Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Discipline Is Hard

Today has been a hard day. It started too early. A wailing child at 5:40 who protested going back to bed. I wouldn't allow him to get out of bed, so he decided to wake everyone else up with his yelling (tantrum). What was I supposed to do? Allow him to "win" and let him get up way too early just to keep him quiet? I still am unsure. The boys share a room, so playing quietly in his room was not really an option.

For the next 3 hours before we left for preschool, I truly believe one of the three was whining or crying at almost every moment. Grouchiness permeated our home. At one point, R looked at me and said, "You are not being a very nice Mommy today." He was right. I tried a Tivo break with their favorite shows. We had a morning huddle. I apologized. They apologized. We prayed. It was to no avail.

As we were eating breakfast P said, "Stop bodderin' me, R. I am so angwy. It makes me go ARGHHH!" Then he looked at me and pointed and said, "Dat's what you do Mommy."

Seriously! I know it was a bad morning...but being called out repeatedly by your 3 year olds is painful.

I sent them off to preschool with a note to their teacher 'warning' her and telling her I was praying for her. As I picked them up this afternoon there was a LONG return note about the behavior of one of my boys. Seems he laid on top of his screaming brother and would not get up resulting in time out. Later on the playground he whacked his sister in the head because she was in his way. This is all after a talk Ms. Jennifer had with us yesterday about having friendly hands at school.

I knew from the letter he had been 'dealt with' at school, but felt I needed to address it as well. As I talked with him about it and discussed potential at home consequences he replied, "But I said I am sorry." He did and he was. Is that enough?

I gave them a snack when we got home and we played with some new sewing cards to settle down for naps. They have now been in their rooms for just over an hour and no one is asleep. They NEED this nap. I need this nap. Today is a day when I would honestly rather hide behind my laptop curled up in my comfy chair rather than deal with 3 year old attitude...but it is not an option.

I have responsibility. I must shoulder it with love and patience. Some days there is no choice but to embrace your reality, pray for strength and endurance and power through--or in the case of how I feel today, trudge. Today I am tired and there are still 5 hours until bedtime.

I am aware there are much bigger problems in the world, but this is my reality today. I am feeling a bit defeated.

16 comments:

davec777 said...

I will be praying for you. It is so hard being a mommy some days and it sounds like today is one of your down days. Take the kids to a McDonalds playland for dinner (always get the food thru the drive-thru first and then go in LOL). This got us through some hard times when our kids were little.... Hugs!

Jessica said...

Girl! I honestly don't know how you do it with three b/c I am about to lose it with 2 and the youngest isn't even talking yet!

It's so hard to know what is the right way to discipline! I have been struggling with this a lot lately, too, b/c I don't want my oldest to win the battles, but I don't want to crush her little spirit, either!

I have really just been praying for patience more than anything b/c when I get frustrated, she senses it and gets frustrated, too.

I hope your little ones nap for you today and that you get a little time for yourself.

You are a great Mama! Even though I don't know you, I can see through your writing that you are striving to be the Mama that God wants you to be. You are a daily encouragement to me and so many others and I really appreciate you sharing your struggles.

I will be saying a prayer for you today that God will lift your spirits (and calm your kiddos!)

Renee said...

When I taught school, we always knew the weather was changing by the changes in our kids. I still see it at home, and the weather is changing a little bit over here. It's supposed to rain tonite, and I'm counting that as major change. Today, it's been more my attitude than the boys. Stuff is going on, and I try to not let it show through, but sometimes it is hard. So, we played outside this morning (sunshine always does us good), and the 4 younger ones and myself took a nap this afternoon. And that did me some good. I hope you get your quiet time and can feel a little refreshed later.

Julie said...

I am praying for you this afternoon! You could have been describing my day on Monday. I am not sure how I found your blog anymore, but you are an encouragement to me. As a stay at home mom of two boys, ages five and two, the days are often challenging. My boys also enjoy waking up before six which makes for a VERY long day for everybody. It's encouraging to know that I am not the only mother struggling with patience and discipline issues. Hang in there-bedtime will be here eventually! These are the days where really the only thing that works for me (besides lots of prayer)is a white chocolate mocha from starbucks and an hour at target, WITHOUT children. Praying God will give you strength as you trudge...

