Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mom vs. Parent

There's being a mom.  And then there's being a parent.

In my eyes, these two words can mean totally different things.

The word mom brings to mind hugs, and kisses, and tears of joy, and loving so much it hurts.  And every morning feeling like Christmas.

The word parent brings to mind tantrums, and patience, and discipline, and deep breaths.

And time-outs.

Yep, the Peeles have officially entered the world of time-outs.  The corner has been designated.  And a plan has been put into place about when we'll put her in time-out (repeated offenses, hitting/biting, doing things that are unsafe) and for how long she'll stay there (per the pediatrician, a minute for each year of age - so 60 seconds it is).

I can tell you that, as a MOM, one minute is a long time to listen to your 16-month-old cry in the corner.  But as a parent who just got hit in the face with a dog bowl full of food flying across the room... that one minute is not quite long enough. :)

It goes without saying that we've had some challenging, terrible-two's moments lately (and in case you're confused, the terrible twos start much earlier than the age of two).  And after observing Cameron and realizing that the sly little smile and mischievous grin on her face do in fact mean she knows you're telling her not to do something, and she's doing it anyway - the time-outs began.

Right now, there are two factors that make disciplining her tough.  I know this is just the beginning of some trying toddler times, but because my time with her is so limited as a full-time working mom, I hate having to say "no" so often, and I really don't want our time together to constantly be a battle of wills.  The second reason it's tough is because I find it nearly impossible to keep from bursting at the seams with laughter, because she really is so darn cute when she's testing the limits and throwing tantrums and jumping up and down on the ottoman saying, "no, no, no!".

But I'm sure I'll get over that quickly.

The good news is, she does fairly well with time-outs and has (so far) stayed in the corner for the entire sixty seconds.  As a parent, it is nice to see the beginning of her respecting us and trusting us even in a not-so-fun moment.

While I knew raising a child was far from easy, this parenting thing is no joke!  I thought the days were tough when I had a constantly nursing, non-napping, up-all-night infant.  But toddlerhood is an entirely different animal, one who requires more patience than I'll ever have.  And I'm not naïve - I know this is just the beginning of learning how to be a "parent" during the difficult times (it's SO easy to be a "mom" during the fun times!).  Because, as much as I'd like to avoid it, I'm going to have a teenage daughter one day.  And obviously I used to be one, so I know how that goes.

And also, I'd like to take this moment to apologize to all the moms out there who I've ever given the side-eye to as their child threw a tantrum in the middle of Food Lion.  As of last weekend, I now carry an arsenal of cookies, suckers, snack cups, sippies, toys, and new iPhone apps just to get to the end of my grocery list.  And we inevitably end up opening up a package of SOMETHING in the cart before it's been purchased because oh-no-she-spotted-the-cookies-and-if-I-don't-give-her-one-she'll-scream-and-WHERE-IS-THE-ALCOHOL-AISLE.

Dear God, I appreciate the opportunity to be a mom, it's the best job in the world, and I promise not to take a minute for granted - But PLEASE give me the patience to get through the toddler years.  Amen.
Case in point.  T and I were cleaning up the house, and realized it was too quiet.  We found her with her fishing pole, in the toilet.  Don't worry, there was nothing to fish for.

No comments:

Post a Comment