I argued with my daughter today and boy did I feel like shit.
It’s nothing new, me arguing with my daughter. She is a carbon copy of me and unfortunately for me she also inherited my stubborn sass (thank you mother) and ability to argue until she is blue in the face. She is also 4 going on 18 so fun times all around.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my daughter more than I could possibly say. She is so intelligent and clever and her imagination is just incredible. She keeps me on my toes and I am honestly incredibly proud of the young lady she is turning into. We have a lot of fun but there are just some days that…do your freaking head in.
Today was one of those days. Well, not even the whole day…just the morning. Ironically, I didn’t even get up until 11 and woke to the screams of children and the sass of said 4-year-old. It just gets to a point where you can’t deal with it. Which is crap. They are children, your child and isn’t it supposed to be biologically programed to be able to cope with your own child? Apparently, I missed the message.
The reason my daughter and I argued was over something ridiculously stupid. I asked her to clean up the playroom. It’s a small room that hides all their crap and keeps it out of the way of my lounge room and off my couch. The agreement was that they (meaning she) had to keep it clean because I was sick and tired of having to pack it all up all the time #mumlife and since she was on the ‘can I have pocket money?’ bandwagon, we thought that cleaning her room and playroom would be okay. HA! It’s drama city. Something that should and does take 5-10 minutes MAX (it’s picking stuff up on the floor and putting into the baskets) takes her anywhere for 40 minutes to 2 hours. It’s insane.
Today was longer. She just dragged it out and kept finding excuses. Calm voice didn’t work, yelling didn’t work, and begging didn’t even work. She then proceeds to back chat, argue, run away and roll her eyes then laugh in my face. All the typical 4 year old things. Why do they think this is okay? Do they not realise that it is a sure way to make parents pissed?
I had enough. I put her in time out, grabbed a garbage bag and threw everything on the floor into it. I then made her get out of time out to help me throw it all away. I told her that this was the last chance, if she kept being naughty and rude and not listening, I would throw it all out. If she was good she could have it back. I thought bugger it, we’ll see how it goes.
I felt like crap. Utter and complete crap. “She hates me” I complained to Wil. “Years and years of therapy will come from this.” Which made me think, am I tyrant or just tired? Am I getting annoyed over the little things I should just let go? Should I be more hands on even though I am a stay at home mum? Does her attitude come of lack of attention or just the fact she is 4 and pushing boundaries?
How far do we let it go before we push back?
Maybe it’s the stereotype that we must be the perfect parent all the time. We aren’t allowed to get angry or frustrated or upset. We must smile and give in to whatever they demand because God forbid they don’t get what they want. I bet those people who tell us how to raise our kids don’t even have any kids themselves. Don’t get me wrong, there is a fine line between being a parent and a tyrant but is giving in really the only way to go according to society? We can’t yell, we can’t put them in time out, we can’t do anything other than ‘use a calming voice to tell them they are wrong’ in regards to discipline. Is this really the way we want to bring kids up? I got yelled at, put in time out hell I even got the wooden spoon and you know what? I turned out fine and I still have a fantastic relationship with my parents. How do we discipline without disheartening them? She’s not even a bad kid. She’s actually fantastic despite the occasional spikes in attitude and sass.
I don’t know. I feel like I don’t know how to handle it which makes me feel like a failure. I don’t want to strain our relationship but at the same time, I also don’t want to raise a brat.
Maybe I should set myself another challenge. 7 days of kids activities and see if that makes a difference in her attitude. Maybe I just expect too much from someone too little. Maybe I should stop being a tyrant and start being a mummy again. Am I really a tyrant though or is it just all in my head, created from society and the stupidly high expectations?
Who the fuck knows?