I admit it, I was wrong. I am not a better parent than you...

Ignorant bliss.  I love that shit.

In my youth and early 20's *sigh*, I positively loved being filled with ignorant bliss. I knew everything! I mean Everything! No one could tell me otherwise. Then, I turned 28... and ...BANG!  The realization that I knew absolutely nothing hit me like a ton of bricks.  It was almost like I had one of those TV montages flashbacks where I relived all of the stupid things I said or did in the deep throws of my ignorant bliss.  From that moment on, I kept my mouth shut... except when it came to parents and their children.  I still had them figured out.

I still knew how to raise a child better than the parents I saw out in public with their heathen brats. Fools they were. I knew for a fact I was going to do SO much better.  My kid was not going to cry in the store or run out in to the street or parking lots, nor was he going to throw temper tantrums in church and he surely was NOT going to be a spoiled little brat. FULL STOP!

Dammit... you all... I was SO WRONG.

I was so wrong that I am pretty sure that my son is going to do all of the above mentioned to a professional level.  He has already cried bloody murder in public, run wild through the grocery store and attempted to break free and run into traffic... he is only a year old... I  SO am screwed!

I don't know what happened.  One day he is laying there fresh from the hospital, smiling big gassy-ass smiles and cooing. Then the next day he is a fussy little shit that whinges until he gets his way, which is 98% of the time. (Usually 100% of the time when it 's on FTD's watch by the way!) (*cough* Bullshit! - FTD) (*finger pointing* "Bullshit!" You know you are a bigger sook than me!-FTM)

I guess I kind of know how it happened... I (WE) spoil him with the worst kind of unconditional love. You, know the kind of unconditional love that creates big ass brats! Every time our sweet little boy fusses we run to his aid.  Or when I take something away that he shouldn't be playing with, and as a result starts fussing and crying, my dumb-ass simply gives it back. (I admit FTD is pretty good at not caving on this one.)  Or worse when I put Oliver down for a nap and he cries, one of us inevitably goes in to get him to try to rock him to sleep. (FTD is really bad about this.) At 14-months old he is fully aware that all it takes is a little fussing to get his way.

Ollie: LET ME OUT!
Me:  Oh, OK.  I know it will suck, but I just want you to be happy.

(Oh and please note the face in this photo, he is only half ass fussing!
He knows that's all it takes.)
Dammit I need a slap! 
I know what I am doing is wrong, but it is so hard to see Ollie cry.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??? I'm not the worlds greatest most smartest mom with the most perfectest child! How could this happen?  I was so sure of myself!

I am officially... THAT mom.

I am the mom with the crazy crying and/or wild mess of a child in public. I am the mom with the fussy baby who gets his way when he totally should not! SHIT!  SHIT! SHIT! How could I screw this up?

Bye Bye Mommy....
OK, Wait. It's going to be OK. All is not lost...I am at the awakening so to speak. I have choices. It's not too late to turn this bad parenting boat around. The way I see it I have two options here...

1.  Continue down this road of crap parenting, "Please don't cry, here you can stay up late and have the scissors."

or

2. Invest in ear plugs and pray the kid doesn't hate me?

I know... the latter is my only viable option to not having an annoying spoiled brat man-child.  Still it is not so cut and dry! These early years are such an important time for growth and exploration for my child.  If I cut him off at every pass that may be slightly dangerous or annoying, I will be doing my child a huge disservice.

There is a fine line between being tough all of the time and letting my son have his way to express himself and learn. I have to think of Ollie, in some situations, as a child I am mentoring to be a wise little Yoda. (Yes, FTD, I said Yoda.) I have to chose my battles wisely and not be a push over so I can teach Oliver how to be a well behaved respectable child.  I have to set aside my want to make Ollie happy all of the time, so I can teach him to be a wonderful and bright member of society.  I have to work harder to make the right choices for my son, so in turn he will learn to make the right choices for himself. Even if it makes me THAT mom sometimes...

