I knew it was a bad idea but I still did it anyway: I turned my computer on while the kids were around. My kids have seen me on the computer, but usually for something quick like looking up directions. This time, however, I was too focused that my kids resorted to their crazy antics to get my attention. And for good reason: I wasn’t paying attention to them. My interaction was lackluster. So they started whining, disobeying on purpose, fighting with one another.
Zoned in on the computer, I shooed them away and told them to be quiet. I got impatient that they couldn’t just play quietly for a second. And trying to parent positively for the remainder of the day seemed all but impossible.
The ironic part? I had turned on my computer to review the book design of my new parenting book. So while reading about connecting and parenting calmly, I was yelling at my kids to knock it off.
Ironic and, sadly, not the first time. I’ve done this enough to know it’s a bad idea to get distracted when my kids are around. Though not often, I’ve shooed my kids away so I can blog about parenting. It’s one thing to check directions—it’s a whole other thing to do focus-intensive work.
And it’s not just while I’m on the computer, either. I’ve lost my temper or said “Because I said so!” I’ve dragged my kids to their room when all this time I’ve advocated for “time-ins.” I can’t even tell you how many times I thought, “I write a parenting blog, for crying out loud!” after yelling or wishing my kids wouldn’t “distract” me.
I’m pretty transparent on this blog. I want to admit the many times I’ve failed to take my own advice. After all, I started blogging to write about parenthood, including mistakes and lessons. This is the cathartic side of blogging.
And second, I don’t want you to think I’ve got this parenting thing down perfectly. That I always redirect or empathize every single time (ha!). Truth is, I don’t always follow my own advice despite my best intentions. Like everyone else, I too make parenting mistakes.
Maybe this isn’t exactly the message most people say as they’re about to release a parenting book. But at the same time, I want you to know the gritty stuff. Because while I’m usually on my A-game and follow my own advice, sometimes I don’t. I react. I’m too exhausted to put in the effort. I shoo my kids away or tell them to knock it off.
When you feel like no one else would lose their patience as much as you, remember: you’re not alone.
Instead, I do my best. I learned my lesson and leave the computer off until the evening. I wake up earlier to squeeze in the extra work. I mentally prep for the time I’m with my children. And it makes a difference.
So, good news: if you can relate—if you feel like you’re just about ready to lose it—you’re not alone. Even parenting bloggers mess up, too. Now I know to keep my computer off—at least until the kids’ bedtime.
Read more posts about parenthood:
- How I Failed as a Mom… and Why It Wasn’t as Bad as I Thought
- On Choosing to Turn a Bad Parenting Day into a Good One
- 6 Ideas to Pull Yourself Out of a Bad Parenting Day
- Parenthood: Appreciate What You Have
- What to Do when You’re Unhappy Being a Mom
Your turn: What are your biggest parenting challenges right now? What makes for ‘parenting success’?
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