The Difference Between Me and The Rest of the World

I've been trying to figure out why this bothers me so much. So I've talked to some of my friends with kids and they all think that the other folks are normal - meaning it's normal to have days when you want to sell your children to the gypsies or whatever. And I just can't get it.

Talking to my mom yesterday, I was mentioning that it's a little frustrating around here right now because we're having some discipline issues (he's coming up on 3, and apparently 3 is the new 2 as far as terrible goes, cause 2? 2 rocked.) and it's frustrating to me because it makes me feel like I am the worlds most horrible and inept mother.

Last night the light came on. I think the difference between me and normal is that most women encounter the terrible 3s and they get frustrated with the child and then make comments about how they would give their left arm for just ten minutes away or sell them to the gypsies or whatever, whereas I just figure it's a failure on my part somehow.

I don't imagine either one is really the right way to react. But it does help my perspective some - at least now I understand why maybe they think time away from their kids is going to fix the issue, and I also understand why it isn't going to fix the issue for me (in fact, I kind of think it compounds it - because now not only am I a failure at parenting, but I'm neglectful as well).

Knowing is half the battle, right?


Lynellen said...

you ARE normal. you're just not average. It takes all kinds of people all along the line to make average... you're just one of the people in a non-middle spot of the line.

Rob said...

There were periods of time during our son's 3rd year that were terrible, but really, there are likewise phases he's gone thru as a 4 yr old that haven't been so peachy.

I suspect that the parents' attitude and approach towards those trying times is a very big part of how "terrible" the 2s, 3s, or whatever are going to be. So if your child hasn't had an especially "terrible" year, maybe that's a reflection of how well you've coped with things.

I've found that, in actively trying to help my toddler deal with temper fare-ups (which has been a BIG problem at times), I've become more mindful of managing my own temper too.

Yes, I get very frustrated with my little guy at times, but then again, I'd rather that he be inquisitive, unruly, and yes, sometimes even rebellious, than a complacent and obedient little robot. Attitude requires intellect. They don't call it "headstrong" for no reason.

Gwynne said...

And I think you need to be careful about taking all the blame when things go wrong, just as you wouldn't take all the credit when he's an angel. While the world is full of inept and neglectful parents, you are far from it! While some need time alone to regroup or count to 10 or whatever, you do not (but if you do, that doesn't make you neglectful; that is a responsible thing to do in the right circumstances). I think the sad thing is that many parents forget that raising a child is their number one responsibility, and priviledge. You get that. There will always be other influences in his life, not to mention the fact that he is only human with all of the inherent flaws inherent. Some days are just harder than others. :-)

beth said...

It's not so much taking blame - it's more that I understand that he's acting in an age appropriate manner and I wonder why I'm not always able to say the same for myself.

The time away thing with MOPS is considerably less about in the midst of things (when yeah, I've taken time outs) but more "Oh I just couldn't function if I didn't put my kid in preschool 5 days a week because having them around me all the time is just so draining." That's what I don't get.

That said, the number of times that I was told the reason we didn't have kids was because God didn't want us to (or He was protecting the kids, or riff on that theme), while I know it's crap, when you're frustrated and not understanding what you can do to help your child learn to control himself, that tape is the first one that gets played. Because it's a helpless feeling, and you can't help but wonder if you're not getting it because you didn't become a parent the normal way.

Gwynne said...

I hear you, but if God didn't want you to have kids, He never would have placed Joshua with you. I think everyone gets the frustration of disciplining a two/three year old! :-)