Sometimes when life gets particularly crazy and overwhelming, the only thing to do is write it out. For me, at least, writing it all out makes me have to think about everything more objectively, to process it all, and to find ways to simplify it — and that, in turn, gets me in the frame of mind to do something about it. So let’s give it a shot.
My sweet, independent, easy child is not so easy anymore. On a positive note, she’s finally potty trained! She started accepting the potty the Monday before school started. And, while she still has the occasional accident, she’s doing pretty well — even overnight! So that’s good news.
In the not-so-good news, however, is her increased brattiness. She’s more prone to tantrums these days, especially if someone does something she doesn’t like. And her tantrums can involve whining, arguing, yelling, and even pushing and/or hitting. I’m sure a lot of it is her age. She’s testing her limits, asserting her will, and in general making sure everyone knows she’s not happy. But it can be very difficult to deal with, especially with everything else on my plate! And her teacher has already commented on it, asking if I had anything that worked at home to help. *sigh*
Emily’s behavior seems mild compared to Avery’s. With Avery, I have to deal with defiance, lack of respect, constant arguing and/or whining and complaining, bossiness, bad attitude, and the occasional impulse that negatively affects others. And it’s affecting school. I have already gotten multiple calls and reports home about his behavior. Thus far nothing seems to be working.
We’ve been seeing a family counselor, and she believes that we need to put into place a positive reinforcement system in an attempt to encourage him to behave better. She’s also pushing me to request a PPT through his school — a meeting with staff members at his school to get him formally evaluated and to discuss challenges and how to address concerns. I will be stopping in to his school one day this week to meet with the behavior specialist and sit in on his classroom, and I’m hoping to discuss setting up a PPT at that time.
I’m hoping those steps will help, but honestly to me it feels like there’s something else going on. I don’t know if he just truly doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks or wants, or if he is intentionally (even if it’s subconsciously) defying everyone. Either way I wish I knew how to address it. I’ve taken a pile of books out from the library, but finding the time and energy to read them will be a challenge.
I did notice Saturday that there were two occasions when moving away from a busy, action-packed environment to a more subdued, calm environment led to him acting better. I don’t know if it was coincidence or if there’s something there. At this point I have so many theories and thoughts running through my brain it’s hard to determine what’s connected and what’s just me grasping at straws!
All of the drama involving the kids has made me feel like a bad mom lately. I feel like I’m turning into the kind of mom I don’t want to be: one who yells all the time, is constantly worn out and frustrated, and wants to be far, far away from her kids. I love my kids; I truly do. But most of the time lately I just want to be alone. And I hate feeling like that.
I’m sure part of it is my just being tired and overwhelmed in other areas of my life, too. I feel like I don’t have much of a handle on anything these days. And that is not like me! I like having a plan, a routine, a course of action that I actually follow through with. But lately I feel like I’m just floating along, doing the bare minimum to get by on a day-to-day basis. I have no motivation to do much of anything. My energy and desire to tackle my to do list have gone down the toilet. Is it because of the kids? Is it because of the condition of my house? Is it because with school starting (and Emily starting school) my daily schedule is all topsy turvy? Is it just because I need a vacation from it all? I don’t know. Probably all of the above. And it sucks big time.
As I’ve done in the past, I’m trying to take a deep breath and figure out a game plan. I’m trying to make new routines and habits, to come up with a schedule that will work. I’ve got a POD sitting in my driveway, ready to fill with boxes and miscellaneous stuff from my house as I attempt to tackle the clutter. I’ve got that pile of parenting books ready to read. I’ve got ideas and projects and activities that I want to try. But it all seems so much harder this time around. I just feel so tired.
I’m trying to draw on resources that have worked in the past: planning things out, listening to motivational audiobooks, pushing myself. I’m probably going to go back and re-read a bunch of A Life You Want posts — that sometimes works, too. But it feels different this time; probably because I’m at such a loss over what to do with Avery. I feel helpless and hopeless.
But I’m not giving up. I refuse to give up.
Avery and I are going to be putting together a positive behavior chart tonight. And the kids and I are going to work on clearing out boxes and clutter this afternoon. Maybe seeing some progress in the house will make me feel a little better overall. It’s worth a shot anyway.
I need to get myself out of this funk. But for that to truly happen, something needs to go well. Let’s hope this week is better than the last. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!