Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Lost. That's how I feel. Frustrated. That's another good one. Confused. Inadequate.

For the first time in a long time I feel like I don't know what in the hell I'm doing as a mother. I don't think I've felt this way since Bubba was a newborn and that "Who made me a parent" panic set in.

We're still struggling with Punkin's behavior. There are some issues going on at school that have spilled over from last school year and there's her behavior at home and I don't know if the two are related, but based on several things that happened last school year, we are having her evaluated for ADD/ADHD.

I just know that I'm tired. So tired of having every interaction with her be a struggle. Nothing is ever easy with her.

You ask her to go get dressed. Ten minutes later I go upstairs and she hasn't done anything. She's playing or just sitting there. Ask her to brush her teeth and ten minutes later you go up there and she "getting some water" or she'll say "I just started thinking and I forgot to brush my teeth."

You say "Punkin, time to take a bath." Her response, EVERY TIME "I don't wanna, I don't wanna."

No matter what you say or ask her to do she has some kind of push back -- "But I just need to (insert stalling tactic here) first" or "but I don't want to."

I let her choose sometimes whether she can stay up a few extra minutes and watch a little tv or she can go to bed right then and get a bedtime story. If she chooses the tv option she will invariably beg for a story. If I hold to my guns and say no she will ask and ask and ask and ask until I lose my temper. I don't know how many times I've said "I've said no and that is my answer so stop asking." "I can't stop thinking about it!" she'll wail!

And sometimes I probably make things worse by giving in but my God I get so tired of the struggle.

Today I feel at the end of my rope. Things seem to have gotten worse lately and I don't know if it's school starting back, the new school and new teachers, the new routine.

I just know I feel lost.


maggiegracecreates said...

Oh honey - you are not lost. Your name is mommy and that name is so exhausting. Gonna be ok.

Love - Positive thoughts - Prayers.

Mir said...

Yes, it's all of those things. You're on a learning curve, here. You can't beat yourself up for not knowing all the answers already, lady.

I would do everything you're already doing, with the exception that I'd start working on that automatic push-back right away with consequences. Like, when she gets home from school, and things are calm, I'd say, "Punkin, tonight when I tell you it's time for a bath, if you argue about it, there will be no TV and no story. Do you understand? Anything other than 'yes ma'am' means you'll be going straight to bed. Baths are not negotiable." See what happens. I predict a huge hairy meltdown the first night, but she'll catch on. And of course praise her up and down any time she complies at the first request. Some of this stuff she can't help, but the oppositional behavior can be reshaped, I bet.

I'd probably also cut out TV during the week entirely, because I'm mean like that. It's just an argument I'm not willing to have, so it's something we adopted a long time ago. During school there's no TV except on weekends.

I think you're very patient and I know this stuff is super frustrating. Don't be afraid to give yourself a time out to cool down. Tagteam with Dad so you two can keep a cool front. It gets easier, I swear. Have faith. :)

Robyn said...

I wish I could reach through this computer and give you a hug (for me as much as for you!).

I am not exaggerating when I tell you, I could have written EVERY. SINGLE. WORD of this post. Including your very specific examples.

I never even thought of ADD/ADHD. I just think it's my Bear's personality - to be stubborn, to be controlling and to NOT want to do un-fun things.

I haven't found the "switch" to flip on to motivate him, so I can't help you there. I do give in an awful lot (it seems it's rarely worth the fight) and that's probably why he feels EVERYTHING is negotiable.

I'm sorry I have no advice, but please keep us posted of where you're going from here. I could use the help, too!

Amy Munnell said...

I like Mir's advice, layout the rules in advance and get Mr. Daddy to back you up. And on days he takes the lead, you back him up.

Good luck!

Dawn said...

We should chat (not in the comments)! Isaac is getting more difficult. My patience is thinning and I hate that everything is a fight.