My attitude towards parenting sucks.
Let me explain. I feel like a bad parent. I can't really say I feel like one of the worst parents ever, because my children are alive, fed, unharmed, etc. But they lack training, attention, discipline... Their mom (that'd be me) can't seem to find a balance between wanting to control everything they do and getting frustrated when they don't live up to perfection that I give up and letting them do whatever they want as long as they're not destroying anything or harming themselves or others. And even then, my son (3) picks on my daughter (1) enough and gets away with it because I feel powerless to get him to stop.
I feel like nothing I've done with them works, so I just want to give up. I feel I've already failed and I feel I have no other options besides continuing to fail, because all the things I need to do to succeed take more energy/persistence/determination/patience than I feel I have. If I try to be determined today, I know I will fail tomorrow when I'm tired after doing so much today, and so I'll be inconsistent, and I'll be torturing my kids for nothing... All I can see is failure failure failure.
I've read half a dozen parenting books cover to cover. Logically I know the things I need to be doing. Establish rules and stick to them. Set logical consequences to discipline problems. Teach life skills. Praise a job well done instead of blanket "you're great" praise. Keep food in the kitchen. Put away toys you get out. Introduce my 3 year old to appropriate chores like folding towels or putting napkins on the table for dinner. No hitting, kicking, biting, yelling, or temper-tantrums or you go in the naughty chair for as many minutes as you are old. Keep a regular routine so kids have structure and know what to expect. I'm not STUPID, I'm just...stupid. *hangs head*
I get tired. It seems I'm always tired, no matter how much sleep I've had or how little I've done. And no, I'm not pregnant. I get resentful. I feel sometimes that my life has been invaded by little monsters who don't respect me or care about me enough to not drive me insane and who love to destroy everything and keep me from doing things I want to be doing. And I'm caged here as a slave to the little monsters, and I'll be judged by how well I take care of them. That's not a very good viewpoint if you're trying to inspire love instead of resentment. And then I get depressed because I love my kids and want the best for them and I'm failing them miserably.
So there's the problem. What's the solution? I've had enough experience working away from my kids to be grateful that I'm a stay-at-home mom. Maybe I can try a to-do list... Ha. That's not really working so well. I've read enough parenting books. They all say that I'm at least semi-normal in my feelings, and that I need to take care of myself before I take care of anyone else. So I had a babysitter take kids for an hour and a half today to try to reset my temper, which usually works. I was pretty happy when my kids were gone and I thought of all the things I wanted to do... and then when I went to pick them up my son threw a fit and my babysitter's having trouble with them because my kids always get their way after I've told them "No," so now they expect that "No" means "Pester Mom more until she gives in or completely blows her top."
I've lost my train of thought because my son's bugging me and I can't handle it and I've just thrown his coat across the room because he put it in my face. I can't get myself to behave. How can I get anyone else to behave? I just want everyone to GO AWAY.
Somebody please tell me how to stop being a moron. And if you hand me a book on parenting, I will point out the whole bookshelf I have of them already.