Today has been a really shit day.
It’s been one of those days where my child has been an arsehole at every turn and I’ve run out of ways to try and discipline her. It’s been one of those days where I’ve totally questioned my ability to parent and therefore have been sent into a spiral of self-hate and my little ball of anxiety has burst.
Crying on her bedroom floor while trying to change her bedding was probably the lowest point.
It’s one of those days that no Instagram filter could fit and there’s no way of trying to make it look perfect, but also why should I? Why do we feel the need to hide the bits of parenting that hurt and are exhausting and leave you feeling like a shit? It’s the reality. We share everything else so why not this? So I am sharing it, lucky you, you get to read my woes.
Discipline is something I always struggle with, how do you know if you’re doing it right? When they’re toddlers it’s easier, you use the naughty step -there’s set rules to follow about what to do and for how long. Now she’s older it’s not so easy. I’ve always been what some might call ‘strict’, when she refused to eat she wouldn’t have anything else until the next meal time, when she answers back she’s immediately scolded, she has chores and jobs to do and she has to fulfill them.
One particular thing I’ve always been strict on is when I make a threat – I stick to it. This is what happened today, she was dicking around at the table, I told her to cut it out, she continued dicking, I told her we wouldn’t be going to our pre-arranged (and pre-paid for, sake) trip to the cinema.
Guess who didn’t stop dicking around?!
I’d said it so I had to follow through right? Otherwise what good would future threats be? Kids are smart and they learn from example, if you don’t follow through with the threats you give why would you next time?
I tried to give her a chance to redeem herself but she acted like an arse then too.
So now here we are, I’m £20 out of pocket, we’ve spent another day stuck in the house all day, and I’m filled with guilt. I know in the grand scheme of things she wasn’t that naughty, she didn’t hit, she didn’t throw things, she didn’t hurt anybody purposely. But bad behaviour is relative child to child, no? In comparison to a normal day today has been a naughty day. Today should and could have been a fun family day, we only get every other weekend with her and very few just the three of us, and those days are seriously numbered with the countdown for the baby’s arrival. Now it just feels like a waste.
I’ve spent most of the day doing housework that didn’t really need to be done and she’s spent the day sulking and looking lost.
Now all I feel is guilt. I feel like I’ve wasted a day, days that are so short and few anyway. I feel like she’s going to remember these days of being told she’s bad over the days we spend smiling and laughing. Maybe I overreacted? Maybe I should have let myself be more of a pushover today? Maybe I’m just being a bitch? I feel like utter shit if I’m honest.
Considering the thousands of people writing daily about parenting isn’t is crazy we haven’t come up with a foolproof way to discipline our children yet?!
I don’t really know my point in writing this little silly ramble, misery loves company I guess? I think with everything going on around the world, along with my own mental health demons creeping up on me again today has been a bit of a final straw. It’s pushed me over the edge more than it normally would.
We’ve drawn a line under it, cracked on with some homework and some colouring, and Tiny Idiot is helping Big Idiot cook a roast. Maybe we can redeem today a little bit, eh?