This blog is small glimpses into my heart and soul - attempts to be transparent with friends, and sometimes, to myself. This is my safe place, where I can come and be purely Ness.

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Monday, July 11, 2011

Lost In the Dark

Lately I've been feeling like I'm failing at everything, but especially at being a mama. I think it's probably tied into how miscarrying affects my feelings as a mother (not being able to protect them and take care of them = major mama failing), and also because being a mama is my biggest role right now. There are also so many other stressors in my life right now, that so little energy is left for this role. I find myself short on patience and ideas and energy. I'm snapping more, saying "no" a lot, and giving so little time to this one that needs me. I feel like I'm forcing him all the time. Gently forcing, but forcing none the less. I can't figure out how to teach and guide and convince him to do the things that need to be done - like eat and sleep and tidy - without just saying, "You have to. I'm sorry you don't want to, but this is what we're doing," which wouldn't be so horrible if it didn't turn into a fight half the time. I don't like to physically struggle with my son to get his diaper and pajamas on, and constantly bring him back to the bed crying, because he doesn't want to sleep, he wants to play; or tell him again and again, "Eat. Eat. EAT. It's supper time. You need to eat," and then deal with him saying at bedtime, "I'm hungry," and knowing that it might very well be true, because he didn't actually eat that much at supper, but now he really needs to sleep, and if I let him eat, he'll end up being overtired and not sleeping very well, except if he really is hungry he won't sleep well either. (ahhh! deep breath)
Anyways, I'm super struggling with the whole discipline (as in teaching, not as in punishing) thing, and I'm not really sure how to figure it out. I'm frequently drawn to the "let your child express themselves/be their own person/work with, not against" style of parenting, but occasionally it does seem to go too far or have a very humanist view point. I very much want my parenting to be Biblically sound (not in the "you must spank you child" kind of way, cause I really don't think it says that), to honor God, and to teach my son just how much God loves him, but I can't figure out what that all means or how to do that. So I have these two ideas about parenting that I think should mesh, but no idea how do either one, let alone put them together. My lack of energy and patience is not helping.
I feel like I'm hunting for gold, except I only have this vague idea of what a mine is, I've never heard of a pick-axe, and my headlight is on backwards. As I search through this semi-darkness, stumbling around, I can only hope I'll do more good than harm, and perhaps someone who's been this way will pass by and offer a helping hand.


  1. *hugs*

    Is there anything that would make things a bit more manageable? Not perfect — just manageable this week? An evening to yourself maybe? A good solid nap?

  2. Thanks, sweetie. We've been trying to get to bed at better times for the past few days, and that really helps with my level of patience, but I have so few (irl - none) examples in my life of how to parent this way that I quickly run out of ideas and start to resort to what I know - how I was parented. Now, I'm not complaining about my parents, I feel deeply loved by them, but there is something different I want to do for Bug.

  3. There's this concept that I love in breath meditation (this is on topic, stick with me). In this type of meditation, you basically just sit in a comfy spot and 'watch' your breath -- feel it moving in and out of your mouth, feel your chest rise and fall, feel the coolness of the air coming and warmth flowing out. Simple, but so hard because your mind always wanders.

    So, they say, when your mind wanders, just think 'huh. wandering mind. duly noted.' and then move your attention back to your breath.

    The thing is, when that happens, they consider that a SUCCESS. Yes, you got distracted. But you NOTICED that and you moved back to what you wanted to be doing.

    Making a change in how you approach parenting is a huge thing and won't happen completely overnight (if ever!). I suspect you'll always be tweaking it and trying to improve. Of course you will resort to what you know -- we all do, especially when trying to change big important stuff. My laser eye surgery was almost 2 years ago and I still reach for my glasses when I wake up from a nap.

    But you're noticing, and moving back towards the change you want to make. That is progress. That IS making the change.

  4. Thank you, Hannie. That actually was super encouraging to me. It really helped me to feel like maybe things weren't as bad as I feel they are sometimes! Love ya.

  5. Are you familiar with the website/forum Gentle Christian Mothers? It's dedicated to making those two things mesh. :) It might be helpful to you.

  6. I am somewhat. I haven't actually joined the forum for two reasons - 1. The one thing I've heard it that there is a tendency to be permissive, and I do that just fine on my own. 2. I'm cautious about adding another internet time eater(I spend way too much time on here as it is).
    Are you on the forums there? What do you think of them?

  7. I am on the forums. I don't spend very much time there at all simply because I don't have the time, so my observations may not be accurate. I wouldn't say they are permissive, but some of the most frequent posters are a little extreme. For example, there was a post about not playfully patting your baby's bottom because it's punitive. That's a stretch for me. Every time Isaac crawls up steps, I lightly pop his bottom as he goes and we both giggle about it - no harm done, IMO. However, the few times I've asked specific parenting questions on there, I've gotten a variety of responses and walked away feeling better equipped. One problem I have with gentle parenting is I feel like there is a lot of theoretical talk about why it's better and a few sweeping generalizations about how to put it in action, but very little specific and practical advice on how to handle situations. Use positive words, be consistent, don't yell...but what exactly am I supposed to do when my child is repeatedly throwing food off his high chair after I've made it clear it's not acceptable behavior? I feel like those kinds of questions are rarely answered. I've recently come across this blog that does give some pretty great real world advice from a Christian perspective, which I've loved:
    This discipline stuff is no easy thing!!

  8. That's exactly the problem I've been finding other places, all ideals and theories, but no practical application. But, I checked it out, and it does look like it could be useful at times. (although, yes, that example is pretty extreme)Thanks for your input and the other site!