All or nothing parenting

So I haven’t blogged in a while. I was thinking of stopping all together.  I’ve been struggling with the girl’s behavior, struggling with getting Arianna to sleep. It has been a nightmare- I don’t know what is going on with her lately. I lay with her for an hour, we read stories, tell stories, and when it’s time for bed, she screams and has the most horrific tantrums.

She wants the light on now, the big light, not the nightlight.  Last night, she was angry that I switched the big light off.  I went downstairs, closed the door and tried to ignore the screaming and kicking on the door.  Then I heard a crash.  She threw the nightlight and the glass bulb shattered all about.  The tantrums have been getting worse and worse lately and my oldest is getting sassier and more and more defiant.

I am home alone for most of the day, have a husband who works late, and lately this blog is one more headache.  So I was just going to stop.  I don’t have much too write about, how many times do my readers want to hear about the girls’ temper tantrums and trips to Target.   

Yesterday, I was almost out the door at CVS without a bruise, and then Ari spotted these rubber ducks that she wanted at the counter…

The store checkout is the most stressful place for me, it’s all smiles and fun,  walking through the store… and then we arrive at the counter…I hold my breath, feel my shoulders tense up.  ‘Can we just pay? Can we just pay? Hurry up slow salesclerk!’ I think to myself.

Too late – the shiny wrappers of every kind of treat imaginable beckon my girls to touch and beg for treats…yesterday it was ducks- after calmly trying to rationalize with Ari to put the ducks back, we had a meltdown on the floor, and I had to pick up a thrashing Arianna, my bags, and get out of there, and then for some reason, Gia refused to walk out the door of CVS.

No idea why and I still don’t know. I left her there.  This random lady walked her to my car (How embarrassing!) Also super fun trying to get them back in the car and buckled.  I had to use my entire body to force crazy Ari into her car seat and try to buckle her.

I finally got them in, breathed a sigh of relief, and realized a man was patiently watching and waiting for me so he could get into his car.  He’s like, “it’s ok, I have three boys at home,” but that didn’t make it any better.

The girls are a handful and a half, so I concluded that I simply have no time to write and I’ll just keep my life to myself. But, in the past week, a few people said to me, I miss the posts, and I liked reading because I don’t feel so alone, and today, my friend brought me a cantaloupe for our playdate! She read the post about me trying to get better about the sweets- that meant so much to me.    

I kept wondering, what is the real reason I want to stop?  Perhaps I had been writing too much, thinking too much about this blog, reading other mom blogs and not giving my girls the attention that they need. That, and the fact that I am burned out and drop dead exhausted after battling to get them to bed.

I know in my heart that the bed thing is just another stage and “this too shall pass.” So what was the problem?  I was just being Jill- typical Jill, all or nothing Jill, I’ve always been this way, as long as I can remember, if I didn’t get 100 on a test, I was pissed. If I couldn’t figure out a math problem, I remember stressing for hours in my bedroom instead of just closing the book and asking the teacher the next day. Those are like the smallest examples of my all or nothing-ness. I could write a novel about my crazy head.

I am obsessive and I was going to do it again with parenting.  I was going to shut down the blog and give the girls all my attention, and be “better” and only focus on them.  As much as that sounds like a good mom thing to do, I realized today that a mom needs more than just their children.  A friend came over this morning, my house was a disaster, I hadn’t brushed my teeth, Arianna just peed on the potty so she was naked, I had no make-up on, and hadn’t even brushed my hair (did take a shower though!) I had nothing baked and the bathroom was probably dirty….my friend and her girls came in. The girls played, and I talked and talked to an adult. It was great.  It made me realize that being “a better mom” and only focusing on the kids is not a good solution.  That was just all or nothing parenting.

That’s it for now, I have much more to write on this all or nothing disease later and the amazing power of friends.

4 thoughts on “All or nothing parenting

  1. I’ve so been there at the check out counter. The fits and screams and all the other parents eyes looking at me. The physical struggle to get your kids back in their seats. The occasional, yet embarrassing, help of kind strangers. I am past that part of parenting, but your post reminded me of the years I spent with tense shoulders and a look of embarrassment. I’m sorry! I have so been there.

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  2. “All or nothing” is a great way to describe it. I’m obsessive and a perfectionist. I don’t say that lightly. I literally am treated for OCD and I know exactly what you mean about shutting all areas down and putting 150% focus into a task. I’ve done it with my 1 year old’s sleep issues (including tracking and graphing sleep patterns), my 4 year old’s behavior issues, my 9 year old’s homework issues. I’m happy to hear you had a friend who came at the right time and shook things up so they could fall into better position. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading. I also considered shutting it down by the way … your post has made me re-think that.

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    1. Jill

      Hi, glad to know there are other obsessives out there. It really is a crippling problem and I am certainly taking steps to “take on more” while trying to just go to bed feeling incomplete or undecided.

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