The Parenting Funk

No one told me when I got pregnant that there would be days, hell months, where you just don’t feel like it’s going well. At all. No one told me there would be days when I would just be so angry and annoyed and sick of it. In fact, no one ever told me that when I had kids I would think that I was totally effing it up.

The Parenting FunkI’m there people.

Things with the Big Kid have been pretty bad for the past 6 months. He knows my buttons (at 4.5 wtf) and I don’t disappoint to rise to the occasion when he pushes them. Boy do I rise. I’ve yelled, I’ve cried, I’ve cajoled, I’ve begged for mercy, I’ve yelled some more… it’s been tense and ugly and I’m missing the joy that we used to have as mother/son. I’m missing the joy I used to have as a parent.

It sucks.

know I have an abominable lack of patience and that once I get rolling on the feeling exasperated and overwhelmed with him, it only gets worse… because everything he does after is like nails down a chalkboard. I know that he can’t act amazing all the time, but when he is amazing, he’s not like a normal 4.5 year old. He’s insightful and smart and loving and calm and just plain incredible… but when the actual normal 4.5 year old comes out in him I can’t help but look on in horror as he goes bananas, screeching, yelling, trying to knock the Peanut over, being loud and needy and whiny and just… gah, so 4. I do not change as quickly as he changes either… so as soon as it happens I’m on him, yelling, telling him to calm down, calm his body, knock it off, stop acting so crazy… Um yeah, to a 4.5 year old who’s trying to emulate a whirling dervish? I’m just goading him on.

Needless to say, it’s been tense around here and I’m sad. So sad that the amazing relationship I had with my baby seems to have gone away. So sad that I’m always tired and grumpy and just so annoyed with everything, especially him. After a particularly rough morning yesterday, he and I were brushing our teeth and he said to me… “Mommy, are you annoyed?”. I was, after the usual struggle over food and teeth brushing and clothes, but what do you say to that? I told him no, and he said “Oh, because you always seem like you’re mad or annoyed Mommy. Please don’t look so mad.”

Eff.

I am totally fucking this up. I don’t know what is wrong with me lately. I’m just feeling overwhelmed and like I’m just sucking at everything. Sucking at parenting, homemaking, being a wife and a daughter. SUCKING.

Lately the only thing I haven’t sucked at is being a straight up bitch.

Obviously, things are hard where we are right now with the remodel. We are in a weird nap transition (for both kids) because the Peanut is down to one nap and the Big Kid is trying to drop his (more on that later), so when he doesn’t sleep, he’s got about 3 hours of time to do… uh… not a whole lot. At our house I’d send him outside to play, to burn off a ton of 4.5 year old energy, but here there’s not anywhere for him to go. He’s got some toys but he’s just BORED… and a little bit nutso when he gets bored.

So yesterday, in the glorious sunshine and promise of a beautiful afternoon I decided to try something new. Instead of having any downtime when they got up I immediately threw snacks at them, changed into my workout clothes and told them that we were all going outside for a run. He scooted, I ran the Peanut in the BOB and we went along like that, enjoying the sunshine and blue skies, for 3.5 miles. We stopped in the middle for some park time, but at no point did he complain of being tired. We stopped for water breaks and rode down the street, singing along to Katy Perry’s ROAR at the top of our lungs. We sang, we danced, we reveled in the glory of a beautiful spring day and getting our bodies moving.

It was like we were back again… like I was back again after months of not knowing where I was hiding. We were happy and singing and smiling and hugging, just like old times.

And yes, I know that tomorrow will bring it’s own set of challenges and more opportunities for me to eff up and be a sucky parent… but I’m trying to make it better. I’m trying to not be so grumpy and annoyed.

I’m trying to capture that feeling we had today, singing together in the sunshine.

Have you ever felt this way? How did you get out of the funk? 

Comments

  1. says

    I’ve so been there! You are not alone. Maybe go out for some one-on-one time with each of your kids. They act so much better when they’re away from their siblings. I took just one kid to the grocery store yesterday and it was like he was a different person.

    Whatever the case, know that this is something every mom–every good mom goes through.

