My life as a Mommy of 4 little boys

Thursday, January 26, 2012

None of us are SuperMom all the time

I'll admit it.  I'm not SuperMom. I also want to ask, why doesn't anyone tell you it's going to be damn hard at times?  Why aren't we warned that there are going to be times that we just stand there wondering what the hell we did wrong? Why aren't we told that somedays we will question everything we do?  I hear so much about how wonderful parenthood is, now don't get me wrong, sure it's great at times.  I love my kids more than anything but man some days it just sucks.  I feel like I've had a lot of those days lately.  Somedays I want to just run away, but of course I won't and I don't really want to, but I do want things to get better.

I used to be so sure of the way we parented our kids.  What we were doing was right, I just knew it, I told everyone about it...hell I pushed our beliefs on everyone...I really regret that.  Because as I've matured as a mother I've come to realize that not everything I do works for everyone else, hell it doesn't always work for me.  Things change, family dynamic changes and the way you parent has to change along with it.  Everyone has different things going on in their life so who the hell am I to tell them the way we do things will work in their home and what they are doing is wrong??  I have no idea, but apparently I thought I had the right to do so.  If you're one I pushed my beliefs onto I'm sorry.  

I thought I knew all....until Hayden.  That kid threw us for a loop for sure.  Landon and Casen were complete opposites so I thought I pretty much had this thing down, surely Hayden would fall between them somewhere.  But oh no, Hayden is one all his own.  We used to use gentle discipline with our kids, positive reinforcement, we used timeouts at times but really tried not to use punishments.  It worked great for Landon and Casen.  They were very respectful, very well behaved...all around great kids.  We got compliments all the time on how wonderful they were.  But then Hayden, that didn't work for...nothing worked for him.  We have tried everything with him.  We are very consistent when we do switch to something, not try it once or twice then say "oh well it's not working, must not be for him".  We give everything a chance, use it for a few weeks to see if it makes any improvement.  I used to be 100% against spanking...we even tried that.  Now I'll still say I don't like spanking...it did not work for Hayden, I do think for pretty much all kids there are other ways of discipline that do work better, but I also acknowledge that some people feel that is the best choice for their family and as long as they aren't being abusive then who am I to say they should do something different?  But we tried time outs in a time out spot, sending him to his room, taking away things he liked, taking away privileges...really anything you can think of...we've tried.  Nothing works.  Now, he isn't just some awful kid, he isn't bad 24/7.  He wants to be good, he just can NOT control himself.  No matter what the discipline is when he is in that moment nothing is going to stop him, he has zero self control, can't see that doing that is going to have this consequence or if he can in that moment he just does not care at all.  He hates all punishment, he is truly sorry when he does get in trouble, but again that moment comes back and no matter what he's going to do it again every single time.  He is one of the most loving kids, he is so nice, he is hilarious and wants to be everyone's friend.  I 100% believe that there is something going on in his little body that is causing his behavior, he is not a bad kid, it's not a parenting problem, there is something else going on.  We are currently in the process of figuring out what that is.  

But this has been going on for years...literally.  This started from as soon as he hit toddlerhood, as soon as he was able to get around and do things this has been going on.  It wasn't until more recently that I've really started to realize this is really out of his control.  He is not trying to make us mad, he is not trying to be bad, it's more than that.  But no matter what it is, it's extremely exhausting.  

I think probably one of the worst feelings in the world is feeling like you are failing as a mother.  And with a child like Hayden, who you just can't seem to figure out, you feel like that often...I feel like that often.  It runs you down to the point where you pretty much give up.  You just do what you absolutely have to to get through the day but nothing more.  And that's pretty much where we've been for awhile now.  I realize that now and am trying my best to change it.  

I get up in the morning, which I have to drag myself out of bed, I'm exhausted from staying up way too late at night because I can't fall asleep because I lay in bed thinking about everything I should have done but didn't and how I did a crap job again that day.  When I finally do get up I want to hide away.  I don't want to deal with the everyday tasks of being a mom most days.  Wow...that's hard to admit to everyone.  

