We all have them. For different things.

Physically. Emotionally.

I'm trying hard to understand mine, especially when it comes to parenting.

I figure out how to deal with things by tapping in to my mechanics. I find there are automatic strategies that kick in when I'm running out of the ability to just cope.

But some strategies scare me, and it's usually when I'm not coping.

There's a chain of reactions, it seems. And I don't like any of them. And it's always related to Noah.

First, I fly off the handle. I come down on him. Hard. But then he starts whining, and I lose patience. I know I never, EVER want to see what comes after yelling at him, so my auto mechanism kicks in.

I shut down.

It's not even "just ignoring him", it's complete shut down. My brain turns off, my body goes on auto-pilot, my emotions die. I'm cold.

"Is this what he'll remember?" I ask myself. "Am I failing him in not being able to deal with him? Am I being lazy? Am I being irresponsible?" are the questions that go through my mind.

How long will this go on for? I don't like doing it, but I never seem to spot the "acceptable alternative". I struggle to bond with him as it is, and I always feel like the one who needs to keep him under control. Everyone says he's "Oh but he's so amazing! He's so lovely! He's so well behaved!!" And they're right. Of course he is.

But that's come from two years of mechanical maintenance. His maintenance.

But I hate mine. He's so lovely. I am not. My mechanics are ugly. Every time I feel them kick in, I hate who I become; I always hope the repercussions do not last long. But surely...they chip away? They break spirit? Mine and his?

My parenting mechanics feel set in stone. So how do I change them? Can I change them?

Do I need to break...to create a new mechanical structure?
3 Responses
  1. TheMadHouse Says:

    I think that yes you should change them and yes this is what he will remember or rather that should be that this is what I remeber of my mother. She was like this with me. I suffered as a child and due to the pain I felt and still do, I had to get my depression dealt with.

    No time for talking, as soon as it effecting the children, then it had to be donw.

    It hasnt been a walk in the park, but at least I dealt with it before they were old wnough for there memories to be formed.

    Yes I still can come down hard on them both and there are still days when MadDad pulls me to oneside and tells me to get my act together, but it is better.

    Was it easy? Hell no, hardest year of my life on the CBT, but I think I am getting there.

    I am also aware that this post will possibly be so different from many you receive, but he doesnt understand the whys, he just understands the actions.

  2. Heather Says:

    My instincts say he will remember it. He wont be able to read your mind and know the whys and wherefores. Any explanation will only confuse him more.

    I have no proof or experience to back this up, only my own memories from childhood. My parents were great but i still remember the times when they weren't, you know?

    It is something I struggle over with my kids. i want to be the sort of mother that they look back on and have happy memories of. Some days I'm sure I'm failing them.

    It's so hard at the best of times.

  3. april Says:

    yes, I think he will remember them if you keep doing them, if they change he will remember the change.
    And changing from shut down to a better way of dealing with can only be good.
    You will need help to do this though - maybe some kind of parenting course...
    I know my kids are going to remember me as the mum who was always sick, who couldn't always cope, who would run away and cry...but hopefully they will also remember that I read to them, and play with them, and do Mum things too.
    I don't know how to be a Mum any way other than I am and I can't be.
    Your reaction seems to be coming out of a massive amount of stress. This is something that can be helped I hope - I wish I knew which services to recommend in the UK, I don't know though...just *hugs* and know that he will remember positive change as much as the not good.