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Apparently, I've gone from UP to spanking. I'm losing it.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am lost. Lost and desperate. I just hit my kids and now I feel paralyzed. They are each laying down in separate rooms waiting for me to come talk to them about it.

I'm not going to go into what happened because it's long, but at the end of it I lost my temper and "spanked" them and told them that if they didn't lay down and take a nap I'd do it again.

This is -not- what we do around here. Ever. I believe in and used to practice Unconditional Parenting. And, yet, in the past month I have started to become the mommy who yells, who uses bribes and threats ("if you don't ____ then we can't _____"), and our lives have been spiraling out of control.

My husband is working 12 hours a day. Every day. Our roommates just moved out of our big house, leaving a wreck of bad feelings and a truckload of junk to be hauled off to the Salvation Army behind them. My house looks like someone turned it upside down and shook. We only have one car, so if we want to get out of the house, we have to drop dh off at work at 10a and pick him back up at 9p(after their bedtime). We only have one babysitter, dh's mom, who can only watch one of them once every week or two.

Needless to say, I'm burned out to the max and we have NO structure right now. I feel like I'm turning into this mom I used to know who gave her kids what ever they demanded, and then snapped and freaked out on them. I know we're not quite to that point yet -- my kids are wonderful people and we have a lot of love and respect among us -- but, I can see in the past months that I'm letting them push my buttons and they're noticing. DS (4) has been less and less respectful and DD (2) is ... well, she's having some 2yrold issues right now.

I don't know exactly what I'm looking for. Sympathy, maybe? A kind word?? A solution would be wonderful. But the only solution I can think of is just to skip sleeping and stay up at nights getting this house in order so we can get back to having at least a less chaotic life...
post #2 of 15
I think we all reach a breaking point sometimes when the kids seem out of control & so does the rest of our lives... My advice is, be gentle with yourself. Give yourself a break. My DS is younger so I'm not sure I'm one to give advice, but I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts. And as far as the house, can you get just one area under control? My DH is staying home from a cookout this weekend to get our house back in order. :-/ I'm about to leave otherwise I'd write more. Take some deep breaths & then go give your kids a hug.
post #3 of 15
Take a deep breath! It's going to be o.k. You do sound burnt out. Can you relax your parenting standards a little and put on a movie for the kids when your patience is getting low? It sounds like you need to focus on your own needs for a little while. I am sending you a virtual casserolle, box of chocolates, and a cup of tea.
post #4 of 15
Hugs to you mama. If I were stuck in the house with my kids all day we'd go bonkers too. It really helped me to have a loose schedule that I would follow--and getting out of the house was a big part of that schedule for me. Can you walk anywhere? Even if it's just around the neighborhood it gets the energy out and gives them some other stimulation so they can focus on outside things and not driving you or each other crazy. They'll nap better too if they are physically more tired.

Re: house I think I know how you feel. And it seems the emotional baggage of the roommate situation is anchored in the mess and making it ten times worse. So first I just want to acknowledge that--that it's not just the mess, it's how the mess got there and how that makes you feel. If cleaning up the mess helps you move on, I think you should, but just tackle it 10-20 minutes at a time. Be ruthless about it--just have two bags, Salvation Army or garbage and everything that belonged to the roommates has to go in one bag or the other, don't overthink each item. I don't know about you but that's what I hate about moving stuff--it's the thinking about should I keep it, should I not, this item could be useful, etc. If it's their stuff I say just get it out, the decision making and thus clean up process will go a lot faster that way.
post #5 of 15
I've been there, mama. It's an awful feeling but the best thing you can do right now is forgive yourself. It's going to be OK.
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
thank you all so much! we're now eating watermelon and noodles and about to go outside. i'm going to forget about the house for the moment. maybe they'll get a late nap and then i can think about it.

also, i just ordered Playful Parenting. i have my philosophy down, but i'm lacking in some tools. from what i've read, that book should give me some fresh perspective on how to build and maintain connections through all of this ...

again, i think i really REALLY needed all those kind words. i used to be really involved here (under a different name), and i've moved away from that. i have no parenting friends irl (and the few people we do know do NOT share our views about parenting and children), so i really need to hear that i'm not alone sometimes.

aww ... dd just crawled up on the futon in our living room and snuggled under the blanket.
post #7 of 15
The hardest thing is realizing we have more control over ourselves that we are using. You have more control than this, as evidenced by all the years you did not spank. You already know what you have to do, you just need to get up tomorrow and do it. I heard a quote today "We do what we need so that we can do what we want" which might be helpful. You need to stay calm and focused because you want to parent without hitting. Do what you need, so you can get what you want.

