I wrote this in response to a woman who was having a real struggle as a mom (gee, don't know what that's like! lol) Here is her original rant: A Muddled Mother blog. I was actually kind of surprised at the responses she was getting. Some were like, "oh well, that's just kids!" and others were like, "that's just what it means to be a mom!" I thought, this poor woman is up at 2am, unable to sleep because of what's going on in her house---where's the REAL advice, the stuff that might actually help her??? Here's my response:
Ok, I'm going to try to be a voice of reason here because I have been where you are and I am sooooo far from the perfect mom, but I'll tell you what helps me:
1. Remember that if your kids aren't acting the way you want, you can change that. You are the parent AND you teach people how to treat you. You know what we do when little ones use their mouths inappropriately? They get a teaspoon of hot sauce. They've each had it a few times and now they don't sass nearly as much, I just threaten the hot sauce. :) lol
My point is, I would have jumped to nip that behavior in the bud. I would have said to my husband: go upstairs and take care of the baby please. I would have then headed after Gannon and told him that taunting his brother is unacceptable and punished him. Period. I know teenagers are hard, but consistent work at the time of the problem should help. A family meeting might be in order.
I then would have told Aidan to come upstairs and apologize to his stepfather and little sister. I would have meted out his punishment right there (for example, if he can't come home at curfew, he doesn't go out and if he can't answer his phone, you can take it from him for a while---he's not using it anyway!).
2. You are a mother but you are still a woman. You are still your own person. I had an epiphany while scrubbing toilets one day and said to myself, "Is this it then? I'm just destined to clean up after everyone for the rest of my life?" I decided then and there I was going to spend less time cleaning and more time doing what I wanted. You will not be on your death bed moaning about how you wish you had spent more time cleaning! You need something(s) for yourself! Read, cook, garden, whatever your old hobbies are, dust them off girlfriend! Make a regular girls' date, monthly, weekly, whatever you need to go meet and have coffee. I don't know about you, but my husband pretty much does what he wants! lol He doesn't hesitate to plop down and play video games for a while or to run out and get some coffee or cigarettes----with no thought to bundling up the kids and taking them along! lol You need to adapt more of that kind of attitude! :) Delegate more, make yourself more of a priority. Think of this: your kids mimic you. If you are a workaholic, they will be workaholics (and you'll be worrying about their stress levels!). If you do everything and they (and your hubby) don't help, they will expect the woman in their life to do the same!
3. The next time you're that angry, sit down and write. Just grab some looseleaf and a pen and write until you feel drained. Get it out. Holding anger in is poison, I can tell you!
I've really had to learn the hard way to make changes in my life. My eldest son is 6 and he is a huge challenge! And my middle son is 4 and starting to be very stubborn and nasty to us and my 13 month old daughter is starting to buck naps and scream, morning, noon and night! But those problems aren't my sole focus. When my kids are acting out, I try to get proactive---I promise you, it will make you feel so much better to attempt to chuck those stones off your chest rather than sitting there waiting for the next one! :) Nobody's perfect, no life is perfect, but you can make it perfect for you! ;)
If all else fails, see a therapist---a FEMALE therapist, who can commiserate w/you and validate you! :) Your one commentor was right: we women are the heart and souls of our families. And I bucked against that and it isn't fair but then I thought of this: if I'M not happy, nobody is. It's ok to be a little selfish! I let my family know, in a joking way when things are getting out of hand and I'm tense, I tell them, "Hey, do as I tell ya! Remember, if I'm not happy, nobody is!" lol ;)