Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It sucks cause I can't be the mom I want to be AND be the parent Nixon needs too

   I've fought really hard about whether or not I'd write this blog. It's been eating away at me for several days since it happened and I can't let it go. To some, it'll seem like I'm being a drama queen overreacting to something that I should just accept and let go. To others, who know me and know how hard I've fought to not make this parenting choice, they'll get why it's eating me up inside. 

   Nixon's become one big barrel of defiance these days. He's spending a fair amount of time in his bedroom for throwing things and for screaming (no more time outs in the hallway, those became too mundane for him), he's getting toys taken away for not cleaning up when told (he still has so many that he's not really missing any...yet) and he's gone to bed more than once without his usual bedtime routine because he refused to listen to myself or Mac when told to (those nights are especially hard on me). He's just starting to learn he can say "no" but there are consequences for it. 
  On the flip side, there are things that he LOVES and when he asks for those things (his monkey learning game is one), I can ask him to clean up first and he'll do it with little resistance because he WANTS his monkey game time. Knowing he wants something makes my life a little easier because it means he'll be willing to do what I ask him to do without the usual fights and he's learning about responsibility in the process. It's a small step towards a bigger goal, but I'll take it as a win, none-the-less.

  All of this has been done without yelling (on my part) and all while I remained firm in my "no spanking" parenting stance. 

    Until Monday evening that is. 
    We had to run to the base mall for a few things I needed to start preparing the cats crates, in the event we need them when we fly home (whenever the fucking bloody hell that is...seriously STILL no damned date, can you believe this shit?!?!?). I'm sewing custom made piddle pads for each crate and securing them to the bottom of the crate with thick velcro. My hope is the cats will feel more comfortable, in the event they do have to fly home in their crates.
   Nixon was relatively well behaved, until we got to the registers and he started asking for a car. When he was told "no" he screeched, I took his hand and guided him towards the exit while Mac stayed in line to pay for everything...this is our usual stand-and-conquer technique when Nixon acts like this. Once Nixon and I got downstairs, he was fine. We waited for Mac, who then bought a small milkshake and split it with Nixon on the walk out to the car. 
   I honestly have no clue what went through my kid's head between the time I opened the car door for him and the next 5 seconds, but he lost his damned mind and BOLTED out into the parking lot like it was a goddamned field of flowers he could frolic in! I ran after him, grabbed his arm, and.....spanked his butt without even thinking about it! I led him back to the car, as I listened to Nixon yelling "Mommy you hurted my butt!" and saw Mac's face as he looked at me. 
   I put Nixon in his car seat and told him "Nixon, I'm very sorry I spanked your butt, but you can NOT run into the parking lot like that, EVER! You could get hurt very badly if a car didn't see you run out in front of it. I didn't like spanking you, it hurt my heart very much to do it, but baby, if you got hurt by a car it'd hurt my heart even more." Nixon looked at me and said "Mommy, I sorry my butt hurts" about feeling like an asshole.

   We drove home and I sat with my face touching the window, choking back tears. I can rationalize it all I want, but the truth is....I really did NEVER want to spank my son. And it didn't help matters that Mac's idea of comforting me was telling me "Well it was bound to happen eventually", as if it was only a matter of time before Nixon was spanked and that my serious desire to be a spank-free household was never going to actually be a reality in the first place. Thanks, honey. 


  1. I don't blame you for being upset. It's so frustrating trying to raise a kid in a particular way and having a lapse like that.

    You can look at it 2 ways.

    1 - You accept that it happened and stop beating yourself up over it. You consider it a lapse in judgement and continue to work at being a "non-spanking" household.

    2 - You accept that it happened and stop beating yourself up over it. You acknowledge that spanking may not be the worst thing in the world, and consider when it may be an appropriate response to behavior.

    The key is, that either way you accept and move on. Whether you continue to avoid spanking or opt to use it after all is your choice as a parent. I'm not going to tell you what is right and what is wrong.

    You feared for your child's safety and reacted. It's normal and it does not make you a bad parent or mean that you failed your son in some way. The fact that you are so upset by it shows what an amazing parent you are.

    Chin up. I did the EXACT SAME THING when my daughter went running for the road at our house. It just scared the shit out of me and you know what? We're both OK. We're only human. We make mistakes.

  2. Wow...

    Ok, first of all...You're not the mommy from hell. It happens. I was a no-spanking mom when my kids were little, except for situations like this, which can be life or death. Don't beat yourself up over it, as NMC mentioned above. You and Nixon are both ok. My parents tended to only spank when absolutely necessary and I only recall maybe once, though they said I got spanked twice. I'm ok, too. ;)

    Secondly, I wanted to let you know that I've put you in for a blog award:

    Enjoy!!! :)

    PS my WordPress credentials would not let me in, so I used my google log in. You may remember me as Jules, the Type A Workaholic from that blog. ;)

  3. in agreement with these ladies. We are our own worst critic, Nixon won't remember this later in life unless you tell him, then he will probably milk the guilt for all its worth cuz thats what adult kids do best! j/k, not all of them do... haha!