I am a bully. - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 47 Old 05-02-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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I also recomend Playful Parenting. It really helps me in times of tantrums or when I can see one coming. Sometimes just thinking of the title reminds me to be playful. KWIM?
WOW, today was a doosey, and I actually DID NOT YELL!!! I am so very excited. Tomorrow will be better, I can feel it.
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#32 of 47 Old 05-02-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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Wow. Timely.

I have not been to MDC for months, but my three year old has suffered the brunt of my anger this week. She is just being three, but it is making me nuts. Yesterday, I worked to turn it around. What I focus on, I get more of. I grabbed my Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline and started focusing on more positive steps. Today was better.
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#33 of 47 Old 05-03-2008, 12:03 AM
 
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Thank you for posting this. I have been at wits end and just feeling so mean and cranky all the time. I even had to leave the house during supper tonight as I thought I was going to explode. DS is just trying my every strand of patience and fights me about everything. There is so much other stress in my life and I'm so sleep deprived (insomnia) that I just don't feel I can cope at times.
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#34 of 47 Old 05-03-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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I am so glad you started this thread. I have a 3 month old and almost 3 yo and am going through the same thing. I know exaclty how you feel. I hate myself so much when I grab her or yell at her. I feel like a bully too.
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#35 of 47 Old 05-03-2008, 01:37 AM
 
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I just want to chime in and thank you for starting this thread...

(BTW, OP, my dd is a 3/05 child too... I don't think it's a coincidence that they're both acting not so fun lately!)

I've been feeling horrible about yelling and losing my patience a lot and then feeling REALLY sad about the resultant lack of connection w/dd.

How do you stay feeling connected when your child annoys the @$#% out of you all day long? Some days after she's been pushing her boundries and testing my patience all day I just sit and stare at her while she sleeps and my heart fills with love (and guilt for the times when I let myself yell) and I feel connected. But then the next day starts all over again...

mumma to sweet 7 year old girl
and darling 2 year old guy

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#36 of 47 Old 05-03-2008, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. Just wow. I never thought so many mama's would be going through this! While I feel for all of you immensely, it does make me feel a little less alone. Here are some things I am trying...maybe they will help!

I've been trying really hard to put my feelings in check, because I notice that they can escalate faster than I can control them at times.

I've asked dh to step in when he sees that I am getting aggravated and totally take over the situation, even if I fight him on it in the moment.

I've also promised myself not to touch dd when I am feeling overwhelmed. I just don't trust myself to be gentle with her, and while I don't spank or hit, I am rough and I think it's just as bad as purposeful hitting.

We've been spending a ton of time outside, and I am trying to anticipate her getting bored by suggesting a change of activity. WHen she gets bored, she acts up, doing things she knows not to do and that triggers a response in me, which starts the whole cycle again. When I see that she is getting to that point, I force myself to take 5 minutes with her to redirect her to something fun. It's hard because I'm constantly being interrupted, but it's better to take 5 minutes than to try to finish what I am doing while getting more and more aggravated with her.

I am REALLY trying to let the little things go. This is hard for me, since I am a bit of a control freak, but I am making an effort. This is also difficult because I live with my mom and dh who aren't on the same page. They are into GD of course, but they see no problem with me exerting my will (force) on her if I need to. They also feel boundaries are very important. And so I'm constantly feeling the judgement from them too, and fighting them on how to raise dd. It's hard, there is stress either way. If I let it all go and dd goes nuts, I feel like they are just shaking their heads at me and my 'radical' parenting. If I go more mainstream, I feel like dd is suffering for it! I just get so frustrated with the situation sometimes, it's hard to know what to do.

Baby crying gotta go
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#37 of 47 Old 05-03-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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I have been there too. When I read your post, before I looked down at your sig, I said to myself, "I bet her kid is three."
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#38 of 47 Old 05-03-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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One of the things that helps me in this situation is reading other things that speak to and inspire me. Sometimes Mothering Magazine helps. Or a memoir of someone I like and respect. I love reading Catherine Newman's column or her book Waiting for Birdy. I like reading High Tide in Tuscon by Barbara Kingsolver (she writes essays about her life, including time spent in very child-friendly cultures). Not advice or parenting books, per se, but books that bring out the more hopeful, grounded part of me.

It's very hard with a young baby, but you are totally on the right track about asking for more help and taking breaks. Your impatience is probably not really about her but about you not having what you need. Try to take those breaks from the kids and make them restorative, whether that means just sleeping or doing something else that makes you feel whole. When my kids were little, I needed these 15 minutes where I could lie with an afghan on the couch, read anything I wanted, and sip ginger ale with limes in it. It was my message to myself that I was not about anyone else at the moment and it felt to me like rest and indulgence. It's important to find that restorative thing for you, even if it has to be squeezed into 15 minutes. (And seriously, you know this, but when you are ready to yell or grab, actually force yourself to do the thing where you look away, count to 30, and breath deeply before responding. It's cliche but it does truly help.)
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#39 of 47 Old 05-03-2008, 07:08 PM
 
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It's remarkable how many mammas said they were experiencing or had experienced the exact same feelings! I think it's so hard sometimes because our kids aren't using Gentle Discipline with us, and we have all the same needs, including being treated with respect.

