DISCLAIMER: If you are one of those sweet mom’s that bakes warm chocolate chip cookies for after school snacks, or the mom of a child under the age of two, this blog post may not be for you. Although, please feel free to go ahead and continue reading, but promise me this: you will stick around to teach me a few things.
It’s been a rough couple of weeks since school started. If I’m honest, it’s been a rough couple of years raising a teen, and I only have one at this age.
Oh! You say you have more than one teen in your home?? Dear God who created the universe can you strike my friend with lot’s of happy pills, unlimited vacations without children and joy.
Yes, lot’s of joy to laugh hysterically when she thinks she’s lost her mind. Because there will be a time, my friend, when you feel you have lost your mind, if you haven’t already.
Today, I’m going to share what has not produced positive results in my house, currently and over the years. Let’s start with my #1 Go-To parenting tool when life becomes too emotionally intense to think logically. #Don’tJudge #JudgeFreeZone
Maybe you don’t call it yelling. Maybe you growl, holler, snarl or snap VERY loudly whatever you call it, it’s my go-to tool for sure. A favorite social media parenting site of mine is Scary Mommy. She is SO FUNNY and SO sarcastic. Everything you
need in a friend to survive some of the harshest seasons of parenting.
In saying that, being a scary mommy and screaming like an NFL coach during the last 30 seconds of a final play in the super bowl does not build a quality mother-child relationship. I know this. From personal experience.
It has sadly reached the point that my 15-year-old stares me down as if I’ve lost my mind for the 7,489th time when I break into a whaling fit.
What used to be, “I’m losing my mind, child, if you don’t want to lose yours too..GET MOVING!”. Has now shifted to, “Oh, geez. She’s lost her mind again. Hang on. She’ll get it back in a bit” disinterested stare.
Needless to say, she has caught on. Not much happens after my brain falls out of my ears and my head shoots off to the moon.
My #2 bad mom parenting tip to avoid, Excessive Amounts of Alchohol
This one has absolutely not worked well for me.
While being a single mom, divorced mom or married mom; drinking massive amounts of wine, or beer, or fireball, or, and this is a bad one, moonshine in hopes that it will all go away, has not been effective. Moonshine? That’s for another post. OR
Have I mentioned my dad always told me it’s ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them?
Not everyone goes for a tall glass of toddy cocktail topped with a splash of ethanol for comfort. Some internalize to the point of depression, pop a few pills like they are sour skittles while eating the kid’s breakfast, lunch and after school snacks to neglect and escape altogether.
Either way, not practicing healthy coping mechanisms, has landed me in drought city over the years. How is it working for you?
My third bad mom parenting failure tip, Inconsistency
A beautiful, gifted therapist that I never want to see ever again once gave me lot’s of ingenious advice, but what I recall most is…
“Cassie, someone has to be the adult in the room.” Ya, words every grown up mom wants to hear.
When your kids are three months old and adorable, or 3 years and throwing cute tantrums; life is damn good. It’s when my daughter reached somewhere around 9? 11? or 13? it seems like I reverted to my childhood days and began a new phase in my life, “Adult Fits.”
You see, we set up these things called boundaries if you aren’t practicing these much, or believe in the importance of them, check out Dr. Cloud’s book Boundaries with Kids. And friends, we even discuss clear expectations. Or we should be. Right?!
And so the battle begins. An intense, battle of wills to get them to move forward from where they currently are to where they need to be: productive members of team “Not Living in My Garage”.
If we are not constantly present and consistent these sweet, loving little minions find brilliant ways to manipulate and renegotiate terms previously laid out. It is precisely for this reason why the rules and laws of homeland security need to be written down and discussed.
Guilt is one of my long-time best friends, who often likes to show up unexpectedly when I leave the door to my mind wide open.
I’m talking about my guilt. Feeling guilty for choices I’ve made. Mistakes I couldn’t change. The life I should have given her. The pain created through the loss of a family.
Guilt didn’t stop with me. He invited his friend, Pity, and introduced him to my daughter to become her childhood friend. Because of my guilt, I brought in Ms. Spoiled and Mr. Entitled to be her friends. By letting guilt run its course for too many years, it took a battle of wills and a tremendous amount of prayer to break the cycle that was eating us alive.
Please don’t let guilt take you and your family hostage.
Life is humbling, to say the least. And raising a family isn’t easy, especially while doing it as a single parent.
What I have learned most in my mistakes is to keep the lines of communication open between my daughter and I. Addressing her hurt while admitting to my mistakes. Raising a family is messy. Single mom life can get real messy. It is exhausting. It is disappointing. And that is ok.
The burdens and pressure are immense. They weigh, for the most part, solely on your shoulders. This stress alone is enough to make a mom go mad. It’s no wonder we take on bad parenting habits or go into “adult fit” mode more often than anyone in the family would like.
Please give yourself lot’s of mercy and grace along the way. Extend it towards your little ones too. Take a break from life, often. Take a night off. Breathe. Stop and just be. Rest in the moment of messiness. And take a tip from those really nice mommies. Bake some chocolate chip cookies, grab the entire carton of milk, all the littles and, pile into the bed as you watch that favorite movie on a school night.
Before you know it it’s all over. They are all grown up and, we are begging for a second chance to do it all over again.
Food for thought: What do you do to keep the sanity? How do you cope when coping goes out the window? Who is there to come to your rescue or the kids?