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I feel like a horrible mommy

656 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ajsmom
I feel like almost everything I do with ds is wrong. He's just so smart and verbal for his age that I think dh & I expect way too much from him and when he acts like a typical little kid, we both have a tendancy to yell. Dh also very occasionally (maybe 3 times total) hits. We're working on it.

The problem with dh is that he doesn't really believe in GD or not spanking, he just agreed to no spanking to make me happy and most of the GD stuff I read him, he rolls his eyes or tells me how stupid it sounds. He hates yelling and feels really bad, but he doesn't seem to be willing to replace it with anything. He promised me he'd read "Between Parent & Child" but constantly comes up with excuses not to so that it will have to go back to the library and he won't have to read it.

My problem is, I really truly believe that GD is the way to go and I read all these books on it, but when it comes time to implementing, in the heat of the moment I react the way I was raised (although I manage to control my impulse to hit, so I guess I'm doing something right). I can't live up to my own standards (which may be one reason why dh just totally ignores me when I make suggestions). I know I have a lot of anger issues and my bad days with ds are really bad. I do have occasional good days, so I know I can do this, but it only seems to be on days when I'm not tired or depressed (I have had a life-long struggle with depression) or massively stressed (hard right now when we have no income and almost no money to live on and no idea what we're going to do when it runs out and I just found out I'm pregnant and I'm terrified of another miscarriage....).

How can I make implementing GD stuff more instinctive? I hate that my first reaction to anything that annoys me is to scream at ds. I know I probably won't do it every single time, though the perfectionist in me cringes at the thought that I won't ever live up to my own standards, but I'd like to get it right most of the time. This is far from the only parenting area where I feel like I've screwed up, I haven't/don't do most of the things I feel like a good parent should do, but I feel like using GD consistantly is the most important thing I'm screwing up at the moment. I think that if I could get it together and be a better mother, dh would be more open to being a better father.
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I have the yelling problem too. I have gotten alot better through with counting. I count to 5 before I say anything except praise. We also use time outs for our 2 yr. old. My dh sees nothing wrong with an occasional swat either but my mom used to beat me(punching, hit w/telephones, slapping ect.) for punishment so we agreed no hitting.

I also had to learn to let up. Most of my stress comes from trying to be supermom~ she has a spotless house, perfectly dressed/groomed, well behaved at all times kids, can run all errands, homeschool and have dinner on the table at 5 sharp. After her 1 hr. workout, of course. i cut back alot. Sure, some thing don't get done, dh has to help a little bit more but we're all happier.
Do you know anyone who disciplines gently? I think it would help you to have someone to ask questions and bounce ideas off of (and apparently, that person is not your husband). Get inspired by other parents. Practice. It will become more instinctual with time, then you will be better able to set an example for your husband. He will see that you are successful, and be more willing to try. He seems like a skeptical guy who needs proof. I know a man like that.......

Best of luck,

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Raising Cain: Protecting the Emotional Life of Boys by Dan Kindlon and Michael Thompson.

I am reading this book right now and it really helped me respond to ds, 3 1/2, in a whole new way. GD is the way it is here but we have our days and although no hitting ever happens, I sometimes say things to ds that are not nice.

This book really helped me understand how dh grew up too and although he is the kindest of fathers, society really doesn't help our men and boys very much.

Whenever I get to a rough spot with ds I read a book about parenting and it always teaches me a little more and gives me new tools. You also have to make a conscious choice each time your ds pushes your buttons. What is he needing from me? What did he do that annoys me? Why does it bug me?

I came up with my own coping strategy. I ask myself how disgusting, destructive, and/or dangerous is his behavior? Like hitting things with a stick for example. If it just annoys me but he isn't doing any damage then I just have to get over it or go bang a stick with him.

Depression and money problems are tough so remember to ask ds for hugs whenever you need them. I ask when he's making me crazy. If I have to, I yell, "Help, I need a hug NOW! Rescue me!" I only use this occasionally and it ends up changing the atmosphere completely.

If your dh thinks it's stupid and silly to talk with his own son instead of yell or hit him then don't give the above book to dh to read. Whack him over the head with it instead. Just kidding. If he spends the time now to gently help his son learn, he won't ever have to figure out where his son went wrong...

Blessing to you and your family.
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Dh talks to ds and snuggles with him and stuff, he just was raised with yelling and spanking and doesn't really seem to see any problem with them because he "turned out ok", which obviously isn't true when he takes most of what ds does personally (though I have to admit he is getting better about not taking it personally).

I've seen that book mentioned before and meant to add it to my list of books to request at the library, but never remembered. I'll go add it now!

It's strange that my biggest problem seems to be the little, annoying things. I think I need to really try to not react immediately, but it's really difficult!

I don't think I know anyone IRL who uses gentle discipline. I know one mother from my play group who definitely doesn't and I cringe everytime I see her manhandle her dd, but I've never really paid attention to the others. Ds is usually the oldest child there, most of the others are under 18 months, so there's not much disciplining going on.

I'm so far from being supermom is isn't even funny. My general mindset seems to be "if I can't do it perfectly, I won't do it at all". Which makes way too many things that I don't do at all, including doing much with ds besides playing with his cars and train. And then I start getting down on myself for being a lousy mother and then I react even worse to ds, when it's totally not his fault and I know I should be being better.... It gets to be a pretty vicious circle which isn't even related to discipline but a bunch of other things.
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I see that Brandon is one year younger than my son, Aidan. From the time Aidan turned 3 until about a month ago I thought everything you have and wondered where all my good intentions went. The last year was tough for me because he no longer did as I asked and was growing into a small boy from a baby and I could no longer control things like I wanted. IT WAS SO HARD! Until I gave up and then it was still hard but not as often.

I am 45 and I was so organized and together for a long time in the business world. It was hard to give some of that up when I started working as a full time mom. Even dh couldn't do things right sometimes because my home is my jobsite 24 hrs a day!

So please never try to be supermom because you are one already for caring about your own behavior!!!
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