Today was really hard. I had three separate children, all under 6, throwing tantrums about how they didn’t want to wear their bathing suits for water day at school. I mean – it’s water day – how fun is that?
As I lightly disciplined my children for their behaviors, I sat back in the recliner wondering if this is who I want to be. Am I the mom that disciplines their children via timeouts? Do I spank them? Do I let them get away with it? Who actually knows?
I have done a lot of research in the past about gentle parenting and have read a lot on the dos and don’ts of discipline.
But with three separate personalities, they all require different discipline styles and it is so hard to stay consistent. What am I doing and is it effective?
When I became pregnant with my twins, all I really thought about was their sleep, feedings, and if I were going to breastfeed them or not. I didn’t think about how I would deal with the outbursts and tantrums they would through during toddlerhood or now, in kindergarten. When do tantrums end, actually – at death? It’s a joke – I have to laugh or otherwise I will lose my mind.
I struggle with my identity as a parent.
So much of my childhood was shaped by the way my own parents parented me, which puts a lot of pressure on me now as a parent. Not to mention, I shy away from discomfort in my adult life, so any little tantrum or child being upset makes me very uncomfortable. Why can’t we all just be happy, all the time?
Of course, that isn’t realistic. I think about myself and though I don’t throw toddler-style tantrums, I do have moments where I am unhappy that something didn’t go my way. I am not expected to be happy all the time so why do I expect my own children to be happy all the time?
Overall, I am a good mom because I am thinking about this at all. And so, on days like today, when I really doubt myself, I try to remember I am doing the best I can. And that is all that matters.