Mommy drama! 

Being a mom is a super tough job! Joshua my toddler, who is more expressive nowadays, tests my patience on so many levels. We have arguments everyday and I get soooo tired from all the daily dramas. In a week we would probably complete a drama series for eating, for bathing, for sleeping, for waking, and for playing. 
He is a kid and tantrums come along with 2 year olds… However, Joshua is also processing his feelings of jealousy over his sister. I am seeing some regression on some milestones. Like his desire for eating has lessened and he prefers drinking milk in the bottle. He also demands for my full attention and time especially when he sees me nursing Anna. 

   
He has fully articulated his jealousy by saying “I don’t like Anna”, ” I want mommy and Anna go to Ate Kim (Anna’s nanny)”, and one of his worst crying episodes he said, “mommy, I want Joshua patay (dead) so mommy would cry.” I cried with that remark. 
 I tell him “Anna is your sister, she loves you and Mommy loves you so much. We are a family and this is God’s blessing.”  Because Joshua feels jealous, I spend most of my time with him. I only leave him shortly just to feed Anna. Every move I make he calls to check if I am still around. He calls my name almost crying and then he would smile and laugh in relief that I have not left him!

I figured this boy’s love language is time. And I do spend a lot of time with him. We are inseparable. But when he gets his tantrums and he starts screaming and crying because he wants mommy, (even if I am around)… I ask him kindly to stop crying. But his crying escalates further into screams and irritation that soon, I start losing my own patience. 

I try not to discipline him about his crying. But I realized that he was using it as a tool to communicate with almost anything. When he dislikes something he would cry. When he wants something he would cry. When he sees me walk out the door he would cry and give an all out tantrum. I try to not get angry, but I must confess seeing a crying face with screams and occasional arm slaps just gets me frustrated and angry.  This just went on for a week… 
  
I started to cry out of frustration because nothing worked. Explaining nicely and reassuring Josh by hugs and talks just does not cut it!  So I tried yelling and screaming for him to stop. I tried threatening him that if he does not stop, I would leave. None of it worked. 😦  For one week it was this non stop cycle of crying and we end up fighting because Josh would fall into a tantrum even when I am giving him full attention (except during feedings). 
I asked friends to pray for me. I cried to the Lord and asked “how can I be a better mom to my son?”  I was so discouraged that even when Steve says, “you are doing a good job”, I still feel I am failing.
Then I remembered excerpts from a parenting seminar I attended. It was discussed when a child who deliberately disobeys or disrespects his or her parent they should be disciplined. I must admit, I get lazy to do this because it requires so much to get into a room with a defiant 2 yr old who will not submit to be disciplined. 

The bible says: 
Proverbs 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom,but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.


I knew I had to correct Joshua’s behavior and work on his attitude. I had to teach him that he can’t always cry his way. I also had to reassure him that he must respect his parents because we love him.  I disciplined him and took time to explain. Joshua immediately stopped crying. In fact when we got out of the room, his mood changed and started playing.
  
I learned that I really should exercise discipline when the need arises and teach my son.  Otherwise, I will develop a bad habit in his character. It’s almost a week since his last tantrum after the discipline.  Joshua has been speaking instead of crying. 

How do I know that he understood what we did in the discipline room? He plays with his avenger toys and then he would pretend one would be crying. Later he will have the other toy say – “stop crying… If you don’t stop, you get a spank”. 
To learn more about biblical discipline I am suggesting you this link. Read more:

http://www.gotquestions.org/disciplining-children.html

Sometimes you drive me nuts!

Recently my little boy has brought up a notch on his episodes of meltdowns and crying. He looks for mommy all the time. If I am out of his sight he starts calling “mommy” with a crack on the voice. Soon after he will start crying. When he does not get what he wants, he starts crying again. 

It is quite annoying when his crying escalates into higher decibels. It just drives me crazy! Either I shut down and freeze or I just get all irritated. Telling my son, “please don’t cry, just talk to me”, sometimes does not work. My little boy has tantrums and cries. We need a time out! His Yaya has to get him and we need to separate. I feel so exhausted and feel such a bad mommy because I can’t control the situation and have a peaceful dealing with this 2 year old!

