I'm writing this at night, emotional and exhausted from having thrown my two eldest kids in bed early for bad behavior. And I'm feeling, once again, like a crappy mom. I know I did the right thing. I cannot tolerate tantrums, especially at their ages – nearly 5 and 7. Yet every time I discipline them, I end up feeling like the heavy. My kids make the choice to scream, fight, sass, or throw things but I end up scrutinizing the how and why of that choice (they were tired i.e. I didn't get them to bed early enough or they were hungry i.e. I didn't make sure they were fed enough or…etc., etc.). During all this anayzing in my mind, of course, another part of me is arguing, "Wait! This is bullshit!" Because in the end, it doesn't matter how tired, hungry, sick, or moody my kids are – they still have to learn that in the real world, you cannot take those things out on each other, toys, or anything else. They need to learn what are acceptable coping mechanisms and what are not.
According to, well, everyone, I'm now a reformed push-over. I didn't realize until of late, but I was too soft on my kids and today, it's biting back, hard. Don't get me wrong. My children are wonderful, spirited, and smart and I love them immensely. I mean, they are my heart walking around outside of my body. But…I'm tired of feeling at odds with myself. Tired of questioning every decision I make about their well-being. Tired of lacking confidence – "Am I being too hard? Am I being too soft?" I want the very best for them, to make certain they grow into kind, respectful, responsible members of society and I try hard to instill this in them. Most days, I just feel like a tyrant, yelling negative direction this way and that. I worry that I don't smile or laugh enough, and that I should act silly more. I worry about when I ought to help and when to stand back and allow them to make their own mistakes, when to cuddle them or tell them to "get tough." Lord, give me the strength and confidence to lead my children the right way…until another day and another rant, signing off.