Jul 22, 2013

Failing miserably in the Parenting department!

Today I had one of those days where you wish you could just hide under a rock and pray for the day to end without any casualties. I have been stressed out for a while now, for reasons that after really thinking about it, weren't really too important. Today's episode in the DAY of my life was of a whole new caliber.

I went out with one of my friends to take the kids to go out and play. We usually go to those huge jungle gyms they have in Malls, give in our payment, and just enjoy a couple of hours of letting the kids go free without worrying about losing them. The plus side is we get to chit chat about adult things while the kids are having all the fun in the world safely. Anyway, today, while the kids were playing, the man came to me and made a comment about how the kids could only pay for 30 minutes, and he showed me a sign. Granted, he was right. But I didn't get it, the place was empty, and my friend and I have been bringing the kids here to play several days a week without ever having any issues arise. That started to get me a little annoyed, and then at one point my 2 year old went a little too high, and I could not find him. I frantically climbed the hurdles, and made my way up, the guy came to me and told me I was not allowed up. I looked at him point blank and told him there was no way he would stop me as my baby was up there, and was crying. He mumbled something, and I kept going up. The issue is, I am usually very good at following rules, but after coming here so much, and seeing so much of the great customer service we got from the other workers. this one rubbed me the wrong way. He then mentioned something about it being prayer time, and that we had to leave. Again, that had never been a problem- prayers came and went without anyone being asked to leave often. So I quickly responded that as a women I did not have to go pray at the masjid, but he as a man should make his way to the masjid instead of bothering me and my children- yes I got a bit rude- but he had it coming! At that point I summoned my kids, my friend summoned hers, and we were getting ready to leave. I noticed the man was trying to explain himself to my friends driver, as he obviously didn't want to have to explain himself to me. I think he may have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed- I think I did as well.

We made our way to the grocery store inside the mall, and as we were headed there, my son (middle one) kept running way ahead of me. I begged and pleaded... I tried to be the quiet yet stern mother, I spoke to him in both English and Arabic- in hopes that hearing the Arabic may make him see how serious I was and then I went on to screaming like a mad women- with absolutely no effect on his behavior. He kept dashing away, and being more daring. He drove me nuts.My son was one of THOSE kids you saw out and about, The kids that you would either judge or feel absolutely sorry for the mother. Once it was time to get into the grocery store I tried to have him sit in the shopping cart, and he ran away yet again. At this point my eyes started to tear up, and I was sure I was just gonna drop to the floor and cry my heart out. I was frustrated. I was angry. I was annoyed. I was sad that my little boy would keep driving me up the wall. As I have mentioned countless times, my daughter spoiled me, she listened. my daughter knew what i was saying with a certain look I gave her. She made parenting ultra easy, and I thought it was all easy peezy at that point. But oh boy was I wrong. Thank GOD my friend intervened, and had my son jump into her shopping cart along with her son, and she gave me the chance to pick up whatever I needed, as she kept my son busy. Seriously- GOD BLESS HER. I was ready to throw in the towel, and I think she noticed. Once we finished in the grocery store we made our way to the car park in the basement. My daring son, yet again made a mad dash, but this time he made a mad dash for the parking lot. I asked my friend to watch my youngest in his stroller, and I ran after my son. Imagine a women in Riyadh, clad in an abaya, shamelessly screaming and running after her son in a parking lot. Embarrassing! An old man tried to intervene, but my little boy slipped away from him as well. My friends driver tried to get him, and this slippery little kid was out of our reach. The marble floor (why the floors are marble are BEYOND me) was making my task even harder. I nearly slipped a few times. But I finally let completely lose, and ran like runner and caught him within seconds. I wanted to cry. I wanted to yell. I had this mix of emotions. That easy job of parenting wasn't so easy- I was miserably failing! How does a nearly 4 year old boy do this? How does he have so much power on me to bring the demons out in me. I love him to pieces, but something has got to give. I need this to all stop. I need him to listen. Can grounding him work now? Like seriously grounding. No iPad or tablets, no TV? no toys? For a moment, I even told my friend I needed to rent an actor to pretend to run off with my son on one of his crazy fearless dashes. Maybe that make him understand what I was so worried about. I vowed NEVER to leave his monkey harness at home again. It did keep him safe!

