Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Losing My Cool

I hate to admit it, but today I have gone beyond losing my cool.

I spent the whole morning trying to figure out why I keep getting a connection interruption error message while trying to upload photos to blogger or to facebook (and I suspect it would happen on any site at this point).

I finally broke down and fired up the desktop to see if I would have luck there. Nope. Same damn error message. But the thing about using the desktop is that its in the office. Which is right off the living room, but of course I can't keep the kids out while I'm in there. I can't close the door because then I couldn't keep an eye on them. So of course the whole time I'm messing around in there trying to look up info on the problem etc... they are getting into everything. And within 10 minutes little man freaking unplugged the whole thing. Of course then I decided that I just need to put the baby in the playpen and close the door... open it 2 minutes later and little man has demolished a VHS tape... and I cannot get him to stay away from the Christmas tree or the TV... and by that time my laptop was just completely failing to connect to the internet at all. And I was over the edge with frustration.

The really messed up thing is that I told my husband about my photo upload problem a couple of weeks ago. He ran a virus scan and it came up with nothing. So he just said that it was something with my computer and that was it. I know for damn sure that if it was a problem he was having it would have been fixed day one. He would have spent the entire day (uninterrupted) finding the solution for it. But since it had something to do with my blogging, it falls well below his realm of helping. And that really ticks me off. He absolutely hates the fact that I blog. It has to be a jealousy issue or something. Somehow I think that if I had any real life friends he'd have an issue with that too. It just makes me mad (and a little sad) that he can't be supportive of anything I do apart from him.

Anyway, little man has been especially difficult and out of sorts for the past couple of weeks. So everyday my patience has been worked to the bone. I just don't know how to get him to listen and understand. I think he must be acting up for attention. But when I stop and give him some attention it doesn't seem to help. I think he is out of sorts because we have been without our car for a little over 2 weeks now. The kid hates change. And he is acting out a lot like he did when we moved last March. He no longer wants to watch any of his favorite movies, he whines and cries until I take them out. He's been downright obnoxious at the kitchen table for breakfast, lunch and dinner. He has been totally refusing to take naps. And I've had no sanity breaks. So I feel like a complete and total failure at this whole parenting thing - It seems like I've been yelling at him nonstop.

And I totally lost my cool with tweenie last night. I think I'm going to apologize to her when she gets home from school. We were watching a movie and it wasn't going to get over until 10pm. There have been times that we've let her stay up past her bedtime (9pm) to watch a movie, but that's usually only when its a new movie... the one we were watching last night we'd seen a million times. I told her she had to go to bed at 9 - she asked if she could just stay up until 9:10 or 9:15 and I said no. And of course she didn't leave it at that she kept trying to negotiate and argue until finally I lost it and really yelled at her. I felt horrible. But I still made her go to bed at 9. I almost sent her to bed right then (it was maybe quarter till 9) because I saw her say something after I yelled at her and I assumed she was talking back - she said that she had just said she was sorry - which she probably did. It was overkill, I shouldn't have lost my cool and yelled at her like that. But I was completely exhausted, ready for bed myself and was feeling like I was going to barf, and already had my patience run into the ground with the two little ones not wanting to go to sleep.

So anyway, my husband and I had a nice little arguement about that this morning. He said (which I know is true) that I need to work on my relationship with tweenie right now because it will only get worse. She will end up hating me and yelling back at me and maybe getting physical, and she will realize at some point that she doesn't have to listen to me. I just don't know how to start. Its not that we really have a bad relationship - I just end up yelling at her a lot - and mainly because she already doesn't listen to me and at times acts disrespectful. There have been times where I have relaxed with her and what ends up happening is that she takes advantage of it - she starts acting like we're friends and thinking that she can get away with stuff. I need to find a good balance there and I just haven't been able to find it. I know that the whole friend/parent thing does not work. But neither does the opposite end of that spectrum. My husband said that I should give her more responsibilities around the house. But she can barely handle the responsibilties that she already has.

She asks if she can vacuum. I let her vacuum. I ask her to vacuum. She doesn't want to and gives me attitude about it.

She begs to be allowed to change a diaper. I finally let her. She tries to take control of all the diaper changing. A week later says she doesn't want to change anymore diapers...

