Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In Real Life

In real life, parenting can be hard - so hard.  I am constantly second guessing myself and my attitude at the end of the day is many times solely dependant on whether I feel like I have had a good parenting day. 

With Lizzie, I am constantly second and third and fourth guessing myself.  It is a never ending battle in my mind between teaching her how to behave and how not to behave while trying not to cross her discipline line and catapult her right back to the first 2 years of her life. 

We have never spanked but the step is well used in our house - especially - with - these - two - girls!!!!

Lizzie, however, freaks when she is in trouble and will go to a place within herself that is difficult for us to reach.  She seems to alternate between being afraid that she is in trouble to completely loosing all control and having a meltdown or tantrum.  I still don't know the difference in the two.  Is there a difference?  I don't suppose it matters - neither one is pleasant.

Em on the other hand is constantly testing boundaries and has been a bit bratty unpleasant lately.  She knows what buttons to push and boy is she pushing them and unfortunately her sweet relationship with her sister has suffered.  This above all else, hurts this Momma's heart. 

Maybe Em is picking up on the stress around here of late?  I don't know.  This is one of the reasons I choose to home school her.  Maybe she needs more one on one time - don't know??  What I do know is that I am tired and all out of resources.  I am finding that I haven't much to pull from when things get rough around here.  Hubby has been working a lot and gone a lot and yet our financial situation remains the same - not good! 

Introduce the beginning of another school year (really - already ?), my scary plunge into the world of home schooling, the oldest starting a new school and not being happy about it and Lizzie not understanding why
Em gets to stay home with Mommie while she has to go to school every morning, on top of everything else and there you have the perfect storm and storm it did tonight. 

Tonight was hard and I had nothing, nada, zilch, zero.  I was done.  After a summer of sisterly battles, we have now added bedtime battles and I just had nothing!  So tonight, I just sat down in their room and sobbed.  Nice, huh???  My sweet Charlie happen to walk in about that time and despite my best efforts to hide the tears, he understood and promptly took action, offering to sleep with Lizzie while Caleb slept with Em because you see, while they fight a good fight these days, they do not like to be separated.  They do not like to be alone and I had separated them which caused them to join me in my sobfest!  Pretty picture, huh??

Now, I sit here feeling utterly drained and so totally like a bad momma.  These are the days that I just want a "do over."  Of course that "do over" would have to be accompanied by an extra supply of patience and maybe a nice long bubble bath for me with a glass of wine and an Eagles CD, followed by a nap!!!  Sorry, got off track there for a minute!  Hehe!!

Anyway, you get the picture.  There has been a whole lotta "real life" around here lately and I am tired and low on time, time to blog or to answer emails or to keep up with my precious waiting kids.  I know I have mentioned this here lately, but I ask for patience as I get my ducks in a row, figure out how to handle this latest batch of "real life" and get my home schooling groove on!!  I might not be posting as much right now but please keep checking back as I know I won't be able to stay silent for too long!!!  Hehe!! 

Oh and if anyone has any suggestions for dealing with two - very - strong willed - hard headed - 4 year old girls, PLEASE feel free to share!  The sanity you save could be MINE!!!!  Heh!!


  1. I had tears reading your post...'cause I've been there. And yea, you feel like you are at a dead end. Prayer. That's it. Only God knows your heart and your true needs.
    We are now on day 4 of our new homeschool year (only 176 more to go..haha) and all is so peaceful. The house isn't perfect but it's peaceful and everybody is happy. I, too have some strong willed kiddos..and it's not easy somedays. Stay consistant. Dont' give in. And if daddy can be the 'bad guy' instead of you, that could help. I've heard the book "Bringing Up Girls"...James Dobson is really good. Need to get that..and read the boy one,too. :) Funny, when I have peaceful days like this, it makes me ready to adopt again..teehee. Happy Homeschooling! Enjoy this time. And if you feel that tug to homeschool the others, go for it. If I can do it, you can. I realized tonight that in just a few short years, my oldest kiddos will be gone. I'm trying to cherish these days. Hugs. Tomorrow is another new day. :)