Anyways, once I got home, I walked through the door and just broke down in tears, my husband was there, and I told him to take HIS kids upstairs for a nap. I was done. I was fasting. I was tired. I seriously have not felt so helpless in such a long time. That was my day, I failed miserably, and I hope that tomorrow brings on a better day. I seriously need it- not just for my sanity, but for my little ones as well.

God Bless

12 comments:

  1. Asalamualaikum, wow... I got stressed out just reading that!

    You have not failed as a parent, rather society as a whole has become structured in such a way that totally inhibits and prevents easy parenting. I suggest you look into traditional societies (tribal etc.) and observe how they rear their children. It is a totally different scenario to ours. Their children are by the age of 4 contributing happily to the village work force. They are not "naughty" or out of control, and the parents are not stressed like us.

    It's just our society my dear. Not you or your kids. You have good kids masha allah. You are a good parent. But do you honestly expect your children and all other children to be so calm these days? My dear, they are bombarded from such a small tiny innocent age, with unnatural things, such as ipads and tvs like you said. We as adults are accustomed to these things now, but they were born into this world not expecting them. Their little young brains struggle to process exposure to all of these things. Shopping centres are the worst too, there is so much bright lights, excessive amounts of toys left right and centre, how do you expect children to react? They basically go nuts cos they don't know what to do. I feel very sorry for our children today, They have come into a world which is technological and at least we had time to adapt. You have two year olds these days who know how to operate iPhones my dear.

    You wanna help the kids? Get em out in the sun and fresh air as much as possible. Remove the ipads and tv's for GOOD, not as a punishment, but to HELP them. Do whatever NATURAL activities you can with them (I know its not easy where you live but try to be creative!) Enjoy your kids, try to not tell them what to do for one day and see what happens. Let them make their own choices for a day and who cares about the rest of the judgemental ppl. You are a good mother masha allah. I hope things get easier insha Allah.

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    1. Salam dear. Thank you so much for your reply, I truly appreciate it. Sometimes I just feel I am about to blow up. Then the next day all is back and normal again. And you are absolutely right, There is always some loud noise, TV, ipads... whatever. I really miss the quiet. The conversations. Play time without needing a gadget to beat the boredom. I do get the kids out daily in our yard, and they play and explore/ ride their bikes for about 2-3 hours a day il7amdlilah. But I can't promise I have the willpower to remove the gadgets. Maybe I am scared of what will happen without these babysitters? (Did I just admit that out loud??!!) But seriously.. jezach Allah khair for the thoughtful response I appreciate everything you said!

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  2. Okay so this makes me really.. really... really hesitant about parenthood.

    I literally felt stressed while reading this.

    May Allah make things easy for you sis. <3 :)

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    1. Ameen dear. lol... like anything else in life.. there are days which are amazing and days that you think (dramatically) that the world is over. Don't let me scare you... it seriously was the best think I did with my life. Children are truly a gift, and they may bring headache, but you do not truly know love until you have one :)

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  3. Aww, I completely sympathize- I get like that on days and I just have ONE one year old! With her it's the crying all day no matter how much I try to appease her- especially when we're far from home and have a lot to do. All she wants to do these days is run away. Forget the grocery cart, the stroller,or in my arms!

    You're not a failure, it's not like you're allowing it! Those parents who leave it up to the maid, sister in law, elder daughter and have the anyone-but-them attitude, who let their children run rampant, scream, and destroy... lol in my opinion that's a parental failure. By the way- the monkey leash... I NEED ONE! My husband thinks it's inhumane (though, he's not the one running is he?) May allah reward you for dealing with all of this while fasting. Parenting is no easy feat- especially when you're hungry and thirsty in the heat RUNNING after your children! Things will get better, or at least that's what I'm telling myself right now... :P

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    1. hahah... Thank you for your comment dear. The monkey leash is AWESOME. I got it from Toys-r-us in Dubai, but I am pretty sure they have it here as I see a lot of parents with it when I go out. I have had someone come and tell me how it will psychologically scar my child for life, but my mom used it on me... and hold on.. maybe that's whats wrong with me! Just kidding. Seriously though,for the safety of my child, when in crowded areas or near roads, it really is for safety, nothing else. I see the stroller as the same way, just a safety harness for a tired kids! Thanks again for your comment!

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  4. Hi ,

    No you didn't fail as a parent , saying that and believing it will bring more failure s , when you fail once doesn't mean you'll fail again , or that you'll always fail , it only means you failed once ! so never say that you failed as a parent !

