Today was one of those days when at the end of it you just doubt everything you did and your ability to parent and just pray that you are doing things right...and then your toddler tells you that you were "mean" and you feel like poop.
Here is how I earned the mean mommy award today...
I made Peyton go to school. She loves her school and has fun once she is there but EVERY SINGLE DAY she wakes up, tells me she is not going to school, fights me to get dressed, eat, putting her shoes on and complains the whole way there. She gets out of the car, whines walking to the door and as soon as the door opens hides behind my legs and starts to cling on for dear life. I start talking to her about what fun she will have, what do you want to do after school and eventually the teacher pries her off of me kicking and screaming and I leave. EVERY SINGLE DAY! The only day she ever walked into school with no crying and fits was the day she randomly woke up and said she wanted to go to school...she went because it was her idea.
Then tonight we had ballet. Peyton loves ballet. Loves her outfit, loves her friends and loves class. BUT EVERY SINGLE TIME she tells me how she doesn't want to go and how she wants to do ballet at home with mommy and only after I tell her we need to get ready for ballet. Since we have just started she has only done one class where I left the room like the mom's are supposed to. The teacher doesn't want parents in the class as it is distracting. The time that I did leave she was fine (for some random reason) but today...it was not good. She started whiny, crying, holding onto me. I tried to tell her how much fun she was going to have, bring her over to her friend, distract her and finally I just started counting and told her if we got to three then she was going home. We got to three. I took her out of the room and she flipped out. We talked, and I told her she could try again but no crying and she had to walk into ballet. We go to the door and she flipped out. That was one. We did it two more times and on three I just carried her screaming to the car. We came home, I told her to immediately get out her ballet clothes since she loves them so much and once she calmed down I explained why we left and what was the appropriate response for next time and how we will not participate in ballet if she can't follow the rules and let me leave. We hugged it out and then tonight she told me that she thought I was mean for taking her away from ballet. We talked it out again and she told me we were friends again. And then I left her room and just wanted to cry.
These two situations combined with the daily battles of eating lunch at the table, brushing your teeth, being nice to Graham and just battle of the wills on EVERYTHING...just make you want to cry. Why is it so hard with her? Why couldn't she just go in and sit in the square and be still and quiet like so many of the other girls at ballet? Why is every day non stop discipline and always getting to two or constant time outs? Why is she so DETERMINED, so INSISTENT on her way, and so INDEPENDENT....
And then I remembered a blog post that I read the other day on Kelly's Korner on how her oldest is also strong willed, opinionated and how as much as we both see our kids as tremendous blessings and sweet girls BUT they are challenging and daily make you hope and pray that we raise them to love God and others. Kelly linked to a post she read by Lysa TerKeurst called, "I Don't Want to Raise a Good Kid," and it was exactly what I needed to read that day, today and tomorrow and then in six months from now. I encourage any moms to read it and especially those moms who like me have spirited children that daily challenge you and your parenting.
So tonight like many nights...I am praying for God to HELP ME raise Peyton. I pray that I give her the right balance of firmness and grace to grow into an adult that loves God, serves Him, follows Him and is used in extra ordinary ways for His Glory!