I’m so tired of asking my kids to do something, again, and again and again.
I am literally exhausted, physically and mentally.
Here I am, envisioning some calm, quiet, quality time with my kids before bed, but by the time everyone is done doing what they’re supposed to be doing, I’m so worn out and jaded by getting them there, that I don’t WANT to even share the same air with them.
I feel frustrated, guilty, disappointed and hopeless.
Part of me thinks it can be different like there must be something I can say or do that will get them to start doing as I say, when I say it (for G-d’s sake!)
Another part of me wants to punish them, blame them, explode 🤯!
Is this what I’m in for for the next decade or two!?
My answer … Ya, probably.
So how do we survive?
How do we make it out alive having inflicted the least damage possible?
And is it just about surviving? Could it even be possible to feel confident that it’s going to be okay?
Well, I don’t have all of the answers, but here’s what I do know:
1. First and foremost,
let’s get this perfectly clear: There is no quick fix. So stop telling yourself that you’re a bad mom or that you’re missing something that everyone else clearly gets (fake news!).
I know this story of failure and guilt serves you in some way ( sidebar: it would be worth figuring out how), but as long as you’re telling yourself these stories, you’re not focusing on what matters. And what matters is feeling valued, feeling confident and enjoying the fleeting moments to build meaningful relationships with your kids.
2. Boundaries are crucial.
As much as the unconditional love and acceptance is an important part of the parent-child relationship, so are boundaries. We all know that they’re a healthy part of any relationship. Whether it be a fence or the letter of the law, the things that keep us apart and separate from other whole separate parts (like your neighbor’s yard) keep us safe. They signify where you end and others and the world outside of you begin.
In a relationship, boundaries preserve the integrity of the individual parts of a connection. They make sure that no one gets swallowed up or, on the flip side, ignored. Because, after all, it takes to whole parts to create a meaningful connection.
But boundaries are especially important in the parent-child relationship. When it comes to the parent-child relationship, boundaries ensure that you feel valued and in control, as well as ensuring that your needs of your children are. Whether it be the basic needs of food and shelter, the emotional need for attention, comfort or safety and predictability, boundaries help your child develop and grow into secure and conscious people, not only by keeping you centered and sane but giving your kids a chance to learn and experience the impact they have on others and the world around them.
3. I’m the boss,
which means I make the rules. Ooh, I like the way that sounds… But that also means that I make sure those rules are kept. Because when it comes to boundaries, it’s not just about making them, it’s about enforcing them too. I’m not talking about lectures and punishments, a lot of talks or explosive reactions; I’m talking about clear, non-negotiable boundaries. Not only do you have to make them, but you have to be sure they’re upheld and protected.
After an evening like mine, it’s more clear than ever that I have to go back to the drawing board.
Not only do I have to reconnect with my values (aka the hill I’m willing to die on when it comes to a battle if you know what I mean), in general, and more specifically for different situations, but I also have to uncover what my emotional blocks are to implementing them.
Sounds easy right?
Just another parenting expert who knows just what to do.
This stuff is hard. It’s a daily struggle. It’s particularly challenging if you’re at it alone, with no guidance, support or accountability.
But stick with it, stay the course, and you, your kids and your relationship together will be all the better for it.