Thursday, March 19, 2009

Growing Pains. Please Make Them Stop

When I became pregnant with my daughter my husband and I decided I would be staying home with her. I love being home with both of our children and while we have had to make a lot of sacrifices I am thankful to my husband for working his tail off in order to enable me to remain at home until our children are in school. That being said, there are days, or portions of days, like this morning, that I would give my right arm and possibly part of my left to actually get to leave my house and drive to a job outside of my home. A job that doesn't require me to to be at the beck and call of little people. Right arm, people! And I'm predominantly right handed.

Some of the issues today stemmed from an unexpected change of plans. Once my daughter has been told something is going to happen or we are going to go somewhere specific, it must happen or it throws her off. She gets this wonderful aversion to last minute planning and cancellations from me, which is usually why we hold off telling her about anything until it is an absolute certainty with no possibility of changing. Today's change in plans was unforeseen and while she handled it well initially I could tell she was not thrilled. I planned another activity in its place and this is where the breakdown occurred. New surroundings, lots of people, and a brother who, gasp, touched and dared tried to read her book.

There was crying, gnashing of teeth, general unhappiness and frustration by all involved. In the cross hairs is my happy, easy-going, flexible son wondering what the heck happened to his peaceful morning. What happened indeed? Part of me is very excited to be sending our daughter to preschool two mornings a week next year just so that I can have one on one time with my son. Then I realize how much I'll miss her and feel guilty for even thinking that.

This month has been rough, though. I'm told it is "growing pains" in which case I pray it ends soon. While our daughter continues to assert her independence, my husband and I continue to remind her of what is appropriate and acceptable behavior, mostly in regards to how she speaks to us. This past month she seems to have either forgotten or willfully ignores all she has been taught in the past 3 1/2 years. She is getting older and accordingly earns more privileges and responsibilities. Along with that, though, comes expectations of how we, as her parents, expect her to treat us and others. She pushes as far as she can to test those boundaries and then doesn't much like the consequences when she has pushed too far.

So, we will continue this battle of wills and hopefully ride out this emotional roller coaster. I am hoping, as with most things, this too is a phase that will pass. In the meantime I will console myself with thoughts of, "If it doesn't get better, I can always go back to work" or start consuming large quantities of alcohol each night to ease the pain.


Robyn said...

I give you all the credit in the world for staying home with 2 children. Some days, I hate to leave Bear behind, but others, I'm SO happy to have an "adult" place to go.

I think it's a good thing when you get to miss each other (just for a little while). Preschool is going to be great for all of you!

Nancy said...

I worked fulltime until my son was 10 (yeah, I did it backwards!), and going to work I confess was so freeing! When I'm out of the house, all my "house troubles" would disappear and I could totally put them out of my mind and just focus on work.
But then I loved being home too - but there's something about being productive for yourself.
Your daughter is going through growing pains, assertig herself and her own ideas. I think she's totally ready for school and a little separation too!

Joanne said...

Sometimes when they're young, it feels like it will be that way forever, but the years go by so fast! It's good that you're there with her as she gains independence and responsibilities; I'll bet she looks to you for limits and reassurances more than you realize.