Friday, June 14, 2013

Dealing with My Mirror Image: The Battle of TWO STRONG Wills

“No Mommy!” My little girl screams, tearing off down the hall. “I don’t want to!” I can hear her trailing off as she runs from the kitchen with something in her hands she can’t bare to part with—it could be her brother’s favorite latest and greatest toy. It could be my phone. It could be anything at this point because she wants it, and she wants it because she shouldn’t have it.

I sigh. I want to scream, but I don’t. Instead, I sing some really high pitched opera note in the kitchen diverting some of the emotion slamming through my head and body in that second, a strange coping mechanism I use quite frequently. Not only does it divert my energy in that moment, but it also makes me laugh pretty quick.

My mind drifts. I wonder where the little angel went, the one I’d imagined in my mind when I learned I was pregnant with her. I remember the moment I held Brielle in my arms for the first time, all wrapped up with a little bow hat on her head, the one the nurses made out of the standard newborn cap, which swallowed her entire head. Pale blue eyes, giant eyes, she didn’t even cry when she saw me for the first time. A completely different reaction than what I remembered from my son, just two years before. Instead, it felt like a moment straight from the movie E.T., the moment when they’re both staring at the other with giant bright eyes so intent, neither one can find any words—a silent hello and who are you.

My little Brielle. She never misses a thing.

Being a working mom, with two kids, a dog, a husband, and a really big dream on my own plate, I don’t have much time to think through every little strategy to use when my daughter runs off screaming, or bonks her brother in the nose, or wrestles his bigger body to the floor with monkey legs, all the while, he’s screaming, “No Brielle! Get off of me!”

Focus? It’s definitely hard to find it and I blow it. A lot.

Are there days when I feel like a lousy parent? Definitely. I never expected the constant challenge with everything, from the way I brush her hair, to the shoes, and if I don’t stand in the hall quick enough when she has to go potty on the potty, igniting a mini world war in our house and rattling any ounce of peace, if there was one. And I hate to say this because every other mother on the planet said it me with a smile when I found out my second child would be a sweet little girl, little girls at least from what I know, are a hand full, and most days it feels like she saves it up just for me.

She is me, I think scratching me head sometimes and reflecting on a moment on the changing table when she turned bright red, struggling to remove my arms from her body, stubborn, hardheaded, smart, and yes, everything I am too. I remember fighting with my own mom. I always called myself the little bull running through her china cabinets, shattering her pristine world. Whether I should wear blush on my cheeks, girl shoes and dresses, what I should do with myself after high school, and every single thing my mom ever suggested couldn’t be right, me believing she didn’t know me at all. Truth? I didn’t want to listen for one simple reason: the suggestion came from her mouth and not mine.

I am writing my post today to not only admit to the world, what they say about your kids giving back to you what you gave your parents has be true, at least to a certain degree, and to also share what I do and how I cope, so here goes:

Calm. I have to find it—somehow, and the best way I know how to calm my nerves is to exercise, straight after work. I go to the gym, not every day, but at least four days a week. I squeeze at least a 45 minute workout in before I pick up the kids from school. We all have to find things that work for us and I swear by working out, because the days I don’t do it, my nerves and my sanity fly right out of the door the second the kids start to bicker. It might be in the car. It might be in the kitchen while I’m cooking dinner, but still coasting on exercise fumes at least I can sigh, and I remain clear and calm.

Consistent. I’ve learned a few things from the books I’ve read: Positive Discipline, The Baby Whisperer, 1-2-3 Magic. Do what you say, and at times, it just might break your heart. I’m not always the best at follow thru, especially when my kids pull the guilt card, but I’ve become pretty good at asking myself, what will happen if I don’t?

Diversion. Not just for them but for you. See them and think, This too shall pass. Take a breath. Step out of the room. Sing opera like me if you have to. Ask questions out loud to yourself, to them, just start talking. I always explain the heck out of everything, even when I do lose it.

Love. I remind myself all the time, they won’t always want my hugs. I also ask, what’s two minutes out of my life right now? That’s all they want, and then they go running off and on to something else.

If you’d like to know more about me, check out Thirty Random Facts on my Cloud Nine Girl, blog, a blog I use as an accountability goal for achieving my dreams. You can follow me on facebook and twitter too. I’d love to hear from you.

Don't you just ADORE this chick?? I know I do! I love her wit and insight and the fact that I can relate to her parenting on so many levels! Make sure to check out her other posts and links on FB and blog! Here they all are to make it easy. :)  Happy TGIF, ya'll!!

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  1. Sounds like you are doing a great job. I think sometimes the best gift you can give your child is to listen to them intently and just your time not divided.

    1. Thanks Mark. It's hard to keep calm when your head is rarely quiet, but I try to. I've also learned, and i'm sure I'll keep learning.