Some days I feel like a really good mom. Some days I feel like an mediocre one. Some days I feel like a crappy one. Today, it's the crappy mom who is making her way through my family. My kid. Oh, my kid. His behavior lately has been...challenging. He's gotten in to this sneaky phase at home. And I know that's a normal phase for kids to go through. Testing out lying, learning that it's not acceptable (well, I don't guess all kids learn that, but the hope sure is that my kiddo will). I know that. But living it is becoming rather irritating. And, to top it off, apparently he's also becoming a bit defiant at school (with the new lovely teacher!), which is not acceptable at all.
So, in addition to trying to figure out how we're going to address it (we're starting by setting up a meeting with said lovely teacher), I'd like to try to figure out what's causing it. Now, I know that sometimes that just isn't possible, or may become obvious in hindsight. But it sure would be helpful in the here-and-now to have some kind of a glimpse, if at all possible.
I've been racking my brain. Is it the time change (as hubby suggested)? I don't think so, because this all started before that. Is it him not getting enough sleep? Maybe, and he certainly is going to go to bed earlier 'cause it's worth a try and an effective consequence with him. Is it him still not being happy at school? This is certainly a possibility and it makes my heart HURT, y'all. Is it my new job and not being there in the evenings 2 nights a week? Also a distinct possibility. And something that makes me feel so sad and guilty (because that's not going to change any time soon).
I just don't know.
It's funny, as I think about parenting, it strikes me that I thought (like a lot) about what it would be like to parent an infant and toddler. I thought about what it will be like to parent a teenager. I even thought about what it will be like to parent a middle schooler (shudder). But, for some reason, the whole thinking about parenting an elementary age kid seems to have eluded me. Apparently I just assumed that would be the "easy" time. And, hell, it may still be. Though heaven knows I sure hope not.
Today's lesson: Each stage of parenting is hard. And easy. And lovely. And sucky. And long. And short. And maddening. And hilarious. And exhausting. And enlightening. Just when you think you know what you're doing, your kids remind you that you don't. Think of it as opportunities to grow. Or something.