To all of you mothers (and fathers) out there that I gave the stink eye to for having a crying fussing kid, I am sorry. I realize you were being a great parent and doing what was best for your child... and your sanity.


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Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer, blogger and proud debut novelist - The Devlyn Disguise. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more about April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

26 comments:

Kristy J said...

This whole "raise a good kid" thing is WAYYYY harder than anyone ever mentioned...I call shenanigans!!! But seriously as long as you know what you have to do then you're already a step ahead. Ollie will grow up to be an awesome well rounded grown up because he has wonderful awesome parents. Try not to be so hard on yourself...none of us have a f*cking clue as to what we are doing.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Thanks Kristy. I just don;t want to raise an asshole. He is just so cute, I have a hard time standing up to him!

Anonymous said...

We all have our parenting moments, but I have to admit that I cringe every time I read about you and FTD caving in to what Ollie WANTS instead of what is best for him. And don't get me started on the hitting!! It is our job to set boundaries and to stick to them. It is our job to teach them right and wrong and that there are consequences for our actions. Yes, I am the parent who walks through the grocery store with a screaming child because she wants to get down and run. And I talk to her in a calm voice, telling her that I understand what she wants and that she is upset, but that mommy can't let her down right now. I then engage her in other ways and she stops crying. I started doing this from the time I realized that she could understand what I was saying. She's almost two now and her fussy moments literally last no more than five minutes. I let her express herself, but I don't let it get out of hand.
Caving in to what your child wants all the time is actually harmful to them. And, you're right. He's going to be a brat if you continue along this path. And with the hitting because he's not getting his way? He'll be a bully as well. You need to get it into your head that being a parent isn't being his friend. There are times when crying is the best thing for him.

Anonymous said...

http://www.naturalnews.com/023208_child_children_life.html

You don't have to post this comment or the site... just read it. You're hurting Ollie by caving in and allowing him to do whatever he wants. I'm glad you realize that you need to change... please, don't wait until he's already a little shit that no one wants playing with their children.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

You are absolutely right.

The hitting has stopped. We knew we had to put an end to that. Hitting is unacceptable at any age. As for the crying in stores, we know that is just how it is going to have to be for now. And no doubt we limit the times we take him for now.

Parenting is amazing, and wonderful and fulfilling and is super hard and sucks at times. We are learning to find our way as a family... even if we don't get it right the first time. we will.

Amy said...

Everyone can easily say 'don't do that, that's bad parenting', but every child is different. Only YOU know YOUR child and what works best for him. I have two kids and they couldn't possibly be more opposite. I have to use a totally different parenting technique with my son than I did my daughter, and that's ok. No kid will ever be a perfect angel, and they will all have their meltdowns in public. It's our job as parents to not beat ourselves up about it and simply figure out what works best for us and our children.

Jessika Kazaros said...

Some of these comments reminds me of me asking my professor to clarify something or for help- and getting blasted for being an idiot instead. I commend you for being vocal about each step you all make, and hey- NO ONE gets it right the first time or two or fifty... and NO ONE has a One-size-fits-all answer for each kid, so give me a freakin' break. As mentioned a dozen times- what I thought was scripture with my first kid does not enough come remotely close to working for the second- and yes, I ask EVERYONE- family, friends, doctors, counselors- for answers and suggestions- and you know what? MAYBE one suggestion may work- but each kid is different, and each scenario may have a different solution as well, and each day/week/month will be different too. Oh well. Just keep doing what you're doing- no matter what you are both parents who care enough to share your experiences, and that's all that matters sometimes.

Jessika Kazaros said...

Exactly!!!

Anonymous said...

You know what? Everybody screws up. More than we'd care to admit, I bet. Yep, giving in is bad. You know it and you're working to fix it. No, Ollie isn't going to hate you. He might think he hates you today, but secretly, deep down, he NEEDS you to make him behave. (and you know that so this is just encouragement) AAAAND, the greatest thing about the toddler years is they have VERY SHORT RECALL. He's not going to remember two days from now that he was pissed because you wouldn't [fill in the blank].

