It has been a tough few days for me. I am feeling so overwhelmed, anxious, lonely and sad. I am angry and don't know how to direct my anger. I know that my little hiatus from my in-laws and NM is shortly coming to an end. I don't feel strong enough to deal with them. I really just want to sleep, and stare at the sunset with a glass of wine, and hide away.
But I can't, because I'm a mom. It's been a rough couple days with my kiddos too. They've been sick, not slept well, and have been cranky. My youngest is teething. My oldest is testing all my limits at an attempt at independence. All of these things would be difficult for the most healthy of parents.
But as an ACON, I struggle with parenting. I struggle to find that balance. I don't even really know what 'good parenting' looks like. Where to draw the boundaries between myself and my kids. I have good 'parenting strategies'. I've read lots of books. I've been a teacher. But on the days that I'm just at my limit, I struggle. I struggle with the choices I make (or don't make). I struggle with the line between being an involved parent and protecting them too much. I struggle with finding the time for myself and not feeling like I'm abandoning them and making it all about me. My 3 year old is really struggling with respect. He has been pushing every button: name calling, spitting, hitting, tantrums, defiance. I struggle to teach him respect for me and for our home. How do I do this without demanding it "because I'm his mom"? Even explaining the concept of respect is hard. I don't want him to do things because I tell him to...but sometimes (like not running in the parking lot) he does need to follow my instructions immediately. He's really been pushing and doing things that are dangerous. And in the moment, it's hard to not just yell "because I said so" when I'm terrified for him (or the cat, or his brother). I want him to respect me as the parent in this home, but I don't want to crush his spirit and be some dictator. But I do need to be in charge. It's all just so confusing and gut wrenching and tear producing. It's all so extremely difficult.