No one ever said parenting was easy by any means, but some of us have it easier than others. I’ve seen and worked with all kinds of families over the past eleven years, and I gotta tell ya… each family does what they need to do in order to make it through each and every day in one piece. To some, it may look like prodding, begging, or even full blown bribery. But to others, it’s just plain, old fashioned, coasting.
Some of us coast through, because, thats all we can do when we feel defeated. Now I’m not saying that this goes for all families, but sometimes you just have to wave your little white flag, and shout “uncle,” because it’s all you can do without loosing your stuffing as well.
Can I get an amen?
Let me give you an example: two weeks ago, Willy and I had a snow day together. Willy was excited about staying home with me and of course in my mind, I had lots of fun and exciting ideas for us to spend our time together. I brought out new puzzles, books, spin art, coloring books, a new toy that he hadn’t seen before, and a new game. Now ask me if we did any of that?
Nope. All my kid wanted to do was watch tv/ipad and play with his toys. And when I tried to play with him, he would get up and walk away or go play with something else. I just wanted my son to have a fun and relaxing snow day with his o’l Mom, and with every attempt I made, he just ended up in tears or throwing his toys in utter frustration. There was crying, there was “go to your room,” and there was also apologies. I’m talking about both of us.
I was feeling like a bad mom in the moment. I just figured that we could do all of his favorite things together, but it wasn’t until much later that evening, that I realized that they weren’t his favorite things at all… they were my favorite things. It was a frustrating day for both of us. Sadly, I just couldn’t give my boy the structure that he was craving, and no matter how hard I tried, we both just crashed and burned. My poor little guy was trying to tell me that he just wanted to be left alone, and I wasn’t getting the hint. I just wanted to be a good mom and try to do something productive…. memorable… fun.
When I look back on that day, I try to put myself in his shoes. On a typical school day, the second my son arrives at school, his day starts like a whirl-wind. Every moment is scheduled for him. He has a speech therapist breathing down his neck all day, and the expectations of him are demanding. When he looses his patience at school, he struggles for words that just won’t come out and then that just makes him even more frustrated! On a typical afternoon, my babysitter gets Willy off of the bus and takes him back to her house where he and her daughter play, run, and laugh. Once Willy returns home at 4:00, he’s tired. Does he want to play and interact with me? Not really. He just wants to be left alone, snuggle with me, and do hat he wants to do.
I need to remember that. My boy needs his space to do what he wants to do… not what I want him to do.
And with that, a new leaf was turned.