I read somewhere that every day is a new opportunity to get it right. So yesterday (or the past few months) you haven't been so strong. Know what? You have time to fix it. Just like you said. Buy some earplugs, take turns with the mini-terror, and cut yourselves a break.

There isn't a parent in this universe who has any leg to stand on in judgement. If they haven't caved where you have, I guaran-dang-tee you they've done SOMETHING they wished they hadn't. And anybody who says differently is just plain lying (or delusional, so they don't count anyway).

Kristy said it perfectly - this parenting business is freaking hard. Keep your chins up and try again. (and, she's my little sister, so I think she's freaking brilliant.)

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

I do want to say Ollie NEVER hit to get his way. You must be thinking of another child. when he was 10 months he would hit, but that ended as fast as it started.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

I've posted this comment because it is honest and the truth. Parenting is not easy. And I know constantly caving will create a spoiled brat.

Wanting the best for you child and for him to be happy comes with a clause... don't screw him up. I get it. I realize I am hurting Ollie... but at only a couple of months of this, I am confident my kid is not screwed up for life. thank you for your comment.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Thanks Amy. I am learning my way as is Ollie. I am not beating myself up. I am actually glad I am figuring it all out early and learning to be tough now. It;s all these comments that are trying to beat me and my kid up!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

As always thank you for your support. You are so wonderful! these comments are pretty harsh. Almost like they read the top half but not the bottom. I don't need those readers and comment. I also feel like Ollie is being attacked. He only knows what I teach him, so he should not be picked on.

I am going to have a great kid regardless of my poor choices here and there.

Mrs. Loquacious said...

April, you are a better woman than I. I would never permit comments from anonymous "friends" offering their unsolicited "advice."

Besides, I don't think even one person in this world who has read your blog would question that Ollie is in capable, loving hands. To dare say that you are harming him?!

F*CK OFF "Anonymous." Grow a set and own up to your comments instead of hiding behind anonymity; your comments hold no value since you are too cowardly to actually take responsibility for them.

And as for tantrums, we are going through the exact same thing with Little L! But we do explain consequences, and we are working hard to follow through even when it sucks for us (e.g. Hubbs having to leave a restaurant with her before the food is even served, because she refuses to calm down). I think it gets better in a few months; that was what it was like for my nephew and I am optimistic that will be the case for our little ones too, once they understand where the lines are drawn.

And for the record, I don't think that crying is always a necessity. Sometimes avoiding it at all costs is A-OK.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Thanks Friday Night Girl. Your comment and lil' sis are awesome! Ollie is a very bright kid and learns so much each day. I may screw up today but I won't do it again tomorrow.

I have also learned that there are moms out there who love when I write these honest post... they get to get on their soap box and act like mother of the year. I am glad I can make them feel great for a moment... until reality slaps them. I don;t care who you are, parenting is not text book nor easy.

xx

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

FTD just cheered you on! "That about sums it up!" -FTD

Everyone Mrs Loquacious is awesome and will always tell you like it is! Go check out her blog for a dose of awesome! http://loquaciousfamily.blogspot.com


Thanks Mrs. L. The Tantrums will pass. I know. and for the most part we only deal with tantrums over him wanting to walk or stay at the playground. We will get there.

Thanks again, I love when you tell the know-it-alls to F*UCK OFF! xx

Anonymous said...

I, too, am a first time mom. I have enjoyed reading your blog for a long time but never felt the need to comment. I just want to say anyone who reads this should realize you are a caring mother and are probably just more self aware than others and willing to admit your weaknesses. As for me, my baby is 5 months old and I know she is the easiest to take care of now that she will ever be. She is finally over "colic" while turned out to be milk sensitivities and sleeping 12 hours at night. Best of all she is immobile so I have time to build up my strength to set boundaries. I am already scared.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Wow. Thank you so much. You have just warmed my heart! Thank you for your kind words and for reading...

