Sunday, November 13, 2011


I've been practicing gratitude more lately, spurred on by Facebook friends and the season of Thanksgiving. And I truly AM grateful almost all of the time. There is so much to be thankful for.

But...I also realize that most of my blog and my "public image" (like MauldenNews) is highly self-selected to highlight the good stuff and gloss over the ugly realities. And so this post is an attempt to balance it out.

Please understand that I'm not out to vent or rant or complain, either. I'm just stating the facts for the record. I'm hoping this doesn't come off as whining. If nothing else, then when I'm 90 and demented and reading back through this blog to remember what my life used to be, I'll get a fuller picture.

OK, here goes. The uglies:

1. Our kids have both been in trouble this month for poor behavioral control - specifically hitting, clawing, and biting. Sam especially has been aggressive in preschool, to a worrisome degree.  He clawed 2 kids in the face at McDonald's and made 4 of his classmates cry and got sent to the principal's office.  Now I am the mother of the class bully. Today we had another long, protracted tantrum from Alle - uncontrolled rage, screaming, crumpling up her schoolwork. These are getting less frequent, but now Sam is starting to give us a lot more attitude.  Last week I put him in time out and he took off his clothes and pooped on the rug.

Our efforts at discipline seem only partly effective. I don't know how much of this behavior is attributable to our lack of parenting skills, but it's hard to feel there's not at least some correlation. It's stressful. I am worried they won't have friends. I never realized before how much of kids' behavior is deeply internalized by the parent. Even if others promise that they don't feel your kids' bad behavior reflects poorly on you - you feel it does.

While I'm being honest here, I must say that being on anti-anxiety medication has helped me a LOT! :-)

2.  Our house is kind of a mess most of the time. I don't care about this as much as I used to. I'm not really worried about it, but thought I would just put it out there.

3.  Bryan and I argue about plenty of things - these are pretty standard, from what I know, but we are not exempt. Parenting, household chores, TV/computer time, and money are some of our favorite subjects of contention. We aren't very consistent about making time for just the two of us. We used to argue less. Maybe we are getting more opinionated and stubborn with age...uh oh.

4.  I've been eating cake, cookies, chocolate, and too much Halloween candy recently. I tend to wait until the kids are in bed so they won't see me and demand that I share.

5. I've had to wear my glasses for the past 6 weeks (due to a very bad contact lens prescription and bad fitting by someone who made mistakes and didn't know how to fit them - long story, going on for almost a year). I still feel ugly and yucky in glasses. I have to fight the urge to withdraw from society.

6. I've had things on my to-do list for a year and I just don't feel like doing them, so I don't. I never used to do this (procrastinate)...what's happening to me??

7. Sometimes I dress like a real frump.


volscats said...

Sweet Sarah, thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. It's hard to do that. Praying for your kids and your family. Know you are not alone. I hope the blog was freeing for you to write.

Kim said...

1. I love that sometimes you dress like a frump.

2. I love that you agonize over parenting well.

3. I love that you eat cake and cookies and Halloween candy ... and run marathons.

4. I love that you're grateful in the midst of the "real."

5. Miss you. Wish we could catch up over a cup of coffee and stolen Halloween candy. :)

Sarah said...

Loved this post...especially the part about not wanting to share candy with the kids. Thank you for posting about realities. They are just as important to read about. Keep up the good work, Sarah. You inspire me.