Hayden's behavior isn't the only issue...it's also my reaction to it.  I think I've gotten a little depressed because of constantly feeling defeated with him.  It has effected the older boys as well.  Casen, who used to be the most loving, quiet, shy kid now lashes out at his brothers all the time.  I think he feels he has to to protect himself from Hayden.  Casen is Hayden's main target, anything to piss him off he'll do.  He throws things, hits them, kicks them, breaks toys....anything to get the reaction.  Casen is the one who gives him the reaction he wants so that is who he goes after most of the time.  It is a vicious cycle.  And nothing any of us are doing is helping.  Well that ends now.  

Maybe by putting it all out there it will hold me more accountable, maybe it will help anyone else who might feel the same way...hopefully I'm not the only one.  Things are changing around here, they have been in motion now for a little while and slowly but surely things are getting a bit better.  I feel like we are finally starting to get through to Hayden.  Turns out...positive reinforcement and less punishment is now working for him.  He understands it more now and it is getting through to him more.  It definitely hasn't taken away all of our problems, far from it, but things are slightly better.  He's using his words more, he is hitting less...both good things.  

Now, I'm working on me.  I don't like who I've become as a mother, this is not who I was a couple years ago and it's not who I ever envisioned myself to be.  I stopped cooking as much, I have withdrawn a lot from the older boys, I haven't been getting out much, haven't been taking them out much, haven't been doing crafts with the kids, have gained weight and my hips have gotten so bad it's ridiculous.  It's no wonder I feel so depressed and can't sleep.  And me feeling like this negatively effects the kids and that's not what I want.  

A few things I'm working on to make myself better

~Start waking up earlier and therefore going to bed earlier~
~Start spending more quality time with each of the kids~
~Start planning crafts with the kids again, goal is to do one a week and work up from there~
~Set a strict schedule for Hayden so he is busy during the day~
~Start cooking a lot more, making the boys lunchs and cooking snacks~
~Focus on eating healthier and hopefully losing some weight~
~Get more involved in play groups around us~
~Get out of the house~

I refuse to continue to fail my kids.  I refuse to not be the mother I want to be and they deserve.  Yes I WANT to be supermom.  I want to be the one who has the clean house all the time, who makes homemade meals every night, breakfast on the weekends, prepares most of their snacks.  I want to be the mom that is busy with playdates.  I want to be the mom who is involved in their kid's classrooms.  I want to be the mom who doesn't yell and lose her temper.  I want to be healthier for me and for my kids.  And I know I CAN be that mom again.  I know there will be hard days, but I have to stop letting them get me down and just giving up.  

Things aren't always fun when it comes to parenting, it's HARD work, much harder than I would have ever imagined but I KNOW it's the most rewarding job in the world.  I was reminded of that tonight when Hayden was especially patient and nice to Casen even when Casen wasn't so nice back to him and when I looked at Hayden and told him what a great job he did that smile, kiss and hug he gave me was proof.  Things are getting better around here, will take lots of hardwork but we will get back to the family we were before and even better :)  It's definitely hard to admit that things haven't been so great, but I think if us as mothers admit that to each other a little more often we wouldn't feel so alone when we are the ones going through the hard times.  


If I don't update here much it's because I've got our schedule full for awhile...playdate tomorrow, 2 playdates on Friday, 2 birthday parties on Saturday, church on Sunday :)



3 comments:

  1. You're doing great Pie, noticing what you feel you can improve on makes you an awesome Mom in my opinion!
    Stay strong, Hayden is tiring, but he's also awesome. Things will come right!

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  2. JoAnne Jewer-SmithJanuary 26, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    AMEN for someone else admitting to exactly how I feel!!!! Sebastian is the EXACT same way and I am at my whits end trying to deal with his behaviors and out bursts. I am currently in search of a new family doctor to start some evaluations as to what may be possibly going on.

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  3. Hi Beth, just wanted to show my support in your adventures in parenthood. We all have those days where we question every move we make as parents. Especially if you have a high needs child. I have 3 kiddos & as of yet, Peyton (middle) is the one that keeps me on my toes. She constantly pushes to the brink. I've learned that keeping her on a regular schedule, really keeps the day functional and without melt downs and so on. She is in preschool 3 days a week, but also at home I have activities and such to keep her mind focused. Shes an incrediably compassionate, smart 5yro. old, just sometimes gets a little off path. Wish you the best & nothing, but love coming your way.

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