The truth about how I FEEL ‘in the moment’ as a respectful parent.

Today, my 5yr old son totally lost it. Like a 5yr old does. He poured sand from his shoes on my bed, after I asked him to remove his sandy shoes outside. He squirted water on the floor from a water bottle as he watched for my reaction and he hit his sisters again watching for my reaction.

The blow up makes sense. It’s on the back of a little trip away to the city, which has all of us, me included, pretty exhausted. But the timing is unfortunate for the same reason…….I’m exhausted, and when I’m exhausted things are just that little bit harder.

As a respectful parent, I understand that this behavior is a cry for help and support.  He needs my undivided love and attention in these moments.  He is screaming out for his mumma’s love, comfort and stability and testing to see if I will love him in spite of this behavior. He makes me earn his trust this one. ❤️ 

But in the moment, I have to fight back smacking him.  There I said it. The thing we respectful parents are never supposed to think let alone say out loud.

In the moment I’m filled with rage.  In the moment I’m so angry I can barely look at him. In the moment I’m furious that I now have to clean up the mess while trying to get out of the door to meet friends. In the moment I’m fuming that I wasn’t fast enough to stop him taking it out on his sisters.  And in the moment I’m devastated and disappointed in both him and in myself.  Mostly in myself. 

Believe me there is nothing anyone could say to me, that would be equal to some of the things I’ve thought about myself in moments like this.

But my face………..my face is cool, calm and collected……mostly.  My actions are confident, space is held and I act with love and understanding, and I leave the big discussions about what it means for us and others when we damage things and physically hurt others for later when we are both calm and in control.

But underneath, I’m fucking pissed.

Anger and frustration still come up for me almost daily.  Certainly not to the extent they did this morning or as much as they did when i was at the beginning of my journey.  But they are still there. You can’t get away from a lifetime of feelings and conditioning because you decide to do things differently.  And from what I can gather, most parents on this journey experience something similar. Disciplinary control is etched deep in our veins and changing mindset and behaviors is a journey. Parents are people too and that makes us completely imperfect at the best of times.  Add to that a small person throwing sand in your fucking bed and well, it might be the perfect storm. 😆

Now just to clarify, I NEVER hit my children, even if I have to fight back the urge, which happens very rarely now.  But I certainly have regretted my actions on more than one occasion (like chucking a tantrum of my own, yelling,  threatening punishment or offering rewards just for a moments peace are all examples of things I have done in the past, while on the journey to a more respectful way of parenting). And boy did these things tear me up inside and were usually followed by a swift (on most occasions) apology and explanation.

That’s what’s so beautiful about our children. They forgive so easily.

I’m also not trying to justify anger to the point of wanting to hit someone, that shit is wack. But it still comes up for me sometimes and if it comes up for me, I bet it comes up for others and I think it’s important to acknowledge the TRUTH.  How could we not after generations of smacking and even being beaten in lots of cases (not mine thankfully). BUT we are committed with our whole hearts and entire being to be better for our children! And that kind of transformation doesn’t happen overnight.

Your emotions do NOT define you mamma- your intention and your actions do.

 I’m putting this out there because so often it seems like the respectful parenting advocates find it easy and never have any negative feelings towards their children to throw them off track.  Now maybe they don’t, I’m happy for them. But I fucking do. And if you do to IT’S OK! You can still do this! It takes hard work and a lot of self-development to do things differently, but you can.   My INTENTIONS and my ACTIONS (most of the time, because let’s be real I’m soooo not perfect) are that of a respectful parent, even if on the inside, I’m shoveling a load of dirt into their bed so they can see how it feels (that’s 5 year old Sam talking 😆).

There is nothing quite like the resolve of an imperfect mother.

I can promise you is IT DOES get easier to manage your own emotions and YOU CAN work through them. It takes time (my oldest is 7 but I’d say my respectful parenting journey only really began when she was 2-3yrs old) and it takes work, but our children are motivation. There isn’t a more powerful motivator to do the inner work required than that.

But you will never be perfect. I’ve actually given up wondering when it will become as effortless for me, as it seems to be for respectful parenting advocates.

Because it will never be easy I don’t think. And that’s ok.  I’m going to do it anyway.

I’m going to give you all of the details about how I manage ‘in the moment’ in my next post, because this post became longer than I anticipated. 🤪So hold tight for something along the lines of “How I keep my shit together, when It’s a lie!” 😂 Nah, it will be something more like “5 things you can do to control emotions and act appropriately when your triggered by your children” You know…….sounds nicer. 😊

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