Life is busy. Between all the duties that come along with being a wife and a mom, as well as my responsibilities outside of the home, I'm just exhausted at the end of the day. And truth be told, being a mother these days has not been fun, so I really haven't wanted to write about it.
Benjamin is hard. Really hard. As in, I usually cry at least a few times a week, if not daily, from sheer frustration with him. You've heard of the term "strong willed child?" Ben could be the poster child for that book. The two of us are so much alike. We both fight for control and power and we do it poorly, in the form of threats, screams, and hands thrown up in exasperation. On one particular night, the defiance from Benjamin was so bad that I recorded it on my phone so I could play it for Nathan later. He has torn apart his room, knocked over furniture, screamed in my ear, glared at me with the fiercest determination a four year could muster, and slammed his door so loud that the walls shook. I have said things I never thought in a million years I would say to my own child, and thought even worst things. I've had to literally clench my hands into fists by my side to prevent myself from striking out at him. I never knew it was possible to love your child beyond comprehension, but dislike him so much you can't even look at him at times.
I am ashamed. It wasn't supposed to be like this. I was going to have the best behaved children and for the few times they did get out of hand, I'd handle it like the pro everyone (including myself) expected me to be. But I don't have the best behaved children. Not even close. And I honestly don't know where we went wrong. He was such a good baby...the happiest one around! Then he turned three and it all went downhill from there. Now we have an almost five year old that I am scared to take out into public for fear of one of his "meltdowns." I actually cringe before I tell him "No," out of fear of what he will do when he hears it. Not that it stops me from actually saying the word. I can at least say with some amount of pride that I do hold my ground and make decisions based on what I think is right, not on what my child will or won't do as a result of that decision. Perhaps that is why I am so confused as to how we got here. Benjamin is very intelligent...how does he not understand by now that screaming and throwing a fit never gets him what he wants? As in never ever! Perhaps he is just that stubborn, that he figures he can break me some day if he just keeps at it? If that's the case, Lord help me.
I am not the parent I thought I would be. I used to strive for perfection. Now I understand that isn't realistic. Right now I would settle for "good," or even just "okay." Why oh why can't I control my temper and my words when Benjamin loses control? How in the world can I expect him to remain calm and poised when he doesn't get his way when I can't even do that myself?
Can anyone else relate? Anyone? Please tell me I'm not alone here!
I've rambled here. I want to write more...like about all the good and sweet things my precious first born son does (like greet his little brother every morning with a hug and kiss), but I'm weary. It's been so long since I've written, even just a few paragraphs have taxed me, especially on a subject as vulnerable as this. Next post will be all the positive things. Promise.