New Attitude

I’m going to be totally honest here. Hopefully no one will look at me with shame and disappointment. I already look at myself that way most of the time. I have an anger problem. Most people who know me would probably be surprised (I hope). I’m pretty good at hiding it out in public.

Monster

But come nap time (or 3 AM), an evil side of me escapes. I’m a complete monster and feel ready to explode at the slightest sign of a child being awake when he/she should be asleep. I know I’m not handling it right. As a matter of fact, I’m probably handling it as wrong as a person could get. But for some reason, even as I’m in the midst of a monster spell telling myself that I’m wrong, I can’t seem to stop myself.

Am I abusive? I don’t know. Honestly. Yes, I’ve spanked. Yes, I’ve tossed a kid onto their bed with more force than necessary. Yes, I’ve used language I am ashamed of. So am I an abusive parent? N says no. I feel like I am. But I want to change. And I know that the first move will be a new attitude.

Starting today (well, yesterday, really), I am no longer expecting the kids to sleep at nap time. Yes, I do expect them to be in bed and quiet, but if they do not sleep, that is okay. Unfortunately, when the two of them are in the same room, they don’t lay quietly. They play, jump on the bed, and wind up hurting one another. Even if one is completely ready for a nap, the other one often will get them worked up and neither will nap.

So today I tried something new. Kyla is spending nap time in the guest room and Lucas is in their room. I put them down about 10 minutes ago. Lucas protested being apart, but Kyla was all for it. Probably because she got to be in the “new” room. So far, I’m pretty sure they are both still awake. But I’m not going to worry about it. As long as all is relatively quiet, that’s all I need.

I realize that we are approaching a point when naps will fade away (a fact I’m very sad about). But I still believe that kids need a “recharge” in the middle of the day (and so do moms!). My nephew, at age 5, still takes naps most days. It would be nice if I could get my kids to do the same, but I don’t see it happening. However, if they can spend at least 1 hour quietly recharging by either reading a book, daydreaming, or actually napping, I’ll be happy.

And it will save us all from seeing the monster come out.

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4 Comments

Filed under Parenting, preschoolers, sleep, stress

4 responses to “New Attitude

  1. I feel so relieved that you wrote this! I too become a monster when my kids don’t sleep. I always feel so awful afterwards because I end of yelling, threatening, etc. It never works and only makes me and my kids feel bad but I am unable to stop myself as well. I too have laid a child down a little too hard after repeated trips to the room. You are not alone. I now say you have to stay in your bed and they generally will, even if they don’t nap. When one is screaming I will let the other one sleep in my bed which is a treat for the quiet one. I just try to focus on the fact that they are normally precious, awesome kids and that I have to cut them and myself a break or we will all go insane. Know you are not alone:)

  2. My oldest son stopped napping at age 3, right when my twins were newborns. It was frustrating. I started allowing him to watch a show on tv (we don’t watch them otherwise) during this ‘nap’ time to give me downtime. A lot of kids stay up very late, though, and he still goes to bed at 8 each night, so in a way, that’s my downtime.

  3. I also have an anger/tone/yelling issue. I’m working my way through a book, Good and Angry: Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids! that Ann Voskamp recommended.

    Read through the book of James in the Bible. If you commit a few of those verses to memory it will help.

    Not to start a debate, but I will say that spanking in anger is an issue, but spanking the right way is a Biblical way to discipline. It shouldn’t be the only tool in the tool belt, but it has its place.

    I will pray for you to get victory over your anger when I am praying for myself. I already see the ramifications of my anger with my older children and it’s not pretty. I seek the Holy Spirit to help me. If He can move mountains, He can help me control my tongue. 🙂 If I listen…

  4. I understand where you’re coming from. Drew has never been a good napper and I spent 2 years fighting him. I would be more worn out at the end of “nap time” than he was. I would threaten to spank him if he didn’t fall asleep (sounds ridiculous now) and he would fall asleep crying. I felt like crap when he did that. I finally just gave in and said it’s not worth it, don’t sleep. I, like one of your previous posters, let Drew watch a cartoon or movie during down time. Just putting him in the room wasn’t an option once Kara came along since they share a room. I still deal with an over tired kid a lot of times since he never naps but needs to some days. I’ve learned what activities to do and what not to do during the bad hours.

    My sister in law has twins and went through this too. She would just put them in the room, They trashed the room daily for a long time. She said she didn’t care, she just needed a break from them. Eventually they did fall asleep but I guess it was really rough for her. And my brother wasn’t much help at all, they were both at a loss during this point of their kids life on what to do. It was painful to watch, there was yelling and fighting. I know she finally went to counseling at her church and enrolled the kids in tae kwan do as a release for them too. I wish she blogged, I should send you her facebook. My niece and nephew are a handful!!! She would know first hand what you’re going through.

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