So when we are treated rudely (and if we have not had sufficient rest, relaxation, and food to remember ourselves), we yell, just like they do under the same circumstances.

I guess my point is not to be too hard on yourself because we don't always get all the gentle discipline we deserve and the burden of teaching compassion is on us!

OP, your list of changes sounds so likely to improve things! I'm adopting your "no touching when overwhelmed" rule because there have been a few times in the past when I have handled dd roughly and felt awful about it.

Diana, homebirthing, homeschooling, homemaking wife and mother of two (plus one more coming this Spring)!
Wrap Your Baby Comfy, versatile baby carriers and lots of wrap instruction.
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#40 of 47 Old 05-03-2008, 07:23 PM
 
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Been there. AM there. Most of the time, my son is sweet and wonderful and easy-going. But he's starting to really act Two - usually when I announce diaper time or toothbrush time. When his Two-ness coincides with my pregnant crabbiness, I end up losing my cool and grabbing his arm, or handling him roughly, and yelling. I hate it, and worry how I'll be when he's 3 and I have a newborn. I'm glad to see this thread; I'll have to find those books and try to put into practice some of the suggestions.
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#41 of 47 Old 05-05-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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"is this the hill I want to die on?"

I love that line. it totally sank in with me. I feel like everyday lately is a big battle. With fibromyalgia i am glad dd-12 and dsd-5 go to school. dsd-4 goes every other day and dd-1 is very attached. I am disabled sahm. i love my kids but sometimes feel like i cant stand them. the whining the screaming the fighting aaahhhhhh. siblings!
so next time I am in the middle of dinner and dd is clinging to my legs and dsd1 & 2 are fighting and whining, and dd is complaining about having to do dishes again for the (gasp) 3rd time this week, and dh is lying on the couch after his 12 hr workday trying to get the blood back in his feet (carpenter), i am going to stop and ask myself... "Is this the hill I want to die on?" i might just think no. This hill is not worth dying on.
Kids are a lesson in patience. i dont like losing my patience with them. I want them to know i always love them so i tell them.. "even when i am mad or yelling or quiet or resting or thinking or cooking or whining or fighting or etc i still love. just because we are having a difficult day doesn't mean i quit loving you."

Me,DH,DS1'95, '98,DSD'03,DD1'07,DD2'09,DS2'12 Living with Fructose Malabsorption Syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3-Hypermobility.)o( and sometimes I get toif I am lucky.
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#42 of 47 Old 05-06-2008, 02:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy2abigail View Post
I don't know what's gotten into me lately. I am so low on energy and patience that I've become a bully to my dd1. When words don't work, I result to grabbing her arm or shirt or yelling. It's terrible and our dynamic is very negative right now. I feel like we are in a cycle of negativity and I can't get us out. I'm falling further and further from my 'ideal' way of parenting and going closer and closer to the type of parent I used to cringe at. I hate myself right now, I feel like a failure at this whole mothering thing.

Please help me get out of this slump!!! I don't even know what to ask advice for, there are issues regarding everything with dd1 right now. Most of it is my control issues, and her reaction to my ridiculous need to control the stupidest little things. I KNOW this, I just can't let it go!!!

Is there a book or something that could help me work through this??!? I know it's me, she is just reflecting my negativity...Please help us!!!
OMG momma, I could've written this myself. I've totally gotten control of myself with the bullying. That came to an abrupt stop in December of 2005. I will never forget the day, it was devistating to me and my son. I'm a total control freak too, and I have to have constant dialogue with myself about it, when I'm dealing with the kids. I still take over sometimes, but my son uses his voice, and reminds me of what a big boy he is.
I don't know that I have any book suggestions for your control issues, though there is a book that helped me. I'm reluctant to post it here though. A good book for you in regards to discipline, is called Positive Discipline. It really helped me get some ideas on how to handle certain behaviors and common situations. I can't even pretend that I'm a gleaming example of GD, but I try. I try real hard!
Good luck momma!
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#43 of 47 Old 05-06-2008, 02:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
I don't know that I have any book suggestions for your control issues, though there is a book that helped me. I'm reluctant to post it here though.
If you are comfortable enough, would you PM me the name of the book you mentioned?