Sometimes I feel like things would be much better between us if we had adopted her when she was a baby. I feel that she was already kind of programmed in a certain way, and while some things have changed for her, there are others that will never change. She still has eating/food issues that will probably never go away. And she has independence and control issues that really sometimes get in the way of our relationship. One of the things that drives me nuts is that she still has some very infantile behaviors, but yet wants adult responsibilities. She can barely take care of herself, but wants to take care of everybody else.

Today, I am just at a loss all around. I think I'm just going to try to relax. Try letting her do a few more things around the house - like maybe help setting the table, helping load the dishwasher... and see how that goes.

I suppose there's a line there somewhere between a parent and a "peerent" I just need to start looking for it and hopefully I will find it.


Melissa said...

Wow....I think you are having a day like me..... where you just want to scream ARRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!! There now...does that make you feel better!! :) Smile!!!

LazyCrazyMama said...

@ Melissa: Oh thank you :) Yes, totally one of those days! So glad I'm not the only one!

Anonymous said...

Okay, wow. Let's see.
A) You should try acupuncture-it totally helps balance my moods.
B) Sounds like Little Man is just going through a phase that will hopefully pass sooner than later. And the tree is new to him so he's gotta test his limits with it.
C) Relationship w/ Tweenie. This is a very tough age. I have nannied for Tweens and seen my little cousins go through tweenager-hood and it is horrible. It's such an awkward age and I just don't 'get them', as hard as I try. ESPECIALLY age 11, I can't stand it!
What if you set time aside each week to do something special w/ just her? Like go to the movies, out to lunch, for a walk, play a board game, etc.
Maybe this quality one-on-one time will bring a new appreciation for her to you and you to her.

Just remember, you were once her age (only now when they are 11 it's like when we were 13). It's a tough age-they are getting ready for puberty and not knowing if they should like kid stuff or teenage stuff. They are started to get interested in boys and don't understand the feelings surrounded by that. It's just an overall confusing age.
If anything else, give her a big tight hug every night and tell her you love her and you're there for her, maybe that's all she needs!

April said...

Sometimes I yell at my kids but usually it's after telling them nicely to do something like 5 times. I tell my 10 year old "if you don't like me yelling then do what I say the first time". You would think he would have it figured out by now.

Saundra@An Italian Mama Gone Crazy said...

Take a deep breath... tomorrow is another day...

It will get better... I promise.

Aubrey said...

Wow. Thanks for being so honest. It's refreshing to see that I am not alone in my toddler/tween issues. I can totally relate. Yelling and all! We'll get through it!

Lola said...

Wow! I found three to be the most challenging and awful of ages with my son. Two was a breeze, but three? He's also had this deal where he kind of freaks out and starts behaving badly about every six months of so. It lasts a week or two, and then he goes back to his easy-going self. I think that's pretty common.

Yeah, 11 is ROUGH with the girls! My niece is going to be 11 soon, and she's just so miserable all the time. Used to be a happy kid, but now she's anger girl. It's the whole puberty thing. I was a total witch, too, when I was 12 - 15. Yelling never worked with me. I just yelled back louder.

For me, it was when my mother was truly let down by me that would snap me out of it. She wouldn't yell, she would just let me know how strongly she disapproved of something and tell me that I was better than that or smarter than that. Guilt worked every stinkin' time with me.

I think all kids don't want to let their parents down and want to know how proud you are of them even when they're little shits. Worth a try. Hope your day is better today!

Kristy said...

awww..I hope things get better soon...I wish you the best!

Rachel said...

I know those days are coming with Zman getting older.
What is up with hubby though? Maybe that is what you need; some time by yourself or with friends? It makes you a better parent and wife to have your alone time; your with those kids day and night; no wonder your having a bad day; you need a spa day!

Becky said...

I know it is hard to stick to your guns, but you have too! My kids have caught on to the "arguing" about what I have told them to do...."just 10 more minutes..PLEASE!" and I give in. Now I am paying the price. It seems EVERTHING can be bartared for. Sometimes I just want them to "okay mom". Period.

It is so hard...but hang in there! God blessed you with those children because he knew you had what you needed to raise them well.

Good luck:)

LazyCrazyMama said...

You guys all had some really good advice!! Thank you all soooo much!! I am totally going to start doing something special with just her on a regular basis. Actually, before I had baby girl we used to play games together a lot (skip-bo, scrabble and yahtzee) and we haven't done that in way too long!

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