Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mother Guilt

I remember expressing sadness to my Mother once about feeling remorse regarding something trivial I had done or not done when Elsbeth was a baby. She told me, Jill there will be plenty of things to really feel guilty about as a Mother, so seriously, don't sweat the small stuff. I thought that was pretty sage advice and I have tried to keep that philosophy in perspective as a parent and remind myself, that despite my attempts at being the perfect person, I am still just a mere mortal. So I haven't lost much sleep over the minor issues, but there are those times that I just can't shake and I am left wondering if I have done more harm than good in certain instances.

I spanked my daughter today for peeing on the floor. There, I said it. I didn't do it out of anger, I didn't even do it hard enough to make her cry, but I still felt bad afterwards. We've been working on potty training for several months now and just about every time she has it down pat, we have had to travel and she regresses back to square one. Public potty performance anxiety I guess you could call it. I always said I didn't want two children in diapers and yet here I am.

The tipping point to move exclusively to underwear came when I asked her if she needed to use the restroom and she said that no, she'd rather just go in her diaper which she promptly did. In my opinion that's old enough to know better. So, yesterday I said that's the end of the diapers, you're going to wear underwear from now on and you're going to go in the toilet. And she did. All day. We were out car shopping all day yesterday and she didn't have one accident. I can only assume that she didn't because she didn't want to have an embarrassing moment of peeing in front of strangers. She even slept overnight in underwear without an accident.

Fast forward to today. She wakes up, we go straight to the toilet and she does her thing. I shower her with praise and she even gets a rolo. Throughout the day I've asked her if she needs to go to the bathroom and have even taken her in to sit on the toilet a couple of times with no success. Then she pees in her room. I explained to her that these were underwear and not diapers and that they wouldn't hold it in anymore. I told her she was big enough to use the toilet and that's what I wanted her to do from now on. But I did not punish her, it was an accident. Not too long after that we had another accident on the bathroom rug. No hard feelings, at least she was trying to make it in there. I delivered the same speech again and cleaned it up. Then there was her bedroom again. She didn't tell me, she just kept on going and tried to hide it. This time after I had cleaned it up I told her if she did it again she would get a spanking.

We're at the table for lunch and she's eating a piece of watermelon. I stand next to her to place her sandwich on her plate and feel something wet splatter my foot. I peed she says as she looks nonchalantly at me. So I did it. I spanked her for peeing on the floor for the fourth time today. She didn't even seem upset about it, but I immediately felt guilty. Why? What would you have done?


Lauren said...

I'm not a mother so I can't give you any parenting advice whatsoever, I just wanted to let you know that the line "I spanked my daughter today for peeing on the floor" almost caused ME to pee on the floor.

I do not judge, and I do not think it is the end of the world. You did not do it out of anger or a lost temper; you told her if she did ____ she'd get ____ and you followed through with it. While some people may say "any spanking is WRONG", I think it's better that you held up your end of the agreement and let her know you were serious.

You are a fabulous, fun, hip, and beautiful Mommy. No one expects you to be 100% perfection, even if you're damn close.

Obi-Mom Kenobi said...

Give yourself a break. You're ALL under a fair bit of stress these days. And you're not a bad mom, just a human one.

Amanda said...

I agree with told her what her consequence would be if she peed in her underwear again and she did, so you had to stick with it. Now, I don't know anything about potty training except for what I have seen on Jon and Kate Plus 8 (my new obsession, besides Dave - Matthews, that is - thanks to US Weekly cover stories). Anyway, she had the kids sit on the training toilet until they went...even if that meant sitting on for 30+ minutes. (Hey, if she does that, at least that's 30 minutes of uninterrupted alone time!)

And, don't feel bad. I got spanked and even had my mouth washed out with soap and I ADORE my parents. (I can't handle the smell of Zest soap, but...) She still loves you and always will. And, eventually, she will only pee her pants when she's pregnant. :)

Freth :-p said...

If she had been my kid, I would have swatted her too.

I'm sure that she is bright enough to understand the consequences ... after you had explained and admonished her ... then she tested you, just to see if you really meant it.

Kids will do those kind of things ... just to verify the boundaries.

Now she knows she can get away with it 3 times before you swat her behind. ?? Or was it, "the next time this happens ..." ?

azelia said...

the same. and yup still feel the guilt. i guess what comforts me is trusting God for His Word. I bring it up to him...and see the result to be true. spare the rod. spoil the child. so today is Grady's second day in his "big boy" toddler bed. i KNOW he's fine sleeping in it after three times...b/c i'm his mother, but for guilt and part nurturing. i stay in his bed with him until he falls asleep or is too tired to fight. finally, i had had it. i stayed for three rounds of mobile music...which he turned back on. i "warned" him that when it was over i'd go bye byes and see him when he woke ...and we'd watch teet...(Grady language for sesame street) together. he proceeded to get out of the bed and screem to the top of his lungs off the bed banging on the door. might sound funny, but he wasn't being a good i did it...and then he was a good listener. totallly fine and currently a sleeping beauty...and that's how i know that he knows exactly what he's doing. do i feel guilty? you better believe it. i continue to trust. shrug...i switched computers jill and you were saved on my favs on the other one. i was looking up sent mail and ran into your blog site that i sent to someone. happy i did. i miss you..and your supportive stories. i trust you are doing well with baby number two? i'm due july 21st with a girl. :)

Jillian said...

Thanks everyone for the funny/ thoughtful/ kind words. I always have intentions of responding personally to each comment...and then my life seems to so rudely interrupt my plans.
Please know that I do read and am gratedul for each one!