Skip to main content

Control

As a parent, I strive to maintain control of my children, my responses regarding their often unusual and sometimes inappropriate actions, my sanity, and so much more.  I use benefits (a.k.a. bribery) and discipline to seek control.  I beg and plead - both to my children and God - for control.  However, after several years of parenting, I've quickly learned that control is the one thing we either quickly lose or never have.

Evidence:
My daughter was easy to potty train.  On her third birthday, she announced that she was a big girl and she no longer needed to wear diapers or pull ups.  From that point on, she didn't.  Since then, she's only had two accidents when someone else was watching her and forgot to remind her to use the potty before bedtime.

My son is another story.  Yes, he's still young.  No, at 2-1/2, I do not expect him to be potty trained yet. However, that isn't stopping him from trying.  Every chance he gets, he takes off his own pants and diaper and then pees or poops on the floor (his favorite is on the carpet, not the hardwood floors and favorite time is right before we're leaving the house or at the end of the day when I'm exhausted).  He then proudly exclaims that he went pee and/or poop.  He's thrilled over the control that he has on his bodily functions.  I'm not so thrilled (*understatement*) over the lack of control I have on where and when he decides to exert his control.  However, he's showing me my absolute lack of control over this area of his life.  I cannot control his bodily functions.

Now, all of this does not mean I don't try to assert control.  When I've had too many poopy (literally) days, I load him up with the BRAT diet.  If he's peeing in every room in my house, I take away his water bottle.  But, he knows I'll eventually feed and water him.  He understands that I love him and won't neglect his daily nourishment.  He knows he has so much more control over this situation than I do...but I try.

If only bodily functions were the only area my children attempted to assert their control.



Lately though, I've decided to give up my control.  After all, the more I attempt to control these situations, the more control I lose.  Instead of maintaining control over the individual situations I'm controlling the larger story that we are a family who works together.  We've made games out of keeping our pants (and diapers) on.  We've started the reward of choosing the daily location of the potty.  We've rewritten the story of what control looks like.  Yes, I still can't control my son's bodily functions (I'm sure this will continue to haunt me as he grows into a gaseous teenager), but we're having fun pretending we all have control over this scenario.

Now, if I can only figure out how to control myself from finishing off all the rest of our Halloween candy...


A special thank you to the Baby Björn Smart Potty for help with potty training both in our house and on the road.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Leadership Mom: SWOT Analysis

In business, leaders often analyze our Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats through a SWOT analysis.  So, if we are going to look at our role as moms as being the greatest leadership opportunity to us, let's start with analyzing ourselves and our kids.  Here's the SWOT I developed for my family: Family SWOT Analysis As a doting mother, there are hundreds of strengths that I could put up here for my kids.  Their hugs, kisses, bedtime stories and prayers, the fact that they come to me when they're seeking healing from an injury (physical or emotional), the notes and drawings they make for me, their precious hearts when they try to help me or that they've learned how to use the Keurig to bring me coffee in the morning...I could go on and on. Now, here's the part where we get honest with ourselves.  Yes, we love our kids and we love our family (or, hopefully, most of the time), but we are not perfect.  Nor should we be perfect.  As we analyze oursel

Breastfeeding: Top 10

I've had several requests for another post about breastfeeding.  So, here it is! Before having a baby, I thought that breastfeeding was going to be easy.  After all, it's an innate practice of all mammals.  How hard can it really be?  Now, after seven months of breastfeeding, I can tell you that it is not easy.  BUT, the good news is, it gets easier!   As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I had a horrible time beginning with breastfeeding.  It was extremely painful and I dreaded nursing times.  I felt like a horrible mom.  I didn't want to feed my child because I knew the pain that I was going to have to endure.  There are moments - through pure exhaustion - when I couldn't control myself and screamed.  Thankfully, I had a husband who was supportive and continued to encourage me and provide all of the support that he could in the form of talking to me, rubbing my back and shoulders, and assuring me that things would get better. We all know that breastmilk is the abs

Establishing Night Time Sleep

Since I assume that most of you reading this are either mothers or women who want to eventually be mothers, then we each know that our child (or child-to-be) is the brightest and most well-developed child out there (who wouldn't agree?!).  Our prodigy child wants to see and do everything - especially at night.  And, as mothers, we all know who gets to wake up during the middle of the night to teach Baby that, when the moon is out, we sleep...us!  A mother's physical need for sleep seems to diminish during the first months after Baby arrives.  But, our mental need for sleep is still ever present reminding us - day after day - that we are exhausted. Well, establishing night time sleep isn't impossible, and this blog will tell you how I did it and had my baby sleeping through the night by nine weeks old (which, for her age, was six hours of blessed, uninterrupted sleep). I read many books prior to Baby's arrival about establishing a good sleep habit.  On Becoming Baby Wis