Helping women overcome postpartum depression and birth trauma. http://www.postmommyhood.com

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#44 of 47 Old 05-06-2008, 02:26 AM
 
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Well, after several successful days of not being a bully, I broke today and was. I hate myself for it. My DH is ott, DS1 woke at 5, yelling he wanted oatmeal NOW!!! DS2 was up in the middle of the night several times, and I was just so very tired.
I was not nice to DS1 and he acually said to me, "be nice to me mommy!" He was right, it broke my heart.
The rest of the day was challenging but doable, until bedtime. DS2 was crying and whining ni,night all through bedtime routine, then when I was trying to put him down (nurse, read books, cuddle) he wouldn't go to sleep. Again, I was a bully and not so nice. It took over an hour to put him down, and YES he was tired. Meanwhile, DS2 is patiently waiting for me to read books to him. He finally passed out waiting.
I hate when days end like this. What sucks is that I had the power to make this go better but I got so wraped up in my emotions, and being tired that I choose to make it bad.
Must sleep now. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.
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#45 of 47 Old 05-06-2008, 03:05 AM
 
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THis thread totally reflects how I've been feeling lately. I'm pregnant with #2, so my hormones are on edge as it is, and then we've got DS1 in the throes of the Throttling Threes. Seems like some days all he does is push my buttons all day long, over and over and over! He does something he's not supposed to do, I tell him to stop, he keeps doing it, I yell, he cries and screams and then goes to find something else he's not supposed to do. And it's made even worse because he is almost always an angel for DH, but never listens to me, so I feel like the most horrible awful person. It's usually over stupid insignificant stuff, but it's not WHAT he's doing that gets to me, it's HOW he's doing it, that he seems to be directly taunting me. Pretty ridiculous thing to expect from a 3-year-old, eh? *sigh*

I know this is a phase for both of us, everyone I've talked to says that 3.5 to 4 is a horrible age, and it doesn't help that I'm your typical preggo B!tch On Wheels either. So we are constantly at each other's throats. But I know it will pass. it HAS to. It doesn't seem like it will, but it had better, or I am seriously rethinking homeschooling, because I can't handle this.
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#46 of 47 Old 05-06-2008, 03:13 AM
 
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I am very much in the boat with all of you. I have a 2 1/2 year old and an almost 1 year old. When I had just one child, I was incredibly judgemental of moms who yelled, became angry with their kids, handled them roughly, etc.

Now I am that mom, and I am more ashamed of that than anything else in my life. Even while I am doing it, in the moment, I am screaming at myself to stop, and I can't. I know that a lot of it is a control issue, similar to a lot of other moms that have posted here.

While I am still struggling with this on an hourly basis, we had one incredibly painful event that really changed my behavior. A three year old boy that we were close with died suddenly (he drowned in a pond outside his home), and I realized that I never wanted the last interaction with either of my boys to be a negative one. You can never know when an accident like that may happen.

So, after Dylan's death, I have set the goal that bedtimes will always end positively, even if I have to sneak in there after they are asleep and kiss them then. I always tell them how much I love them and kiss them before I leave the daycare center. You get the picture - end on a positive note.

While this has not helped the in-between times of chaos and conflict, it has improved things a bit. I want to echo the sentiments of thanks for starting this thread. I've never been honest to anyone about my actions as I am so ashamed, and even writing this reply is both making me cry and taking a huge weight off of my shoulders.
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#47 of 47 Old 05-06-2008, 05:49 AM
 
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OK I have btdt, it's hard, so hard, books that changed my life, quite literally were Liberated Parents Liberated Children and also How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, I'm reading Playful Parenting at the moment, there are workshops all over the world for the How To Talk because it's been so successful, I'm doing one at the moment and intend to start running my own workshops from September however these books not only changed the way I deal with my kids but with everyone around me, my patience has grown enormously and everyone has commented on how much calmer I am, but also how much more assertive I am . In moments of madness between me and my kids we stop whatever we're doing, and go through a turn of events sort of thing, I explain I can only do one thing at a time so first of all I'll get a glass of water or a game out or whatever, then I'll get organised to nurse, I ask ds to sit on the couch and keep the seat nice and cozy for me until I'm ready, it seems to work, getting my dd to put on the yoga dvd or her yoga book out to do some poses has also really helped. When I had ds, dd was just coming up for 3 and her feelings were mixed, she had an extremely traumatic experience the day after ds was born and needed me just as much as he did and it was like a revelation, if the house was a mess then it would remain a mess for another day - just 24 hours its not the end of the world, keeping myself and my kids sane was more important. i learnt how to cat nap with ds whilst dd watched cbeebies it was only on for an hour (or at least the stuff she liked) things are so much better, I'm not saying that we don't have blips but in general we've improved a hundredfold. I also feel that showing emotion is an extremely powerful thing, letting your kids see that you're upset, angry, sad, happy are great things all emotions should be shown not just the 'happy' ones - that doesn't show an even balance. I drew faces - very simple ones which show the emotions frustrated, angry, happy, sad, crying (I copied some of the icons on mdc to increase our options!!) so that if the kids couldn't find the words to describe how they felt then they could show me by drawing or just pointing to the faces on the wall - it works really well and we use it alot. In Liberated Parents there's section on validating feelings which I found really 'liberating'!!! There's a website called www.consensual-living.com (I think it's run by someone who posts here on mdc) which is marvellous.
Have to go nurse my wee one - if I think of anything else I'll post again.
Hugs to you all and even although it doesn't feel like it at the moment there is always a little light at the other end of the tunnel and you and they do get better (especially if you're posting here!!!)

ewe + dh = our little lambs + we and have many just : and : life .
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