Sometimes, parenting can feel a whole lot like your kid has you in a choke hold and you’re just going around kicking yourself in the face.

What am I talking about?

Punishment and follow through.

For example, your kid needs to be punished, so you take away their TV/screen time. Who’s really getting punished here? Your kid, who simply follows you around, like a whiny shadow, nagging and wearing you down? Or you? Who doesn’t get a moments peace until either the punishment ends or your resolve crumbles.

Another example, you put your toddler in time out. Who’s really being punished here? Your kid who finds it highly entertaining to see how far they can push you by discovering how many times they can sneak out of time out? (It’s 17 times in 4 minutes, yes I’ve counted, yes I’ve been there) Or you, the idiot who has to keep repeating the same action over and over again (putting said kid back in time out) and hoping/expecting a different result until you’re so frustrated, you’re wondering why you don’t believe in smacking your kids. A good wallop on the ass and this torture would have been over ages ago.

Our morning routines are awful!

Are mornings horrible in your house to? *say yes say yes say yes* Because usually by the time I leave for work in the mornings, I’ve screamed like a fishwife for at least 40 minutes and I’m about ready to hit the bottle and give up on the day. 

Ava is the problem here. My word, this kid. STUBBORN with a capital S! She will do what she wants to do, when she wants to do it and to hell with what anyone else has to say about it. And it DRIVES ME INSANE. Every week morning, I spend an inordinate amount of time, nagging and shouting!

Have you eaten your breakfast?

Finish your breakfast!

Please hurry up!

Go and get dressed?

Why are you standing around in one sock, looking out the window and NOT GETTING DRESSED?

Did you brush your teeth?

I said, GO BRUSH YOUR TEETH!

Dad is going to leave without you!

I said DAD IS GOING TO LEAVE WITHOUT YOU!

Ad nauseam! 

The best part? She really really really wants to go to school. She just wants to do her morning routine in her own time and in her own way. Well sorry Sweetie, there’s a schedule that has to be adhered to.

Yesterday, it was time for follow through!

I told my husband, it’s enough with the threats now. She is clearly not taking them seriously and now it’s time to follow through. Yesterday morning, it took her an hour of staring into space, playing with the dog and sitting on the couch and she still hadn’t eaten any of her breakfast, the breakfast she’s specifically requested, still in her jammies, with unbrushed hair and teeth! So he left without her.

And then her world came to an end!

He apparently “hurt her heart” and none of us “appreciate her” both statements caused me to inwardly eye roll so very very hard, my head hurt!

But you know who landed up being kicked in the face? 

ME!

Because I landed up then having to get her to school, after dropping Hannah at school, which in turn meant that I was late for work and felt the weight of that on my anxiety the entire drive to work.

So yeah. Follow through is all good and well and necessary. But sometimes…… Sometimes I just don’t know where I find the resolve to stick to the follow through or the punishment.

Do you struggle with this too? With all the pressures and time constraints in our lives and with the little time I do actually get to spend with my children, it’s really just NO fun spending that time punishing them and myself in the process.