Well I'm still right in the middle of my immature temper tantrum (yup it has lasted all week so far). I'm so flippin TIRED all the time, in mitigation, but I think the biggest part of it is that gentle discipline is so hard for me, day to day, and occasionally I just have a build up of resentment and "what's the point" feelings.
And I know I have to work through those and get back on track, I know what I'm choosing and why, and that character is sometimes a painful thing to build. I just have to work with the step-by-step slow toil if I don't want to spend the rest of my life being this angry hurting person who does what they hate. Prayer appreciated. ;)
But, something positive to come out of a down time. I'm starting to think again about some of the things that are still left unquestioned in our lives. I'm starting to really think about why I find it so difficult to be interruptable, and I'm coming to the conclusion that part of it is that I've spent a lot of my life being asked to postpone what I want to do. Some healing to come out of that is my finding more time to do things I truly want to do for my own reasons, crafting, reading. The parenting upshot of the same realisation is that I'm more concious of when I'm asking my children to drop everything to comply, and undervaluing the importance of the work they are doing.
I've also had some strange moments when I'm insisting that Jenna particularly do something she doesn't want to. And then the thought has popped into my head, "Why?" You know those times.
Jenna, you MUST stop play fighting. Why? Um, because I'm being overprotective, carry on, I'll stop you if I think it's crossed the line into *real* fighting...
Hair brushing is a really big one I've let go of. Jenna has short, bouncy, thick hair. It's just like mine - it doesn't hold knots and washing immediately gets rid of each and every tangle. Brushing it makes it flyaway and brittle, and is actually pretty counter-productive (I haven't brushed my own hair in about a year). Yet something in me found it SO HARD to let go of. Especially when going to my mum's church (where I'm up against the weight of history, it being the church I grew up in myself).
Brushed, Jenna doesn't look much tidier exactly. She just looks as if I made an effort. And somehow, the idea that other people will look at me and think I don't care what they think... Still scary, you know? Even though, mostly, I care much more what Jenna thinks. And oh, those brushings... She howls and cries no matter how gentle I'm trying to be, I get impatient and tell her to hold still, and I CAN'T leave it half done and it turns into this horrific battle. Let's just say I have a new sympathy for my mum trying to brush MY hair as a child.
Anyway, I've just decided that I'm not willing to battle with my children any more. There are times in life when it WILL be something life threatening, and where I WILL need to intervene. But not because some little old ladies will think I'm an incompetant mother for avoiding something that uneccesarily hurts and upsets a little girl. When said little girls starts to care about what the old ladies think, we'll talk again. ;)
Signing off on a positive then, with a lot of burdens lighter and a lot of priorities changing. And hope, again, that feeling so negative doesn't last long.