My life as it is now is the best that it has been since I became a mom.
I can think clearly, function properly, and I am in the right frame of mind to enjoy my children.
I have come a long way.
I wanted to share more of my stories but have been busy writing about day-to-day happenings and never got round to writing about those challenging years.
I was reading a fellow mum blogger’s post on Life’s Little Lessons and was prompted to pen these lessons down which I have learnt over the past 15 years of parenting 6 kids.
Bit by bit.
Perhaps it would be cathartic to let it all out and slowly re-build the fragmented pieces of my relationship with the girls, especially #4.
She has such a sensitive soul that she was the one most affected by my horrible parenting.
As my words flow, I start to recall little incidences.
What was our discipline style back then?
It was a let’s-scold-them-when-we-can’t-take-their-nonsense-anymore style.
We didn’t know we had to be consistent.
As they misbehaved, I would tolerate and wait for their nonsense to stop. Which of course any mom could tell you, that’s just an absurd notion.
As a result, my anger would escalate and suddenly, boom!
I reached my threshold and unleashed my full anger on them.
I would rant on and on, and once, a neighbour even peered into my window to see if everything was all right.
Because you see, I have always been a very patient person. My old friends would tell you that I was the calmest and most patient person amongst us.
Somehow having the responsibility of taking care of 5 little people under the age of 9 turned me into a monster mom.
I was so busy trying to survive from day to day that I never stopped to think if there was a better way.
We had no siblings nor friends with kids to learn from or discuss things with.
Obviously I didn’t have time to read books nor surf the internet to gather some insight. Heck, I didn’t even know parenting blogs existed.
I just plodded along in my own crazy world.
I vividly remember one incident.
I was driving the kids home after an evening out.
I started scolding #4 about something, and got so carried away that I was literally screaming at her.
Yes, in the confines of the car.
She recoiled from me and shielded her face.
My words were like bullets firing at this poor little child.
I must have been so exhausted and frustrated that I took it all out on her.
She must have been traumatised.
It was not the first time I had yelled at them, and definitely not the last.
And when you get into the habit of screaming at your kids, it just gets worse.
The first time you scream at them, it seems to work like a miracle.
They are momentarily stunned and would be on their best behaviour for the rest of the day.
I would finish yelling at them, then send them all to bed (it didn’t matter what time it was).
They would promptly fall asleep, probably in fear, and I got my hour of peace.
Subsequently, they got so used to my screaming that they did not fall in line immediately anymore.
What happens next?
I have to scream even louder thinking that somehow what I was trying to say would get into their little heads if I yelled LOUD ENOUGH.
It became a habit and I was yelling at them constantly.
Please don’t scream at your children. Except in a dangerous situation.
Let peace prevail in your homes instead.
Tip #6: Ban books? What are you gonna do about phones?
Tip #7: 10 House Rules for Gadget Use
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