His favorite ‘spot’

As a child, I am told I was hard to control.

What I’ve always taken this to mean was my parents were too weak to follow through on a punishment and as a result, my behavior was never brought under control.

Well now I’m ready to eat some humble pie. It seems like you do a lot of that when you have kids.

It turns out, children are basically impossible to control.

Sure, you can decide on ‘techniques’. You can watch the Three Day Nanny and as much of Jo Frost as is physically possible. You can read all the books under the sun. You can even-dare I say it- watch other parents and naively promise yourself you’ll never make the same parenting mistakes as them.

But when it comes down to it, you will. Because you will be so utterly frustrated, you’ll use what ever you’ve got.

When we put our child on the spot, he laughs. If he doesn’t laugh, he’ll have a chat with you. Unfortunately, he can see everything from his spot on the stairs. I think he regards it as his throne. It’s his favorite place in the house.

If you don’t reply, he’ll just give you running commentary on what your doing. He’ll even sing.

None of this is what happens when you watch Jo Frost now, is it? You see the children screaming and shouting, clawing their way off the spot. They cry and beg for a juice, they need a poo, their sorrrrryyyyy please mummmyyyyy…..

Not our boy. Oh no. Happy as Larry.

WHAT THE HELL??

The only screaming and shouting that comes from putting our little angel on the spot, is from us! (well me really)

Out of sheer frustration, I find myself descending into a child like state myself. If he makes his trade mark whinge sound, so do I! I do it because I know this to be the only thing on the planet that appears to provoke a feeling of dislike from him! He has a habit of screaming when he’s angry, and yep, you guessed it, I’ve been known to do it back. Or he’ll clap in your face- I guess to intimidate you. So yeah, done that too. He absolutely hates it when I do anything he does to me, back to him.

It’s awful I know. I’m an awful parent. Of this, I am aware. My husband has enough self control not to get to this level. I don’t know how, but I just thank god one of us remains sane.

This is not what I imagined will happen with the spot. What am I doing wrong? What else can I do? I really feel like he controls me and not the other way round. How much more Jo Frost can I watch????

 

 

The Parent Tool box…

So, since taking on the challenging of parenting, I have come to realise there are several pieces of ‘equipment’ that every parent needs. Call them the tools of the trade, if you will. But without them, you might well end up eating soup out of a pan and trying to console yourself your not the worst parent in the world for forgetting to bring something for the harvest festival…

 

1.) Plenty of clean sheets 

Not just for the child, but for you also. Because when they are done wetting their own bed, they tend of crawl into yours and do the same.

2.) A carpet cleaner

For all the poo, wee, vomit, boggies, spilled drinks, squished beans, bits of play dough and anything else you can think of that will inevitably work its way into your carpet

3.) Unisex wrapping paper

For ALL the birthdays kids friends have. And add to that, plenty of ‘just encase’ cards

4.) A baby sitter

An essential to life with children. If you have a new born, even an hour away just to sit with your partner (and fall asleep), without continual crying.Lets face it, a life without sex, sleep and adult conversation can be very hard- so have a few hours break every now and then

5.) Access to your emails, all the time

In order to avoid being the only mum who turns up without anything for the harvest festival, its best to have instant access to your emails so you can always know what parent mail is demanding of you

6.) A dishwasher

I don’t own one. And its the BANE OF MY LIFE. I don’t know how other parents have homes so spotless and dirty-washing-up-free if they don’t own one of these. I do not have one of these homes. I try, I really do. But there aren’t enough hours in the day to keep up!! Sadly we rent, so the unless the magic washing-up fairy visits, I will shall forever be playing the game of clearing the sink, or yes, I will end up eating soup out of a pan because I have no bowls left…again

Intro

So I have news: I am a step mum!

I have a five year old boy who lives with myself and my partner and who we, jointly, bring up. We spend our time, money, love and energy on this child. The same cannot be said for the woman who gave birth to him.

So far, our dedication has brought with it many trials. As a former single gal, they have mostly come as a shock to me. Although I knew, in theory, what I was getting myself into, I wasn’t REALLY prepared. I knew there were trials, many, many trials….but I didn’t know they would come so thick and fast.

One weekend we are dealing with explosive diarrhea at 2am and I’m half naked, showering said child down in the bath while my other half changes the bed. The next, he’s projectile vomited and again, needs hosing down.  I don’t think I’ve ever gagged so much. Is this the smell of parenting?

There’s also the emotional toll that step parents especially, have to go through. While my step-son is happy for me to take him to the park (while his dad recovers himself from last weeks bug), make him lunch and buy him sweets, he’ll cry at the thought of sitting next to me on the sofa. While I spend my money on birthday presents and re-arrange my work life in order to meet his child care needs, I ultimately have no say in important decisions in his life.

Step parenting is REALLY REALLY hard. It’s a massive shock to the system. I am only just realising that really, nothing, will ever be the same.

The one thing I have hang on to is I have a very good role model. My dad is actually my step-dad, and has been around for about 20 years of my life. I love him very much and I know I can go to him about anything- although the love I have for him is different from the love I have for my mum, it makes it no less real. So this is my goal- and I will get there one day with my step-son.

According to statistics there are 7000 full time step-parents out there. So if your reading this and your in a similar position, I hope that you find this blog helpful in some way. I want you to know, your not as alone as you might think! And as I share my journey, please feel free to chip in- the one thing I know is, without support, this journey is very lonely.