    And trust me tommorow will bring a better day , just think it , believe it , trust God and you'll see results inch'allah!

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    1. Thank you! You are absolutely correct, I was fine afterwards. I guess it normal to have the ups and downs.. but ur right, I do not believe I am a failure... but sometimes I think I am just tired, and ready (but not willing) to give up! Thank you so much for your comment!

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  5. Salam alaykom sis. You aren't a bad parent, first off. ALL moms have these days. The thing about young children is that a parent will be constantly, constantly reinforcing rules. It's so exhausting, let alone in Ramadan. Talk to your child about the rules every time before you start walking (we are going to walk here, walk within arms reach. do you understand? make them verbally affirm yes) and if they don't listen, say you will leave immediately. then do it. no matter what you say, do it--otherwise they learn not to listen to you. your words will hold no meaning... of course they'll still test you, and sometimes you'll be put out or your child will be angry, but eventually it'll set in. im not assuming you do none of this btw--just giving a tip as a passerby on blogsphere. I can say as a random person that we ALL have been there, no matter what parenting style. and the worst thing you can do is let it affect your parenting. you're a good mom and you obviously care about raising a behaved child. you will all be fine iA.

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    1. wa 3laikum asalam. Thank you so much for your reply. And yeah, a fasting coffeeless mama was more dangerous then an over active child that day! lol I have actually left places with my kids before, but the problem is, if I am not driving, or have control of transportation, my threats become empty, and they know it! They know very well mama, can't put them int eh car and drive home (here at least). And please, I appreciate any tips I can get! That is the beauty of the internet, so many different people with different experiences helping one another out! So thank you very much for your comment, I do appreciate it!

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  6. I agree with Anonymous on most of what was said. You don't need to worry about other people's opinions. Cut yourself some slack. You were upset already because of the mall situation and hungry. So you didn't do a perfect job - who really hasn't been there. But for another time...

    Four year old's test boundaries and he is seeing if you mean what you say. Is he ignoring your requests, telling you to "wait just a minute", or having you repeat your requests to him at home? If he minds you very well and within reason (asking 1 time) at home, then I would look at how often does he get to "let some energy out" when you know he is safe (i.e. - riding a bike in a safe area, climbing and playing, running, roller-skating, etc. - really getting some energy out and getting good and tired). Then you can tell him that those are his times to have fun. At four, he needs quite a bit of time for this (I'd say a 1-3 hours a day at least). It would actually be best if you had an area where he could play and you could watch him while you are doing things around the house (we had a fenced backyard with dogs who barked if someone came up). Going to the mall is a special treat where he must mind you. Going to the grocery store is a necessary trip - where again, he must mind you. You have to take away or do what works with that child (and that is different for each child). For my daughter - it was enough to give her a stern look (she hated for us to be angry with her). With my brother, my parents (who never once spanked me) had to spank him. If my daughter had run off from me in a parking lot (where she could get hit by a car, taken by someone, etc.), once I got hold of her, I would have immediately put her in her carseat (and she would have known I was mad either by the silence or by the speech I would be giving her), take her home, tell her to go to her room, and think about what she's done. And then I would tell her that when she can tell me what she's done that was wrong, what she should do differently, and that she is sorry for what she did, then she can come out and discuss it with me. And no coming out until she is ready to try to discuss it (no sweet smiles, sneaking by, etc.).

    What you want to discuss with him (when he is ready to discuss it to get out of his room - lol): When he didn't mind you in the grocery store, he didn't respect your authority. They all do that (lots of times). Your job is to teach him to respect authority - when it is reasonable and right.

    When he didn't mind you in the parking lot, he was unsafe and that is LOT worse because he could have died. Because he was unsafe and didn't respect you twice, he has to wear his harness (you thought he was a bigger boy than that now).

    Once he is able to discuss the situation with you, he needs to understand that he will have to earn your trust back (but not your love, you will always love him) by minding at home every time. You can use a chart with stickers as a reward if you want to help him, but the real work is yours to ensure that he knows when he is to mind immediately and when that can slip. You need some way to help him know he is making progress in doing that.

    And finally - you'll do fine at that. You love him so much! Just remember he needs to respect you - you deserve that!

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  7. And another suggestion for what it's worth :) - consider forming a babysitting group so you and other mothers might be able to go to the grocery store (or somewhere else for yourself occasionally) without a child in tow.

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