Sunday, October 22, 2006

Frustrated ...

This week the incomparable Her Bad Mother posted a couple of times about her frustrations of being a mother. The key quesiton she asked was "am I bad mother."
Of course she didn't really think she was a terrible mother. And she shouldn't.
But, I have to admit that this week, in particular, this weekend, I've been struggling with tsmae same frustration. And asking myself over and over again - what makes a good mother. And, I guess by the same token, a bad one.
For instance, tonight. Mike and I were completly frustrated by a non-napping toddler whom we had dragged through Walmart. (quickly, mind you). We decided to stop and pick up a pizza to go, but learned it was going to take 20 minutes, so went to Shoppers Drug Mart next door to kill time and pick up a few things we needed.
It was a disaster. All of it.
Midway through our shopping trip Matt found a halloween pitchfork and it was all over. He ran screaming through the store sending things flying in his wake. Shampoo bottles flew off the shelves, staff tried to intercept him. And on he ran. Finally we gave up the chase because it was making him more frantic and I snuck up behind him, grabbed the pitchfork and let him wail.
The pharmacist finally came over and asked if there was some problem.
I couldn't help myself. I said "I have a toddler." Like, pull out some lollipops or leave me alone.
In order to get him out of the store I did what most parenting experts (and financial experts - Gail) would say was horrible. I bought him chips to shut him up.
I felt like a bad parent. Mike decreed our child is spoiled.
Maybe he was just hungry?
Yesterday Matthew and I met my mom on Bloor Street. Matthew was fine when he was doing what he wanted - playing with the Thomas table at Indigo, but when we took him to Starbucks (and gave him chocolate milk, yogurt and toys) he of course had a temper tantrum.
He then had a meltdown at the MAC store (which I never get to go to and would have enjoyed browsing in) and then I promplty had a meltdown and my mom walked us to the subway.
Yes ...
The terrible twos are in full swing. And I am not surviving them so well.
I'm grateful that I'm not a drinker. To clarify, I enjoy a cocktail or a beer, but I don't use it as a vice. I use it for fun. If I did use it as a vice I think I'd be drunk daily.
Instead I eat.
I am a sugaraholic. And, by 7pm tonight I had gone down to the convenience store (another financial no no) and bought a bag of skittles, a bag of Mike and Ike's and a bag of oreo cookies. I have made my way through the Mike and Ike's. The skittles are next.
And as I eat I keep wondering what am I doing wrong.
I'm trying here.
I love Matthew to death. But there are days, frequently it seems, where I am ready to lose it. And, sometimes do. Like, how on earth can a child get frustrated over so many things. He wants chocolate milk so I buy him chocolate milk. Then he has a meltdown because I suggest that he holds his chocolate milk.
So I hold it. Then he has a meltdown that Mommy is holding his chocolate milk.
And on and on it goes. I've had it.
And oh yeah - OUR COFFEE POT BROKE TODAY!!! And, we bought a replacement coffee pot and the carafe that came in it was broken too.
Life is just not pretty around here.
Thank God I bought those oreo cookies.


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Ginny said...

Ack, stop those annoying comments from spammers!!
Anyway, on to business. Not that I want to add to your sugar intake but sounds like you need more birthday cake my friend! Let's say tomorrow, 8pm??!! LOL

OK let's get serious here, you are not a bad mother and your child is not spoiled because you bought him a bag of chips. I betcha 10 - 1 that you ask every parent you know and they will tell you that at some point they have bribed their child, that's just how it is!

I have to admit that a big part of why I didn't participate in the Walmart experience today was because of the lack of naps around here and because I have learned a lot this week during our vacation that despite of the fact that I have 2 girls, 4 yr olds and 2 yr olds do not like to shop unless they get their way!!

So if I were you I would chalk it up to lesson learned, don't take a 2.5yr old who hasn't napped to Walmart!! Simple as that, no bad parenting involved!

Oh and keep in mind that meltdowns while you are out is just normal. For some reason they LOVE to make you look bad in public. I wish I could tell you it gets better but heck, my 4 yr old can still through a good tantrum! Mac had a real good one yesterday at the mall and I just kept smiling as she screamed behind us. Loved the looks I got too but we survived!

Anonymous said...

Everyone has weekends/periods like this. It's tough, but you just have to persevere.

Sometimes a parent has to go against their conventional wisdom and/or personal policies and rules to accomplish something. It's OK, and it happens.

Now, if every time he goes out he throws a tantrum and gets a bag of chips, then you're looking at negative reinforcement (in his brain, "throwing a fit means I get chips"). You're not there by any stretch; and you're cognoscente of the pitfalls, so I doubt you'll wind up there.

PS - turn on word verification in your comments to get rid of spammers.

Haley-O said...

You're a great mommy, Laural! For the very fact that you ask yourself if you are. You're doing your best, and your best is awesome!!

Kristine said...

OK, a couple of things...

First, I am an outreach counselor who works with the parents of mentally ill children to help them parent in a positive way.

OK, that being said I found myself 'bribing' my child yesterday to take some Motrin because he had a temp. I was tired and found myself saying, 'Duncan if you take these meds like a big boy, I will give you a piece of candy'. I just did not want to get into the usual battle with him.

I think that the best parents out there are the mindful ones. They sometimes just try and make it through the day,and remember that they love their 'little devils'. Pair that with the parent who has enough impulse control to not through their little one in a closet till 18, and you have a good parent.

Parenting is hard. It requires a ton of patience, good impulse control, and lots of booze (kidding). I remember when I had my little man, I am a mom of 2, 3 and 1, I thought to myself... How hard could it be? I am with mentally ill children all day, and teach parenting... I am prepared.

Holy shit, I was not prepared for the feeling of terror when they told me I had to take little man home WITHOUT the nurses. WHAT?

You sound like a good mom. A mindful mom. Take care of you, and eat lots of Mike and Ikes (I Love Mike and Ike's and have befriended the two fellows since becoming a mom).

My regular blog is at maymainer...

Laural Dawn said...

You guys are awesome. And, thanks for your support. I think what I really needed was a night out - without a toddler - with people who also were at their wits ends with parenting.
And so I went out.
And today I feel like a much better (albeit overly tired) parent :)

Anonymous said...

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Ruthie said...

Toddler logic! "If you have it, it's mine. If I saw it, it's mine. If I touched it, it's mine. I don't want it."

It's soooo easy to get frustrated with them when they're tiny and demanding and illogical. But you sound like you're doing a great job-- many moms don't even stop to think of these things!

Keep your head up, soon he'll grow out of it!

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