Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Learning as I go

This week, I feel like a failure at parenting. Between toddler defiance and teenage attitude I just want to hide. Em and I argue regularly because I feel like she doesn't help out enough and she feels like Sophie gets away with everything.

Yesterday I picked her up from school for a doctor appointment. We were having a great time, she was being chatty and talking to me all about the previous day (and I totally let it go when in her chatting she revealed I was right in our big blowup the night before). After her appointment we had a little retail therapy before picking up Sophie, and in our chatting in the store she said something about becoming the favorite child again. I honestly have never felt like that. But she wouldn't believe me. That breaks my heart, because for almost twelve years, she was my only child. We did everything together. I cried with her when she was hurt. It killed me when we had to punish her. We are so much alike that I know her as well as I know myself. I still see the little girl who came running to hug me when I look at her. But, she's not. She's getting ready for high school, sharing secrets with her best friend, and acting like a normal teenage girl. She'd rather be in her room texting or on her tablet, or in our room watching tv, than spend time with us. I know it's part of growing up and becoming independent.

Then we have Sophie. She is very "two" right now. She is still pretty laid back, but she is still learning how to act. Of course we don't have the same expectations of her as we do Emma. We do put her in time-out chair when she does something like hit one of us, or kick the dog, things like that. She doesn't really get away with everything.

I'm still learning, also. I am learning about parenting a teenager, and at the same time learning how to parent two children. I don't have a clue what I'm doing most of the time. I'm just trying my best to teach them what is important and hope they won't need therapy when they are adults.

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  1. Knowing that what you are going through is perfectly normal is little consolation during an argument or tantrum. I remember my beautiful perfect daughter's middle school years as often including arguments and tears (mostly mine). You survive because your love is bigger than all of you. Keep hugging and don't worry about the therapy.

  2. ah yes the journey of parenthood- just when I think "Okay I think I've got it" something will come up which will remind me I have NO CLUE!! :) Each stage of their lives produce new lessons for us as parents to learn- and continue evolving.

    I would agree with the comment before- Keep hugging!!

  3. Oh Christine! Sounds all so familiar! You have to know that you are doing a great job - no matter how you feel sometimes. We've raised three, all so different. And my daughter to this day still says (although with a twinkle in her eye) that my middle son is my favorite. Not true, of course. You love them, that's really all that matters to them . . . Really :). By the way - I love your girls' names!

  4. Such raw honesty, thank you. Parenting is hard, the hardest thing I've ever done. There's rarely a day where I don't feel I've failed in some way. Many ways. I try to make sure my children know I love them no matter what, and I make mistakes too.

    I have a tween (12) and a want to be tween (10) who swear I love the pistol (6) the most. Said pistol told me she wanted a new mommy this morning and her subsquent meltdown made us miss the bus. Really?

    Sticks and stone may break my bones, but I'd rather have that than the words. It wears me down, making parenting that much harder.

    My wish for you is my wish for myself... patience, loads of love, and a nice glass of wine (or chocolate, lots of chocolate). Hugs.

  5. LOVE your blog. I have 16 & 13 yr old boys & a 6 yr old girl. I can totally relate to this post. Our oldest has told us on many occasions he wishes it was just him. Makes me feel horrible. WE just do the best we can with what we have & let God do His work. It's hard when we have such a big age different huh? Pamela