Everyone has a bad day. Small children are just exhausting, they push every button. You must meet all their needs while they are happily oblivious to yours. That is hard to live with all day long, every day, without ever once snapping.
post #8 of 15
s: BTDT and it did take some re-centering and doing like the PP said, waking up the next day, a brand new day and approach it how you WANT too

I also will look up positive parenting quotes, that helps me a lot. I write them in dry erase on the frig, or tape them to the bathroom mirror. It helps a lot as well.
post #9 of 15
Kind words and hugs from me to you, too. I have lost it more times than I can count now and am so far from being the parent I want to be. Also with husband working long hours and alone with kids for days on end with no breaks. It's tough, and it shouldn't be this way. thank goodness for MDC and all the virtual community and wisdom we have here, when it is missing IRL.

Taking walks with all of us helps change our attitudes sometimes. Someone also reminded me of mid-day baths for the kids, I may try that as a way to keep them busy and not at each other's throats or mine. And, a nice stiff drink around 4pm.

Connection Parenting is a good one, too.
post #10 of 15
How are you feeling today Mama? Are things any calmer now?

It's really hard with 2 little ones, and it would be hard even if you had a second car and the house was already organized.

It could be that UP isn't providing your household with enough structure right now, and you might need to establish some basic routines to keep yourself from being overwhelmed. It also sounds like you simply need more "big person" help around the house. Even a 10yo could help you pack up things for Salvation Army or watch the kids for a few hours while you got work done (or used the time for a breather), as long as you remain on call as the "adult in charge". See if there are any neighborhood big kids or teens who can help you out, either as volunteers (some kids really enjoy playing with little kids for an hour or so every once in a while) or pay them to help out (if you can afford that.)

Also see what kinds of activities you can all do together- playing in the backyard, going for walks, etc. Could you possibly swap childcare with another local family- you watch 4 kids for 2 hours and another day you get a 2 hour break from both kids? Even if you can only arrange "both moms stay" playdates, it can be nourishing to sit and chat with another adult while the kids play nearby, even with frequent breaks to care for the kids.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post

It could be that UP isn't providing your household with enough structure right now, and you might need to establish some basic routines to keep yourself from being overwhelmed. It also sounds like you simply need more "big person" help around the house. Even a 10yo could help you pack up things for Salvation Army or watch the kids for a few hours while you got work done (or used the time for a breather), as long as you remain on call as the "adult in charge". See if there are any neighborhood big kids or teens who can help you out, either as volunteers (some kids really enjoy playing with little kids for an hour or so every once in a while) or pay them to help out (if you can afford that.)

Also see what kinds of activities you can all do together- playing in the backyard, going for walks, etc. Could you possibly swap childcare with another local family- you watch 4 kids for 2 hours and another day you get a 2 hour break from both kids? Even if you can only arrange "both moms stay" playdates, it can be nourishing to sit and chat with another adult while the kids play nearby, even with frequent breaks to care for the kids.

I agree! I took a lot of good info away from what I have read about UP/Consensual Living, but ultimately for our family we needed some routines/structure. There is a lot of middle ground between completely consensual and ruling with an iron fist type parenting LOL!

Swapping childcare or finding other ways to have adult time to recharge your batteries is always a big help for me too.

Hope you are having a peaceful day today!
post #12 of 15
I'm thinking about you, even though I don't *know* you, and hoping for more peace in your life. Isn't this MDC great?! We're all behind you.
I feel your pain, sometimes I feel like i'm going to lose it with the kids here too (my own dd plus the 2 daycare kids, who are all 2yo). Deep breaths, trying to see the big picture, a quick change of scene and some water play or group yoga are all things I've done to help defuse myself and the kids. Also, I like the stiff drink at 4pm idea!
post #13 of 15
It doesn't hurt to look into suppliments to help give you a stress-cushion. Sam-e, 5htp, gaba, etc are all great for helping give you the space to take that deep breath.

Also, when things are rough around here (and they are lately), i really do spend as much time out of the house as possible. I load up th kids after breakfast and go for a walk, come home for lunch, leave again after nap, and come home for dinner. Less time to make a mess, less time to feel bad about the state of the house. When I am able to relax, my kids relax, and things are so much easier. I am really, really glad it's finally summer.
post #14 of 15
If your dh is working so many hours, is he making enough that you can hire help, maybe just a local homeschool kid who can be a mother's helper for a low rate? If not, can he take leave to help you? That is too much to bear all at once, no wonder things are tough (and 2 and 4 are tough ages). to you.
post #15 of 15
ooh i could have written this. it happens every few months or so. i just get so bogged down. it is so hard raising kids alone (my dh is gone at work 15ish hours a day).

pm me if you ever need to vent
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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › Apparently, I've gone from UP to spanking. I'm losing it.