Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Flawed Thinking.

I am not the perfect parent. I try my hardest, but of course fall short... a lot. Lately, my "downfalls" have been caused by comparison and false expectations. Yes, it could be a lot worse, but this is the root cause of a lot of my frustration with the kiddos and it's my own dang fault.

You see, when you have three kids under the age of three, it is VERY EASY to forget where they should be at: physically, emotionally, mentally, etc... And it tends to be VERY EASY to compare one child to another. I'm sure this happens with parents whose children are more spread out in years, but I think the closer in age, the easier it tends to be...

Example One:

Addi (almost 3yrs old) can use her words very well and for the most part, articulate why she is upset. Jae (almost 2yrs old) tries to use words, but doesn't have the vocabulary like her sister. Here is where I get to be the bad parent and repent to my daughter... a lot. "Jaelyn, you need to calm down, stop crying and use your words please." (More crying). "Jaelyn Liv, I can't help you if you don't tell me what's wrong." (More crying. More frustration on my end). "Jaelyn. Stop crying. Obey the first time." (Both of us pretty frustrated now). Then it happens... I get convicted and have to repent to my daughter because it clicks in my head- she is not even two, but I have the same expectations of her as I do for her three-year-old sister. If you have kids, you know there is a WORLD of difference and ability between a two-year-old and a three-year-old. Yep. Another Parent Of The Year Trophy for me (That was dripping with sarcasm if you couldn't tell).

Example Two:

My girls were crazy good babies. I never had to get up more than once a night with either of them since they were born. Addi started sleeping through the night at 10 weeks, Jae at 13 weeks. When I mean sleeping through the night, I'm talking sleeping from 8pm-8am... at least! So, when my joyful little man Cobi arrives, I have this expectation that he'll be a good sleeper as well... Nope. He is four months old and I still have to get up with him at least once a night; two on a "bad" night. Looking at it rationally, it's not that bad. Looking at it at 3am when you are straight up exhausted, the thought "why can't you sleep like your sisters" comes to mind very easily.. 

You get my point. It's really hard to let children be themselves and act their own age when you have others running around doing things differently. No, it's not the end of the world and I could be doing worse things. But how easy will it be to compare their grades and job professions later on in life if I'm doing it with things like naps?


Oh the life of a parent.