Sunday, February 12, 2012

Public Failure

I am failing big time.  
At the most important job.  
And it cannot continue.  I need to figure out what's going wrong with my (& Iains) parenting.  
Erin is great, at 22 months she is still at the 'cute' stage where the tantrums are containable and the naughtiness slightly endearing at times.  I feel like I am, mostly, a good mum to Erin.
But with Hamish and Zoe, nothing seems to be working.  They are rude, naughty and unpleasant most of the time at home and I am a grumpy, ineffective and frustrated mum in response.  
I have read everything I can about it.....Nigel Latta to Diane Levy.  
Googled 'lying kids', 'siblings fighting', 'toilet training'.  
Tried reward charts, timeouts, grounding, bribery, threats.
In fact as I type this Hamish is sulking because he is at home with me instead of at his cousins birthday party. He was in timeout and decided to pee on his bed, soaking it right through to the mattress as a way of showing his displeasure with being there.  
I am at a total loss as to why it is this way in my house?  Noone else I know has this level of dysfunction happening with their children.  And I know deep down that I try as hard as they do to be a good parent but it's just not working.  I work really hard at it, I lose sleep over it.  
Or maybe we are all just really good at hiding our dysfunction as families.  Maybe some of you reading this are astonished that this is going on in my home because you've met my children and they were lovely.  
Zoe wasn't lovely last night when she told the babysitter she would kill her.  
Hamish wasn't lovely on Friday night when he willfully pooed his pants and then smeared it on the shower walls because he was angry at me.  

Please don't give me parenting advice in response to this post, I am a research addict, I know all the development theory and techniques.....they are just not working.  By all means though if you have the magic bullet let me know and I will eat my words, glad to be proved wrong on this one!
And I know it takes a village.....but where is the village?  I'm having trouble finding it.  The village are either working, too busy with their own families, or would rather not know.  
I've asked the 'officials' in the village too, but there is usually a cost or a waiting list involved.  As well as the fear that the 'officials' might judge that I am a bad parent afterall.
And somewhere along the line I have bought into the lie that says I have to do it on my own.  I know in my head that I don't so I write this blog in the hope that admitting it all publicly I will drag my reality, kicking and screaming in line with my ideals. 
So there you go, it's out there in all it's failure as a helplessness at fixing it.  
"Almost any difficulty will move in the face of honesty. When I am honest I never feel stupid. And when I am honest I am automatically humble."  Hugh Prather


Jenn said...

I'm not at your stage of parenting yet (ask me again in 3 or 4 yrs and I'll prob be going through exactly the same shit you are though). But I bet your experiences are pretty there any parent out there who has it all together? Not trying to make light of your struggles with the kids though..
Anyway, this is rambling, but think you were on to it with the village thing. Been thinking a lot about such things lately (mostly about my need for a sister-wife...someone to help keep me sane and share childcare/house stuff during the day sounds great....polygamy would certainly have its advantages!). Not sure where the answers are, but for sure it would be nice to more everyday support.

Kerryn said...

oh Michelle. I so hear you. It is so hard to be a parent. Such a lonely never ending slog... You know what? I look up to you - Just the other day I was thinking that I need to ask your advice about dealing with a very defiant number 2. I like it that you don't pretend you have everything all together. I mean who does really?
Together with you... across the miles! Love, K xxx

Christina said...

I havent actually read the whole post because I am very certain I am about to get up and clean this mess but it's been awhile since you posted this, did you find a way through it?

I ask because I am also finding myself thinking the same - I'm a good mum to the little one but the older two seem to be an endless pit of pain in the assness! And when I thought it, I felt so bad but I know it's more me than it is them so just reading two lines in there made me feel better.

I will be back to finish reading this haha!

Anonymous said...

Your not alone I have one other friend in the same situation we class ourselves as the mothers of darkness because we joke about being such terrible mums but we are not we are just worn down by the needs of our families. I hope your doing better. I agree with the lack of support. I struggling to find like minded mothers like myself.