Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Not good enough...

Do you ever feel like no matter what you do or how you do it, just isn't good enough? Today is one of those days. I try to be a hands on, fun mom and sometimes I just feel like that isn't good enough, like my kids want more and more....and more. This whole parenting thing sure does wax and wane. One week the kids are remarkable and then next...not so much. I don't expect a lot out of our girls, I really don't.

Today, I woke up and the girls did really great. Good listening all around. I thought today we were starting anew. They had made a mess in their playroom, but that's okay, they were having fun! Then, we met friends at Fort Williams where they have a playground. The kids played for 1.5 hours. They seemed to have had a blast. When we came home, I made lunch and I asked them to pick up their toys before they ate. It is one of their "jobs" on their chart - they have to pick up toys before or after lunch and again after dinner. Do you think they did it? Nope. I asked them again. And again. And again. After three times, they lose their star for that job. Mairead was being fresh, spitting and plain old inappropriate behavior. I gave them lunch and one more chance to pick up. Nope. So, Mairead lost all but one of her toys for rest. She protested and protested hard, but she has to realize that if she can't pick up her toys, she can't go on to make a mess out of the toys in my bedroom (she rests in there because Clara naps in her room). Am I being unreasonable with this?

I feel like I do so much for our girls during the day. I don't mean things like make them breakfast or clean up or things like that, but fun things. I make sure we're with friends, head to the beach (several times per week), park visits, shopping, etc. I am constantly pushing things aside [chores, housework, projects, etc] because I want our girls to have fun and not be bored. They are only little once...

Then today, and what seems like every day this week, the girls just can't listen. Can't take care of their toys. I'm frustrated. I know I have to continue being consistent with them, but I feel like a broken record. I have a bag full of goodies they picked out the other day at Target for when they get a day with all stars (meaning completed their tasks without problem). They will get M&Ms for every star on their chart. I know I have to stick with it, today is just the third day of this, but I am doubting myself. I hate when I doubt myself. I don't like to yell at them, and lately, I feel like I've been yelling too much. I even downloaded a "bell" application on my iphone to get their attention because I thought it would go better.

(See the jobs on the left. Stars = completed without problem. Circles = had to ask more than 3 times and no M&M given for task. X = did not do. For every star = M&M and all stars they'd get to pick out prize in bag) 

I know they understand the concept because they do so well with bringing their plates to the sink and their trash into the trash can, hanging their bath towels, putting their clothes in the hamper and shoes in the basket. They do all of that and do it well, but, when it comes to cleaning their toys, they just don't care. We have toys in the garage we have taken away. So, what do we do, take away more? Take them all away?

Seriously! This has been a tough week with the girls. I don't know what more to take away from them. Tonight, we're supposed to head out to dinner with friends from Kevin's work, but honestly, they don't deserve it - but what do you do? Keep loving them and maintain consistency. I know that is key. They'll get there.......and in the meantime, I'll have a few beers tonight at dinner! That should help :)


  1. I just want to encourage you by saying this is a season. I was really struggling with this when Chiara was 3.5 yr and Mayah 1.5 to 2.5 yr. I rarely have a hard time now. We do "basket cleaning" when things have gotten out of hand-mostly due to the tornado named Leah! Today though they had to do a hardcore cleaning in the toy room so I could vacuum. No complaints or problems. This is new though. Mayah still struggles here and there, but nothing like what it used to be. You are right....consistent. If you say something mean it. If you have consequences follow through...even when that means you may miss out. Those times have spoken volumes to both the girls. Just will get them where they need to be and Clara will come to that age....the tornado age!!! :)

  2. This description could have occurred in our house as well. I think that it has to do with a combination of their ages and their intelligence in figuring out just how much they can possibly get away with. I totally think that you are on the right track with staying as consistent as well as enjoying a beverage with dinner.

  3. Thanks, ladies! I know it's just a season and we'll get through it. Trisha, you are so right in saying they are just trying to see what they can get away with....I tend to be a bit of a hard ass, so I question I being too rough? Asking too much? I know I probably am not - Mairead has also entered the "negotiation" stage, so, she's always trying to see what she can negotiate with and what she can't.

    I am so ready for the girls to clean up better...they definitely have the potential - i've seen them do it!!!

    The beverage helped......a lot. :)

  4. The phrase 'negotiation' made me laugh because Jack is SUCH A NEGOTIATOR....about everything. And I find myself going back and forth with him...and then at night when I think about it...I think, wait, I am in charge. And he is only 5! I can't wait for the future. :-)


Have a COMMENT or QUESTION? Leave one here!