Friday, May 22, 2009

Bad Parenting : The advanced courses

When my kids were teeny tiny (you know for about ten seconds after they were born) I made minor mistakes, not letting them cry it out was a big one. We were terrible about this with Keegan, our oldest. So terrible, in fact, that for about six months Mike or I slept with her on the couch. We took shifts, he would sleep first shift, then when she woke up to nurse, I would feed her then lay back down on the couch with her.
This ended around the time we wised up and realized that really nice crib set and actual crib were for something other than diaper storage and extra laundry basket space.
We were considerably smarter with babies two and three who arrived within sixteen months of each other and out of necessity, were a bit less spoiled.
But now that they are older I feel like it's big mistakes that I'm making.

Big Mistake One: Auto Pilot Mommy.
When I hear Mommy, Mommy, Mommy for the four hundred and twelfth time in an hour, I start to tune out and I hate that. I start to respond with MM-Hmm, yes, oh how nice. I also sometimes say yes to things I might otherwise veto early on. This can create a bad situation later on, But Mom said we could jump off the porch into the fountain and have hot fudge sundaes for dinner, and frankly I may have agreed, but as mother, ultimate power of changing my mind lies solely with me, so soccer and fish sticks it is.

Big Mistake Two: Pushover Mommy
I get so little time with my babies lately that whenever I spend time with them I indulge them almost everything they ask, and I have a horrible time saying no, even when it's obvious I should. I know this is almost as toxic as always saying no, but I feel so bad and I just want to not upset them, and well, it sucks, but it's true.

Big Mistake Three : Screaming Mommy
I recently read in one of my parenting mags, (I have a stack of at least twenty magazines that I haven't even cracked yet, so this advice may actually be over a year old) that screaming and loosing your temper is not good for your children's self esteem (who knew?) but at least once a week, I completely boil over. There is no excuse, ever, but you've been in a car with arguing toddlers before, right? he touched me, she touched me first, her foot is on my seat, i had that toy first, can I have a drink of your drink? I sometimes wish I had one of those limo privacy screens, then I could chose what I wanted to hear in the car.

Big Mistake Four (and Five, possibly)
The easy open snack.
Again, no excuse is reasonable, but I have three kids to get out the door in the morning, and although I include the banana in the easy open snack/breakfast food category, I still sometimes fail miserably at balanced breakfast 101.
Cereal without milk in a baggie for portability: check
knock-off brand nutra grain bars with box of raisins: check
Fruit snacks and cold bagel: check
nutritionally sound start to the day: fail
thank goodness my children take a vitamin.

As a Mom I take my children's mental and physical health seriously, that being said, I know that I'm never going to be perfect, and most of the time that's pretty funny. I hope that either I'm not alone in my crazy parenting mistakes, or at the very least you can the humor in such situations.

Sorry I've had a crazy month, but more on that later, I'm hoping to have an excerpt from some of my writing ready soon, so keep checking back !
Love *R


Kendra Haneline said...

i had the conversation very recently with corby asking how much he thought it would be to install a window between the back of the van & the front seats. i would seriously pay for one of those. we realized that any trip over an hour with kensley is going to be incredibly loud & noisy in the coming months. literally, she doesn't shut up the whole ride. i feel your pain.

PrincessSedai said...

I hear you girl - I hate being the auto pilot mommy, but I fear I do it all the time. Being home with your kids all the time seems to make no difference when it comes to the "advanced courses." I could have written the list myself. And I too vote for dividers, but I was thinking cubicle like dividers between the children!

The Gardner Gang said...

You are so not alone. On any of it. I've had these moments latley where I'm ranting about something or another and I litteraly see the 4 and 3 year old exchange glances like "She's crazy." And I can't argue with them. Katie and Emma never ate sugary cereal for breakfast if they had it at all it was for a snack and dry. Not long ago Nate's preschool teacher commented that he seemed very hyper latley. So I started reviewing his diet. Fruit loops or Lucky Charms for breakfast, any number of sugar packed things in his lunch box, juice, yogart, cookies and I was like WOW no wonder he is hyper hes pumped up on tons of sugar. Poor boys don't even know what life was like when I only had two kids. Singing in the car, healthy food and snacks. Undivided attention to all tales of boo boos and frights. One day Nate and Ian were Mommying me to death and I told Ian I would do something soon. Nathan looks at him with great pitty and says "soon is a really long time." Good night better parents than me.

Mommy Confidential said...

I think the fact that we care at all means we aren't as terrible as we think. I love you all and feel for your individual situations. PS are we seeing a million dollar idea with the kid dividers?