Today I have been looking back at some of the old pictures off of my camera. Ones from when Jaks was still immobile and was always happy. At the time I didn’t notice I was living in one of the best stages of his life: no fits, no attitude, no getting into things he shouldn’t, and always happy and smiling for the camera. The summer of 2016 was truly a dream. I will always remember it as some of the best days of my life.
Lately I’ve been feeling unsure of myself and my parenting. I don’t know the right way to punish, or if I should even be doing that yet. I don’t like the idea of spanking my child but feel pressured by everyone I know to use this method of discipline. Jaks is testing me more and more each day, and I’m starting to see that “no” isn’t effective anymore, and when I try to keep him out of something he shouldn’t have he doesn’t even hear what I’m saying or if he’s in trouble. He just continues doing whatever he is doing and doesn’t even look up at me. To some, this might seem like the opportune moment to spank the child and “teach him a lesson”, but he learns so quickly by example that I’m afraid this form of discipline only backfires causing more bad behavior, which only furthers my desire to find an alternate way of teaching him to listen.
Patience is key, right? I have read all the parenting books and try my hardest to practice “monkey see monkey do”, but lets be honest. Talking it through and setting a good example doesn’t always work for a one year old. (Especially stubborn independent ones like Jaks) The last thing any parent wants is to raise a spoiled brat. All I want is to hear “he is so well behaved!” And “you’re doing a great job!” But instead I find myself apologizing for his out of control behavior in public and promising he is really a good kid… And he is. When we’re at home he is polite and he plays. He shares all of his toys with everyone- even the dogs. He does have a bad habit of throwing fits when I take away something he shouldn’t have, or change his diaper when he’s in the middle of playing. But I think most could say the same about their one year old, and regardless he truly is a great baby. Sitting down at a restaurant, on the other hand, is a different story.
People say that it’s just a phase and that he will outgrow it but I’m worried it’s becoming a habit. I need him to listen to me and respect me. Understand that I’m the boss. And I don’t know how to make that happen. Why is parenting so hard? While I sit and try to make sense of the sweet one year old that I hold in my arms (and the rest of my messy life) I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the simpler stages of parenting. What a great summer that was, with my little six month old Jaks, taking 5 stroller walks a day and having picnics outside with the pups. I can only imagine that it gets harder from here, and one day I will long for the season of life that I am in right now, so I shouldn’t waste time wishing for yesterday.
P.S. . . . . I went to dinner with a couple friends the other day, and Jaks was so fussy. I went to the bathrrom with him three times during the night to try to calm him down, and the last time I went into the bathroom, as I was leaving (probably looking clearly defeated) an old lady stopped me and told me how handsome Jaks was and how much we looked alike. She told me about her children, and how her youngest great grandson had just turned four. She said that time flies by so fast that she felt like it was yesterday when she was in my shoes, with a teething baby and a weary look on her face. “Cherish every moment, enjoy every stage. Fits and all. It truly does go by so fast.” 2/26/2017