 

When Joshua gets impatient, or irritated because he can’t get what he wants, or frustrated because I don’t understand him, or upset because he can’t have my 100% full attention, then the tantrum begins.  He can wail for 20 minutes and it can be so tiring and exhausting and provokes me to get angry. Agh… It’s hard to keep cool, and I know I must. 

 

 

So, I asked other moms about their experiences and many who have passed this stage I am in. I almost got a unanimous answer… They said they can’t really remember what they did and how they managed! That account alone consoles me. It means, these days shall pass and will be a memory that does not scar! Praise God!  Hahahaha… I need that simple encouragement.

It’s so funny because during my birthday weekend, we had friends with us in the farm. Then, my girl friend Jade who has only one child entered our room. She saw Joshua in his meltdown episode and my little daughter also crying because she needed to breastfeed. Both of my children were crying. So you can imagine how the room sounded. I got Anna to breastfeed her, while Joshua was wailing in front of me. It was happening for a good 2 minutes. My friend was watching this episode. There I was trying to calm my nerves about it — all I could say was “Please stop scaring Tita (Auntie) Jade, she may never decide to get pregnant again!” Jade and I laughed at my remark. To some moms that scene would look sooo scary!  

I thank God for His grace. No wonder when I see mothers who have more than 2 children, they have patience and calm spirits… The catalyst in developing that character are their husbands and children! Hahahaha! It’s absolutely true! 

 

 

Okay my kids drive me nuts sometimes. At times, I have to be disciplined to discipline too (it means not to delay disciplining my child when he is disobedient or disrespectful).  But bottom line is — these moments shall pass and my heart will continue to love them despite these little shortcomings. I think many times I fail as a mom… I get totally clueless what to do, plus my emotions get involved. Yet,  I must remember the privilege God has given to me to be a mother… Though times get tough — in the end God rewards me with my children’s hugs and kisses. And all those bad moments go away! And they really do! 

Unspoiling the Babe…

It’s quite interesting that a newborn baby can be a little brat in the making. Well I did not know that until our pediatrician met Joshua for his 1st month check up. As she held him to weigh and measure him, he cried and cried. He turned red with a mighty angry fit. My reaction was a bit of a panic to soothe him so he would stop. Then our doctor says, ” looks like you have spoiled your baby”.

A month old baby considered “spoiled”. Are you kidding me? I could not believe my ears, and ouchie for my ego… Could I have spoiled my baby?

The doctor asked if I gave my baby milk the moment he cried. And ooppsss… I am guilty of that. I just want my baby to be relieved when he is in discomfort and cries. She further explained that babies are smarter than we think. They understand the principle of “action for every reaction”. So when Josh cries I feed him immediately. So now he associates milk with crying.

The doctor advised me to restrain the feeding to every 2 hrs instead of every 30 mins or every hour. She also said, it is ok to let the baby cry… “It’s good for their lungs!” So I took the doctor’s advise.

Joshua had to be trained on a semi-scheduled feeding. We had cry out sessions running 20 minutes… And boy, it felt like forever! The outcome however is so worth it. Joshua became calmer, more amiable, and obedient.

Now, he hardly has his tantrums. We can travel and if he starts showing signs of crying, I just talk to him and he calms down. He has become such a good baby because this early, he is learning he can’t get everything he demands.

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There are many things to learn as a parent on loving your child enough to teach them. I never realized that spoiling can start very early…

My mother-in-law would get Joshua in the morning and give him tummy time. She would shut her door so I don’t hear my baby cry. But Joshua would cry when he is placed on his tummy. She would put him on his back and he would cry. Then turn him on his tummy and he would cry with high pitched pissed off voice. She was patient until he stopped. I have to say, Joshua now enjoys tummy time and is doing his version of crawling before he turned 2 months! My mother-in-law is instrumental for this milestone!

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The bible says so, “train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it” -Proverbs 22:6