  2. Annie, You have a lot going on, a lot of little lives and hearts to monitor and manage. I don't know how you couldn't have some really hard, exhausting, tear-jerking days. You have to do what's best for each of your kids and also manage your own sanity. It's gotta work for you too! The day before Jasmine's bday last week, I was so worn out and I guess a little stressed (my first bday party!) that I totally lost it with her. I felt horrible. But guess what? She forgave me and we had a great party! Transitions are always hard and this time of year is tough on kids and parents--trust me, I have people talking to me about it all day long. Be gentle on yourself and go ahead and have a little glass of wine at the end of the day:)

  3. hi annie,
    I feel your pain! Today was one of those days for me. I have 2 five year old boys (one from China) and a 9 year old boy and today they were just fighting all day. One kicked one in the face, so I stood him in the corner and then he cried "nobody likes me", this breaks my heast! This was the adopted one. I was so sad that he said that but I had to do something about the kicking...and then later he lied to me about something...ugh, I just know that its a phase, boys will be boys and so will girls! I have three girls and when they love each other they really LOVE each other but when they are mad at each out! Try to spend extra time with the one you feel needs more of you. Take her out somewhere alone for an icecream or something. I try and do this with all my kids and it makes a big impact.

    BTW, we homeschool too! I just posted something about our curriculum.

  4. Oh, Annie- We are all there with you. I have those moments where I will say "Well, I guess I will not win the Mommy-of-the-year award this year." All we can do is pray and give it our best. We are human and will make human mistakes and will cry those human tears. Hang in there and know that you are far from being alone. I sent up a prayer for you!

  5. Bless your heart Annie!! I think every single one of us have been there!! It will get better, it will get better, it WILL get better!! Sounds like everyone is transitioning right now but they will settle down eventually, sometimes we just can't see that when we are in the depths of it all. You are so not alone friend!!

  6. *hugs* I think all moms have moments in time where things are just hard. I hope things start becoming easier soon! My girls are 2 and 4. I have them practice nice words, kind gestures all throughout our day. They do not nap anymore but sometimes look tired so I ask them to sit and read with me for rest time. We use time out a bit too. I hope things work out soon!

  7. Annie,
    Sigh...I've been there all too often. I won't go into detail, but I like to call them my "not- so-proud mommy moments!" I sure that you are your worst critic. The fact that you are concerned and trying to do your best shows your unconditional love and dedication. Hang in there. They are blessed to have such loving parents. Ironically, our girls (3 and 5) do much better after being apart a few hours a day. Now that our older daughter started a few hours of Kindergarten, things seem to have smoothed out during their together time. Now, don't get me wrong, we still have our "moments", but strangely, not so many.

  8. Thank you everybody!!! Your very sweet comments mean so much and help tremendously!!!

  9. You have proven that you are a good mommy-because the boys came up with a solution. At a young age you have already given them the skills to problem solve. In my mind that is one of the major things we need to teach our children. Nobody has all perfect days and they will all fight and cry, it is part of the learning experience. Hold your head up and be a proud Mom. And remember what my mother (5 kids, 14 grands and 3 1/2 great grands) still says: This too, shall pass.

  10. I actually had two hard-headed 4 year-old girls. It is hard as he_ _. I feel your pain. I recommend...Your Four Year-Old by Louise Bates Ames, PhD. and Frances L. Ilg MD. The series is available in many public libraries. You may feel as though someone has been watching your family even though the book is yellow with age.

  11. Yup, 4 yr olds can be soooo stubborn! That's why God made them cute! Have you ever read The Strong Willed Child by Dobson? You should check it out of your library. It's a good book and will give you some other discipline ideas. Those typed of books help me refocus when we are having a tough spot and I'm feeling like I'm losing the war. I think consistency in discipline is the key which can be difficult. So many of my bloggy friends are starting to homeschool this year. Looks like we will all be learning together!