It's at least once a day (usually around 5:00 p.m.) that I'm doing something and I hear background noise and realize that it's my child speaking to me. I respond with a fake "wow" or "yeah" or "alright" while not even really listening to what my children are saying. Kayleigh has my number. She will often ask me something and then when my glazed over eyes eventually turn her way she will repeat the outlandish question she has just asked "hey mom, did you know that Ella is dressing princess up like a bride with all our extra toilet paper?" I jump to attention and she laughs. For me, this is what I really struggle with now that my children are old enough to feed, clothe, and entertain themselves. I've reached a point of complacency that is even taking over my discipline technique.
"Girls, go upstairs and clean your room"
5 minutes later...
"Hey, why are you still watching cartoons?"
5 minutes later
"Girls get upstairs or I'm going to get upset"
5 minutes later
"I MEAN IT, NOW GET UPSTAIRS"
And then I spend the next hour in agonizng paralysis as they come down the stairs multiple times whining about how difficult it is, and how much they hate it until finally i just give up and go help them (granted Ella needs some coaching, but she doesn't even try most days)
Each day is a trial of patience for me. I have lost the focus of my parenting, and it has shown. My kids are still pretty wonderful (even though we have been having significant issues with one of them lately) and I wouldn't change them for the world. They are a beautiful gift and I won't take them for granted. I am in the process of reading "Dare to Discipline" by Dr. Dobson (recommended by our pediatrician). It is giving me a fresh perspective on the three little crazy versions of me and is helping me apply a focus to my parenting. This book also recommends a loving guide to spanking. I'm not sure how I feel about this, but it also talks about swift consequences as well and that is the main point that I will focus my technique on.
I vow not to tune out because I am exhausted and let them fend for themselves. I vow to continually get to know my children and to foster their creativity, and their knowledge of their mother. It's a delicate balance, I know, when there is also so much that I want to do for myself. Is it even possible? I'm not sure. I intend to do my best to find out. We are all worth it.
Does anybody else out there, tune out?
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