    • ItsFitting says

      Thanks… sometimes I just feel like I’m getting SO angry, ALL the time. It just seems unsustainable… but it’s good to hear that everyone goes through this.
      Makes me feel a little less sucky :-)

      • kmomma says

        my kids are big now but I was totally there, more times than I would have ever thought. here’s my 20/20 hindsight take on this – sometimes we get frustrated at our kids because we can’t control their behavior, and sometimes we get frustrated because there’s some missing piece we haven’t been able to teach them (whatever it is for each kid can be different – whining, yelling, disobedience, not to knock down a Peanut, whatever) – so call in the troops, get the SuperNanny to help, call Focus on the Family (they send free books and will set up at least one phone counseling session for a caller), check with your doctor for parenting workshops, whatever it takes to get the information and some kind of a game plan. Consistency is key in changing and shaping behaviors, but it involves a plan. Intentional connecting is awesome, so important. Count to 10, go into another room so you don’t blow your lid, because i can tell you that it is sad to look back and wonder if your kids remember mad mom or happy mom. That said, give yourself a hug. You care about parenting. That’s half the game. That makes you more attached than many of the moms I see who can’t set their phones down or step away from a screen and then wonder why their kids behave a certain way. You can do this, it’s a marathon and you can make it!

        • says

          KMomma, thank you SO much for the pep talk… I think truly there very much is that control aspect in there, where he’s asserting his independence and I’m wondering why he doesn’t do what I tell him to anymore. (I’m sure this will be awesome at 16) I also think that we are in a hard phase, the testing phase and this kid has so much confidence in himself and his decisions that he doesn’t listen to us at all. His doctor called it “confidence without a sense of consequence”… He just thinks he’s AWESOME, which is good, but doesn’t understand that there are repercussions to choices that we make in life! That being said, he is 4.5, so I’m hoping it’s just a growth thing.
          I know that I need to be the one to change my behavior at least. I need to learn to take the step back and walk away when I start to get heated because yelling and screaming hasn’t done any good so far, so I’m wondering where it will get me in the future…
          Thanks again for the kind words and the resources. I needed to hear that I wasn’t completely losing my mind with all this!!

  2. Synnove Robinson says

    Oh yes… My oldest is the same make and model and he thinks it’s his job to give me grey hair and frown lines. I’m over it, he’s over me, and I’ve got two others who are learning to follow in his footsteps. During one of his whine-pages this morning I just cranked up the radio and started dancing in the kitchen. Everytime he started up again I spun him around and demanded he dance with his 2 yo sister and I. It worked! This time anyway… Everyone was giggling and wiggling and we were all smiles for a solid five minutes. Today was a win.

    • says

      That’s awesome! And I think that you’ve found the answer right there… because while I tend to get angrier and angrier… he usually could care less about what’s going on from one hour to the next. He’s a kid after all. He does not hold on to the anger.
      So I guess it’s ME who needs to break out of the crappy mood and start dancing more, or at least telling myself to GET OVER IT, or take a quick break from the situation to get my head back together and calm the heck down… because I would rather have giggling and dancing!

  3. Kathy at kissing the frog says

    Oh my gosh, I have been there so many more times than I care to admit – the screaming and yelling. Motherhood can be overwhelming. It’s not a picture perfect postcard or a happy Fisher Price moment or even a three second status update. It’s so much more involved. But the fact that you went looking for a moment to be happy enjoy – THAT is what makes you a great mom. Don’t measure yourself by your hard times. Measure yourself by the times you’ve tried hard. xoxo

  4. says

    Yes, I could have totally written this myself. I have days where my 5 year old and I are in the same place as you and your son, but I also have a naughty/defiant 20 month old who pushes me further over the edge than his big brother. But guess who I take it out on?! I am so mad at myself for my behavior most days, even though I get up every day saying, “today is going to be different”. All we can do is try and try and try to do better. I have definitely found that getting out of the house is always a good solution. Running, playing, yelling… all the things they want to do are okay outside, and we don’t have to police it all. Thanks for sharing your feelings, you are not alone. Take care of yourself though, make sure you are getting enough time AWAY from the action. xo

    • says

      Ugh, this is nuts. Isn’t is the worst when you start off the day so hopeful that it’s going to be better and you dissolve into the exact same pattern when they push you to the breaking point? And I get the taking it out on the Big… the Little is just starting to be difficult, but she also knows how to get him into trouble… this girl is gonna be NUTS.
      I’m trying to make sure to get away from it all… having our house back will definitely help! We should get the kidlets together halfway some day in the city… maybe a trip to the zoo! They can act like monkeys together.

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