So I have a very strong willed and stubborn middle child, who also happens to be my daughter. She is the one who can and will push all of my buttons and does so just at the “right time.” In my case, the “right time” is actually the wrong time.
She is my child that I have to repeat myself over and over and over to just to have her blow up at me for repeating myself too many times because she didn’t listen the first 5 times I asked her to do something. Or better yet, she is my child who will say no to my face when I ask her to do a simple task like put on jammies, wash hands or not to color chalk all over her feet!
Anyone else have a child who is stubborn and strong willed, like mine? Well super!! We are all in the same boat together 🙂 I bring all of this up because my strong willed daughter and I got into it last night. Of course these things happen when my husband is not home (she saves the fun for me, I guess).
It started with her asking if she could play with the chalk outside. A simple request but my answer wasn’t good enough and she dug her heels in the ground and wouldn’t budge. I needed to finish my dinner and then we could all play together but she just couldn’t wait for me to take two more bites to be done. Her firm stance on that situation turned into another firm stance when I told her we (we meaning her and her sister) needed to wash their feet and hands upstairs in the tub. Well she just didn’t want to go all the way upstairs to do that so she washed her feet and hands with the hand towel in my kitchen. You know that didn’t go over well with me. Hand towels are not for cleaning dirty chalk feet and hands, they are for drying clean hands. Ahhhh!!!!
I was at my wits end with her! One thing after another thing and she was just standing her ground, which isn’t bad, but in this situation it was. Having a child who purposefully disobeys is not only aggravating but it is downright exhausting! I was feeling close to a mental breakdown, ready to walk out of my home and I told her that. It might not have been the right thing to say to a five year old but in the moment it was what I was feeling and the words just flowed out of my mouth. She looked at me with a questioning look, at first, and then a look of panic.
My husband was gone for an hour with my son and within that hour I managed to scream at my daughter, scare her and spank her. Later that night, after my husband returned, only to leave again for another engagement, I sat in my baby’s room rocking her to sleep and just wept. I wept for the words I spoke to Rory, for the screaming, for the spanking and for the overall way I acted as a tired, frustrated, mentally and emotionally drained mommy.
I’m telling you this story because I know I’m not alone. Being a mom is the hardest job out there. Raising and being responsible for little people is stressful and rewarding, all at the same time, and yet there are those extremely happy moments but then there are those extremely bad moments. I got caught up in an extremely bad moment, last night. My heart hurt so bad for my little girl and after all was said and done she calmly asked me to read her a bedtime story and proceeded to tell me she loved me.
We can’t beat ourselves up over bad moments in our parenting careers. What we can do is realize the mistakes we’ve made, learn from them, give ourselves some grace and change our behavior towards our children. The more we love and show love, towards our little people, the more they will feel loved and give it back to us and those around them.
All the Best,