Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly wonder if you're doing everything wrong? How you've possibly gotten this far into the parenting job and are only now realizing you may be completely screwing up?
I'm having one of those moments. Day, perhaps. Week. Weak. That's how I feel. What am I doing wrong? I know I'm doing some things right. Out of the house my daughters are superb. I couldn't be prouder the way they interact with other people: parents, teachers, peers. But at home they seem to have completely different personalities. I think I'm mostly feeling this with my 5-year-old, whose behavior heavily influences the behavior of my 4-year-old. They are just 15-months apart. Together, they are a force to be reckoned with.
My dearest first-born is incredibly smart, funny, talented, beautiful, dramatic and articulate. Sometimes this combination is amazing and makes me so proud of her and the job I must be doing as a mother. And sometimes, this combination is volatile and makes me wonder if I'm raising a sociopath! Or perhaps, just a serious DIVA. Yes, capital letters. In bold. DIVA. She can hardly handle the slightest criticism, constructive or not, or difference of opinion. She must be right, she must have her way and if she doesn't she says, "I feel like you think I'm a stupid, bratty girl when you speak to me like that." I told you she was articulate. Last night she told me, quite seriously, that she thought she was beginning to hate me. This because she was out of bed for the third time in the hour I put her to bed and I told her I was starting to get upset with her.
Maybe I'm too soft. Maybe I'm too hard. I don't know. I'm having one of those days where I doubt everything I do. I'm not even PMS-ing. Are all children such extremists? Clinging and loving you so much one minute and then hating you the next? A wise friend of mine who had decades on me told me once, "Little children, little problems. Big children, big problems." I try to remember this, but I feel that if, at the age of 5, my child is already acting like a 15-year-old, what will life be like when she actually is?
Deep breath. Thank you for reading my vent. I'm going to stop here and clean a closet. With such a task I can see clearly the impact that my efforts make. Or exercise... Wait, cleaning is exercise. Especially if I turn on the 80s station. Off to clean myself skinny again then and forget about parenting troubles for awhile.
Anything troubling you? I've got a great ear and a shoulder to go with it...