Parenting Issues

As I have mentioned before I am not in the running for the mother of the year award. I just can't compete with the super-moms of this world. And mostly I am ok with that. I know my kids know that I love them and they are well cared for. But honestly sometimes I wish I had more energy to be better at this parenting thing.

I have heard a lot over the past few years how important the first 6 years of a child's life is and how most of their personality is determined in that time etc etc etc. I agree. But the thought terrifies me. My Aiden is 5 already. That means I have less than one year left in the 6 year window. And since we have already established that I am not a perfect mother that basically means that I have definitely screwed Aiden up in some ways. Sigh.

And to top it all off the poor kid is a pastor's kid. And all the research and personal life experience I have tells me that the pastor's kid life is not the easiest and often results in them being hurt by the church etc. That certainly was the case for my mother (a pastor's kid) and my cousins (also pastor's kids). Now on the up side my cousins and my mother have also told me that there were a lot of things that they loved about the life of a pastor's kid. But they got scrutinized more than the average child and that is hard for anyone to take.

And although I know that there are always issues with kids I sometimes feel that there are just TOO many issues all at once for me to be able to handle. Like this week my son Owen is SOOOOO incredibly whiny. I mean really really whiny. And I hate whining. I do. And my son Aiden has taken to calling himself stupid and hitting himself in the head. I think this came about because several weeks ago he kept getting in trouble for calling me, his dad and his brother stupid. So then, being the clever child that he is, started calling himself stupid every time he was mad at one of us. At first I didn't know what to do about this (actually, I still don't know what to do about it) and I think that made him believe that he could vent his anger in that way and not get into trouble. Of course my main concern is that if you say something enough you eventually believe it. My son is not stupid and I don't want him to think that about himself. So I have been trying various methods and tactics to try and change this behaviour but nothing seems to be working. Sigh.

And of course Owen has started to copy the behaviour. Why is it that the younger siblings have to always copy the older ones? It just means that now I have TWO kids doing the same thing and I still don't know what to do about it.

Now I have said before that I love the TV. I do. I won't deny its importance in my home. I think I do a pretty good job of limiting what my kids watch to stuff that won't teach them horrible things.... mostly. They are very good at picking stuff up though that even I miss. Anyway, the point is that the TV keeps me sane. It gives me a break that I desperately need. I would go nuts without it. Really, I would. I am simply not creative enough to plan an entire days worth of activities for my children to keep their minds stimulated etc etc. Nope. Can't do it.

But I do wish that the TV people would at least attempt to help us non-perfect parents out. I mean really, do they have to put totally inappropriate commercials on right in between the Mickey Mouse club and Little Einsteins? Two perfectly good shows and what do my kids pick up? The garbage in the commercials. Gotta love it.

Olivia is starting the crawling process. So now I have to continually try to keep my floors clean and lego free. This is not an easy task. And I have noticed that Olivia will find even the smallest crumb on the floor and she must put everything in her mouth. Of course.

We start swimming lessons on monday. Aiden and Owen are in the same class which should be fun for them. And that should help with their excess energy. The only lessons I could get them into this year are kind of annoying though. They have lessons from 9 to 9:30 am and then a one hour break and another lesson from 10:30 to 11:00 am, everyday for 5 days. My only question is what am I supposed to do with them for the hour break?

Our new kitty, Shadow, is very cute and very patient with my kids which is fabulous. But wow does he ever want to get outside. He makes a mad dash for the door every time it is opened. You may wonder why we just don't let him go outside? Well, our neighbourhood has a whole bunch of HUGE tom-cats and most of them congregate in our yard and I am a little worried that they would beat up our poor little kitty. Not to mention the fact that we have like 8 months of winter here and I don't want him to get too used to going outside since he can't go out in -40 degree weather. He'd freeze to death.

My son Owen is still obsessed with his soother at night. I know. I know. I already told you all that I am not the mother of the year. YES, you are right, I should have taken it away ages ago but I just haven't been able to deal with the screaming tantrums removing it produces. I am really tired people. And he has been so unsettled since the arrival of Olivia. I had hoped he would be fine and then just naturally grow out of the suckie obsession. Nope. So now the time has come for us to take it away. I don't want to do it. I really don't. But I know I have to. But not tonight. I need some sleep tonight to be able to face church tomorrow morning.

I suppose that is enough of my ramblings for now.


Amanda Franks said…
I think that if you asked a lot of the women who appear to be supermoms, they would say they feel a lot of the same things you're feeling, only you can express them! I know that your kids know they are loved, (you cannot fake real smiles even in posed camera shots), and your kids are so happy. The thing they'll carry with them into life is remembering how you were when they were little. Just think when Aiden has kids and he's feeling lost he'll be able to close his eyes and remember his childhood. There may be piles of laundry, there may be dirty dishes, there may be lots of pj days, but if you're smiling in his memory all the rest of it will fade away. So do what you need to do for you first, honestly, cuz when the momma bear is happy everyone is happy. That's the best thing you can give the kids that live in the fishbowl, the gift of seeing you thrive in it. For all the negative things we assume they pick up from us, they pick up so many more positive ones and the simple fact that you care enough to write posts like this makes you a supermom in my books!
Caroline said…
Raising up PK's...this is quite an important issue for us, isn't it. Let me begin by saying that we have been incredibly blessed by having a congregation who are patient with our kids, and love them unconditionally. What we have tried to do, is raise the kids with the expectations that we would have for them no matter what Dad's profession is (yes - we often heard "I could do this if Daddy wasn't a pastor" - which was always quickly corrected!) We have been their strongest advocates within our church. On the rare occasion that one of them were held up to higher expectations, my husband is quick to speak to the offending person and set them straight. I think our kids (22 & 16) have turned out normal and happy - thanks be to God!
Judy said…
Oh, Tara. You do NOT want to be a perfect mother. If you were, your children would have impossible standards to reach.

What you are, and you are amazing at it, is a real mom.

Your kids will grow up knowing what a real person is like.

You lose it, you find it again.

From a real mom a kid learns how to respond to disappointment, mistakes, bad days and all those things life throws at us.

Perfect mom's aren't real. They can't be. Because perfection isn't attainable in this life.

Anyway, you let your kids play in mud. I think that is something they will treasure about you for the rest of their lives!

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