For this week's habit I had planned something reasonably simple - personal grooming. However, a more urgent need has arisen. I am very hesitant to write further, and I should warn that what follows may be disturbing. I don't know what you will think of me after this, but it is a dangerous tendency and I need to write it out into the open so I can combat it. (Please don't send me hate mail!)
My level of aggression towards Wombat is unacceptable. Most of the time I am his loving, cheerful, entertaining, comforting mummy who will read endless stories, sing endless songs and generally try to be understanding. He is a typical toddler - sweet, loving, cheerful and entertaining, with a stubborn streak a mile wide, a desperate desire to have his own way without actually knowing what he wants, and the ability to push all mummy's buttons at once. I have found myself withdrawing and behaving coldly in response, and when that doesn't work, I have lashed out at him.
After a rainy day together with only one half-hour nap for him in the morning (despite yawning his little head off and rubbing his eyes raw, he
He has four pre-molars cutting through at once, and I am sure he is in a lot of pain. He is adjusting to the loss of our breastfeeding relationship. I am under a huge amount of stress from all sorts of directions, and on top of that I am dealing with the hormonal effects of weaning. That's no excuse. A few months ago I read in the newspaper about a couple who had whipped their 4 year old daughter with electrical cord and then shoved her into a boiling hot shower, giving her third degree burns. They were so ashamed of themselves, they didn't take her to hospital until six hours afterwards. All because she was 'refusing' to be potty-trained.
This horrific story stuck in my mind, because at times I can feel how easy it would be to snap like that. I have never gone close, and I think I would never ever ever do such a thing to my beautiful boy. But today scared me. It made me realise that I'm much closer to the edge than I think and that if I don't start stepping back from it now, when things get really challenging I won't be able to cope. Then Wombat will be the one to suffer, not me, and that's a thought I can't bear.
As a result, I have to take responsibility right here and now - and what better way than to make positive parenting a habit? I will try to read something on positive parenting every day & put it into practice. I will also give myself a parenting score out of 5 each day, since I find having a quantifiable goal helps to keep me on track. I have tried to adopt positive parenting in the past, but seem to forget the principles and backslide when the stress builds up. Now it is time to make it a way of life, not just a nice idea! I will remember:
Here are some links I have found to start my reading:
- Positive Parenting.com
- Positive Discipline.com
- Encouraging better behaviour
- Positive Routine Management (this is the Australian 'baby whisperer' - she has a lot of interesting things to say about communication... I can see I am going to be spending a lot of time re-reading this page & trying to put it into practice.)
Time to go, or I won't get my exercise done this hour. It is cold, pouring with rain, and I don't feel like it, but I do want it to be a habit, so I will "just do it". Hopefully I can apply the same technique to being a better mum.
SMART habit progress:
- Exercise = good
Visit Lara at The Lazy Organizer to join in Smart Habit Saturday - it will change your life!