But sometimes, even the gentlest of giants can be pushed to desperate parenting measures. To avoid a roaring session, when it gets too out of control, I have to stand back from the situation to assess it appropriately because when I am in the middle of all that chaos, it is hard to maintain composure surrounded by a complete collapse of the parenting system. I am not an advocate of spanking, mostly because I’ve never seen it used effectively or with restraint. This scares me so I avoid it completely. The Big Guy , however, was never spanked and feels that maybe it could be a useful parenting tool… if utilized effectively. We do not see eye to eye on this subject and whenever he has tried to threaten the girls with a spank on the rear, I end up unintentionally undermining him because I shut him down. I won’t allow it. I can’t. Though, boy, sometimes it seems like it may be the only thing that will work short of a trip to Guantanamo Bay. He becomes frustrated, as am I with their behavior, but what the hell am I supposed to do? Honestly, I don’t even think he could follow through on his threats but I don’t even like the idea of the girls thinking he might. To me, it feels like bullying someone smaller and weaker than you. It’s not fair or acceptable. What lesson will they learn? To use force instead of negotiation; to react without consideration and to fear consequences not respect others. This leaves the Big Guy and I both exasperated. It makes parenting harder than it needs to be, especially when we can’t see eye to eye.
In the heat of the moment, someone makes outlandish blanket threats with words like NEVER! FOREVER!ALWAYS! I’m taking away Christmas, Your birthday,etc. How can that be allowed? I call foul….mood! There’s only so much childhood to be had. How can we take away some of the most memorable parts? I’m all for taking away TV, play dates, presents, privileges, games, electronics, toys and even special events but shouldn’t there be a conversation with each other before one parent blurts out that Santa’s not real and YOU ARE NEVER GETTING CHRISTMAS AGAIN because you pushed your sister down. Not a flight of stairs or out of a plane, mind you, but to the ground from the standing position. Of course it’s an asshole move but does it warrant ruining the magic of childhood? These are the points that the kids push us to, especially during the holidays. I wish those damn elves would hurry and show up. I need reinforcements.
Speaking of my dueling sisters of the Midwest, why is it physically impossible for a 4 and 6 year old to keep their hands off of one another? Do they have magnets matching ones hands to the others..face, butt, arm, leg? Tonight at bedtime, we had a near concussion after little reciprocated the water boarding session that her big sister was giving her with a Dasani but upped the ante and raised her a thud to the head. It was obviously provoked, but not allowed. How do you discipline one and not the other. They were both hurt in the rumble. How do you punish a kid who just got beaten with a bottle of water? But who was also the perpetrator of the water-boarding? If you get shot while trying to break into someone ‘s house, are you relieved of the breaking and entering charges? I don;t think so. An hour later, a hysterical 4 year old, a nearly concussed 6 year old, a lot of tears, aggravation and disappointment on all parts….they finally cried themselves to sleep after thoroughly insuring that the Big Guy and I knew what bad parents we were and how much we did not care about them. I even think there was a request for no parents. Seriously? Do I get to requisition a couple of new kids because I think the warranty is still good on these two?
Since when the hell did referee become part of my job title? I don’t like it. I also don’t like the fact that somehow my entire family has come to believe that my job as wife and mother is to sit around in sweat pant purgatory and wait for them to need me. I can’t have a life or leave the house, I can’t socialize or do anything that can by any chance make me interesting because then I might risk not sitting idly by should they, possibly, need me to bring them a drink or wipe their collective asses or noses. I hate to sound like a whiny little Mommy bitch but I am important too. Right? I need time to be me. To make friends. To take care of myself. To be who I am when stripped of my current title. I am more than I appear to be. I was a woman. I was a person before I became someones cheerleader, maid, taxi driver, cook, teacher, nurse and everything. I’m not saying that I don’t love being all of those things ( I do) but I need to feel not just needed but wanted. I need to feel like my feelings matter. Parenting is more than just loving your kids, it’s loving yourself enough to matter. To put it best, shark week and parenting go together like a flaming bag and dog shit; no ones happy and somebody might get hurt.