Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sometimes, I really hate being a parent.

To say this was a challenging parenting weekend is an absolute understatement. It seems like we can have so many good days in a row, where the kids do what they need to, I feel on top of my game as a mom and a wife, and even though all of the medical bills from this year seem to be pouring in at once, I feel like things are going to be OK.

Then we have a weekend like this and I just end up crying a lot and I question why I ever wanted to be a parent in the first place. The worst part about parenting, for me, is that I think having post-partum depression after Olivia has really set me up for failure with her. I really believe that. I really believe by not having that magical bonding time with your baby, it essentially dooms you for the rest. I feel like no matter what I do, that child does not like me and actively does everything in her power to show me she's really in charge. And sometimes, sometimes I kind of dislike her. Sometimes I look at her and think- you spiteful little brat.

And it makes me feel like the worst parent in the entire world. 

Because in my heart, she isn't that. Olivia is a really kind, beautiful, smart, creative, funny, passionate and loving girl. She really is. Everyone always tells me what an awesome kid she is and what a joy she is to be around. And those moments mean a lot to me because there are other times where I feel like if I didn't have her, maybe I wouldn't feel like each and every day is a damn struggle.

The pooping issue is nowhere near solved. We're at a point where it's manageable and I do that via diet because I don't want her to be on a laxative long term. Honestly, that seems like a terrible solution that causes long term issues. I can't doom her to that and sending her to college with a laxative seems kind of terrible as well. What hasn't stopped, or seem to be manageable, is peeing her pants. We have ruled out all medical related reasons for this. It has come down to her flat out saying she does not want to stop whatever activity she is doing, so she would rather just pee her pants.

And that sets me right over the edge.

I can't even fully explain to you what goes through my head when she does this. But this weekend I once again discovered a lack of underwear and pants in the wash yet she's telling me she has no clean ones. I go to investigate and lo and behold- Barbie's Dream House is chock full of wadded up pee clothes, her bed linens stink to high heaven, and she's telling me she has no idea how any of this happens.

I, of course, freaking lose it.

I'm yelling and I'm crying because I'm so fucking frustrated that at almost nine years old, she just refuses to stop this behavior. Then I see it.

I see handwriting all over her purple walls. It's not obvious, oh no, because she has used some magic decoder pen that writes clear ink and you can see it when the sun shines on it.

Again, I lose it.

She then tries to tell me her six year old brother made her do it. Then she said maybe he didn't make her do it but they are HER walls so she should get to do what she wants. Then I see that her closet doors? Oh, she broke the rails to they essentially swing free back and forth. This is after we just fixed them. And THEN, I see she has smeared her pink makeup all into the carpet. (Thankfully, after an hour of soaking and scrubbing, I got it out and you can't really tell unless you're looking for it.)

I took away her beloved American Girl doll, the one that looks like her. She already lost her Nintendo DS and Nook in previous weeks, has yet to earn them back.

Then today, today I really thought it was going to be OK. Then I let her play outside with the neighbor's grandkids who only visit every once in awhile. I make her come in to go pee, in which she declares I'm totally embarrassing and bam- totally wet pants/underwear. So I said that sucks because now she doesn't get to go out to play. She starts yelling at me that I'm the worst mom ever, I'm mean, and slams her door. She is currently upstairs, crying loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear, and I'm down here, silently crying because I feel like I'm at the end of my rope. I feel like I'm playing chicken with this child and I feel like she's going to win and then what?

All the while, Matt has either been sleeping (he's got a stomach bug. Love that he gets a nap when he's sick and I've got to tough it out and get demands on what are we eating for supper), or avoiding the whole thing like it's not even happening.

Then it hits me: I think what bothers me the most about Olivia is that she is just like her father. I realize this yesterday as I'm asking Olivia why does she do this? She give me the exact same blank stare, the shrug of the shoulders, the ridiculous excuses that make no sense and lie after lie. Matt does the same thing when he's done something wrong and I've caught him.

I'm just tired, folks. I'm really tired. I'm so exhausted and I feel like every single day of my life I'm constantly fighting a battle I can't win. Not that its ever right to hurt or god forbid, kill your child, but I understand now why parents want to walk away sometimes. If anyone had told me this is what parenting was going to be like, I most likely would never have had kids. But then I see Jackson who though he can try my patience almost as bad as Olivia, it's different with him. At least I feel like I can reason with him and get him to understand why you have to pee in the toilet, for instance. And that? That's what makes this so much worse. Because it's times like this where I feel like a terrible person for favoring one kid over the other but love them equally. So hard. It's just another rough day. Things will get better, I just really hate everything right now. It's like I can feel depression looking for this opportunity to come settle in.


Life Love & High Heels said...

Oh my. It sucks you're still dealing with this. Does it still happen at school? Maybe she needs to hear it from someone other than you?

thotlady said...

I am so sorry you have to deal with this. Maybe Olivia should talk to a neutral person about the potty issue.

Julie H said...

Maybe it's a control issue. Like, it's one thing she has the power to do or not do? Sounds weird but I've heard a lot of that with pee and poop issues.

I used to wonder why anyone would ever not want to have kids. Now I know lol.

Snazzytoes said...

Dear Sara, I admire you for your perseverence! I wonder: if you let her live with the consequences of her choices, and not bail her out with dry clothes, sheets, etc, would that help her change this behavior? She is certainly getting tons of attention for it. Have you read the book "Children: The Challenge"? It is old, but excellent. All about "logical consequences." And i totally agree with the comment before mine... Let the other kids, teachers, etc, tell her how unacceptable this behavior is and she might decide it's worth it to stop. For now, the reward is worth the ickiness of being wet. I think the reward is watching her mom's head explode! If you take away that payoff for her (by ignoring the peeing) plus never fix the result with clean dry clothes, i really believe that it will fizzle out. No reward, lots of ickiness, kids telling her it's gross... Might work! You are soooo conscientious all the time, even "telling on yourself" when you lose it... You are really inspirational.

Steff said...

I feel like you mentioned in another post that she's talked to a psychologist, but just in case, has she talked to a psychologist about it? It could be her way of getting attention, a fear of the bathroom…so many things, ya know? I saw a psychologist as a kid because of my parents divorce and as an adult, I definitely see the importance of it!

Ruth said...

I agree with control being an issue. Some of it is that you don't want her to so she will do it. My daughter used to wet her pants and that turned out to be stress. I am a believer in picking your battles because that is what seemed to work best. My husband and daughter are both stubborn and neither will give an inch on anything. The more he pushes, the worse the outcome.
She may need to go to counseling. We took my daughter and it helped. She would talk to the psychologist and at the end talk to the three of us together and I think it helped us work together better and make things better for her.