I really did not think this post would get such a response, but it's clear to see the difference in real reader comments, and those passing by. Ollie is such a wonderful boy, and FTD and I Love him so much. We are very self aware and immediately are realizing where we need to change. We are first timers, we are learning by doing, and dammit we are learning and doing!

You are going to be great! Even when the immobility wears off. And God love ya for surviving the colic like behavior. HELL!

Thanks again.

BIG HIUGS,

April

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I got to say I am super proud of suriving those first three and 1/2 months. Hell is right. Between the milk sensitivity and her acid reflux my sweet girl had it rough. And there is nothing harder on a momma than seeing your baby in pain, but you know your blog actually helped. It gave something to read on my kindle while baby girl slept on my chest in the recliner (the only place she could sleep comfortably at first). So thanks to you.

AussieMummy said...

There are times that it is easier to give in.. But just as long as there are also times when you know how to be kind but firm and enforce a rule :)
You're doing a great job xx

Lillian Connelly said...

Ollie is still really little. I don't think he's turning into a brat. He's just turning into a toddler. My pediatrician told me that toddlers and teenagers are a lot alike...they both have raging hormones. Toddlers don't have the best communications skills yet either so they get frustrated easily. I have had these same worries with my daughter. The thing is, most of the time she is really being "bratty" it's for a good reason. Like the days she is just screaming and throwing tantrums end up being the days a new tooth has poked through her gums. I think she is being a bad kid, but really she is just in pain. I've stopped getting so upset with her behavior because so many times she has a legitimate reason. Getting new teeth hurt. Anyway, you are doing a great job with Ollie. This is just a tough period to go through. It will get better! It is not a reflection of your parenting. It's a toddler stage.

Lillian Connelly said...

Also, hitting is about frustration, not about being mean or a bully. I think we need to have realistic expectations about child development. Ollie is just trying to communicate the best way he can. Not to mention, emotional regulation isn't something we are born with. Ollie is 14 months, not five. I've noticed people like to jump to extremes on the Internet. If a child hits someone they are automatically going to become a serial killer. Seriously, it's ridiculous. Some of the previous comments about him hitting are laughable. He sounds completely normal to me. A lot of kids go through hitting and even biting stages. It doesn't mean you are a bad parent or they are bad kids. It just means they are still learning to control themselves and still learning how to communicate in an appropriate way.

I love that first picture. I wish it was a poster so I could hang it on my wall. I keep hoping you turn it into a movie...that would be hilarious! Photoshop Ollie's head into a Godzilla movie. I think you need a YouTube channel.

Anonymous said...

You know what I find hard, its the transition. In the beginning they are so tiny and helpless, we run to them for any little need or want and then the next day they are a big arse baby chucking a tantrum. When's the right age to start discipline? By that I mean when do we stopletting them have everything and use a deep voice when telling them to stop biting! Im a ftm to a 10.5 mo and I woke up one morning and was like oh no he did not just throw a temper tantrum. Time to start the discipline I guess!!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

I am right there with you on that fast transition. I also think some things I should be strict about and others not so much, and some things I want him to know I will be there for him, and others I should let him cry. It's just picking the right battles I suppose...

Anonymous said...

I just ran across your blog today, and it cracks me up! I don't normally comment on blogs, it's just not my style. But when I saw what a couple of Anonymous moms had to say to you I just felt sick about it. And angry! First off, kudos to you for replying so eloquently to their comments. I know it had to hurt and make you angry to have them say hurtful things about your child, you really handled it well.

You know you're doing the best you can. That's what all of us moms do. And we screw up. Frequently. For any mom to get on her soap box and tell you otherwise is complete bs.

Karma's a bitch, and one way or another they'll get knocked off their high horses :)

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

wow. Thank you. very much. It was hurtful. there were actually a couple I did not publish because they were just downright shitty.

I do know I am a great mom and doing the best I can. Thanks to great readers and comments like yours I know I am on the right path. Thanks again.

Hugs.

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