HW said...

Oh, how long the days could be when the children were out of sorts. I remember. Something that worked for us when our son was about 3 and continued getting up too early: we finally decided to let him sit in the living room with one of us, with the lights out and no tv or toys. We just sat in separate chairs in silence. He actually started dozing off and we'd ask him if he was ready to go back to bed. After a couple of times of this, he stayed in his bed.
Discipline issues are so difficult sometimes.
You really are do a great job.

Danielle said...

Really, your posts are so in sync with life at our house it is scary! 3.5 year old triplets are kicking my butt. It seems my boys have been waking with the grumpies for days now. I am not a good mommy when everyone is out of sorts...it is so hard not to get sucked into the mood around me and regain any perspective on the day ahead. We (the boys and I) talk about our days before bed and I find I am apologizing for my behavior more and more - not how I planned this mommy thing to go! Thankfully, we begin each day with a clean slate (so far they do not seem to hold my previous days behavior against me). Praise God for that! I saw a book the other day that looked very interesting (pertaining to discipline) called "How Would Jesus Raise My Child". I think I'm going to give it a read...
I wish you grace and patience as you make your way through the rest of this day. And a beautiful new day tomorrow!

Jenny said...

I have always thought that three was a really hard age. I know what it's like to have a hard day with a three year old, but I'm sure having a hard day with three of them is quite different. I hope that the day improves and that tomorrow is much better! Hang in there!

Orderly Chaos said...

I just found your blog, and had to let you know, I can truly relate to days like this. My triplets will be 3 in January, and it has been one of those down weeks for us. Some days it's so hard being a Mom, and I just pray that tomorrow will be better. And I must say, it usually is!

joan said...

I think all moms feel defeated sometimes or maybe overwhelmed. I can certainly see how you would feel like that with three of them. I'll say a prayer for you.

Mandy said...

I am smiling because I can so relate to what you are going through with triplets. Mine are constantly bickering with each other or with their big brother it seems and I find myself really getting impatient with them lots more than I want to. And the preschool thing is another issue too. I think my triplets just need a break from one another sometimes and I imagine they get tired of each other and being together constantly. I think all of this togetherness results in lots of aggravation with each other. I will pray for you if you will pray for me.

Mandy
GA
www.madelinegracehopkins.blogspot.com

Room for Grace said...

I had to laugh when I read that you said it's "5 hours until bedtime". I know it's a tough day when I'm counting the hours until bedtime! The other day I started counting and realized it was 3 hours until bedtime, and I just knew there was NO way I could make it!
But of course I did, and the mood of the house turned for the better without me even really noticing. You are so right, sometimes all you can do is pray for strength and trudge on through.
Thanks for this post, it does help to know others go through days like this as well.

life with the wisners said...

hey, i know i leave the same comment every time.

thank you for your honesty. sometimes it feels good to just be real and say that motherhood is TOUGH work.

and motherhood combined with really and truly trying to teach them about jesus is downright exhausting.

press on, sister. press on.

Angela said...

I know where you are coming from. My triplets are a few months younger than yours. I struggle daily with all of the things you mentioned in your post. You are not alone. :)

Christi said...

Bless your heart! Praying that today is better!

Jan said...

Now that my boys are in elementary school I feel qualified to tell you that you are in the midst of the hardest and sweetest and most frustrating and most tiring days of your life - but as long as the days seem right now, you won't be there forever. I don't mean that as any sort of guilt trip, but just an encouragement that it WILL get better. And, if you can just steel yourself and stay strong for just a little bit longer, your discipline will pay off.

My 6-year-old still gets up at 5:00, but now he makes his own breakfast and gets himself ready for school! Someday you really will find that an early bird can be a blessing!

I remember hearing that discipline can be like a credit card. If you put of paying it right away, it will cost a lot more later. I have found that to be so true. The areas where I remained strong on discipline have paid off, and the areas where I was weak are killing me now! So stay strong.

And, just one more thing...with God being truly sorry and saying so is good. Very good. But He doesn't let us escape the consequences here on earth. I figure that's a pretty good example to follow. (Of course, finding the proper consequence is a tricky matter!)

Alison said...

praying....