This is a pretty sensitive topic in my household lately. My husband recently took a new job which requires a lot of travel. So naturally, the kids spend even more time with me! Sometimes I feel like the luckiest person on the planet to curl up on the couch with my kids at the end of the day. Other days, I feel the stress of what a single mom must feel like with no relief in sight.
Days with a 5-year-old and 2-year-old aren’t complicated, but they are busy and stressful.
And after a long day of asking and re-asking the kids to or put away their shoes. Then there are time-outs, resulting from one hitting the other. There’s yelling because they won’t come inside for dinner. Sometimes, there is threatening, bribing, or other things that don’t put me in the running for parent of the year.
But whether you’re a single mom, or just a parent home alone a lot, you can feel lonely. You might even feel that your kids tune you out. And what it leads to is frustration.
And then what puts even more sting in your wound— walks through the door. I'm at my wits' end, and the kids go running, hugging and so happy to see him. Don’t get me wrong, I’m right behind them, grateful he’s home safe, but more importantly to give me an extra set of hands.
But because my husband travels, it’s up to me to deal with the meltdowns and misbehavior, and they’ll probably nickname me “Mean Mommy” sooner than later, as I’m the one who does the time-outs, cajoles them to eat their dinner or takes away their Nintendo. But I’m also the one who kisses the boo-boos, sings songs, does art projects and reads books when I tuck their exhausted bodies into bed at night.
So why is it that if Daddy asks the kids to get their shoes on so we can head out to dinner—BOOM, like magic, shoes are one and they are buckled in their car seats. Why are his words so much more effective? Why do the kids forget I’m also the one that takes them on daily fun excursions to the pool, library, movies, miniature golfing? Why do they tune me out?
Hmm, maybe I need a business trip!
It’s consistency. It’s not that they don’t love me or don’t hear me, but they see me constantly. So naturally, I’m the relentless, nagging . Parenting is a tough job, especially if you find yourself in control most of the time.
Maybe I need to just lighten up a little. So what if we’re 10 minutes late? Who cares if my play room looks like a landmine? Kids are kids, childhood should fun. Sure they need to eat their vegetables, but perhaps if I use my authority more strategically, it will be more meaningful.
Who is the disciplinarian in your house? Mom or Dad? Or are you lucky enough to have more of a partnership? Tell us in the comments.