7 April 2016

Just Call Me the "Pushover Mom"

For me, there are certain aspects of parenting that do not come naturally. Coming to grips with my own strengths and weaknesses has been an important part of my journey as a mom. A couple of months ago, I wrote about the challenges of being an introverted mom. Today, I want to discuss people pleasing and being a pushover and how it affects parenting.

So, in addition to being an introvert, I'm also a people pleasing pushover. *High five* Growing up, I was an easy going kid. I got along with my peers. I was the teacher's pet on more than a few occasions. I was (mostly) a model child to my parents growing up. All was well with child-aged Carly.

As an adult, I started to run into some issues. In certain situations, I felt like a doormat and I had trouble speaking up. This would lead to an endless cycle of frustration and resentment. I have a really hard time saying no and a fear of letting others down. I have noticed that my tendencies to people please have carried on into my parenting and had some negative consequences.

I have a strong willed, dramatic child that knows exactly how to push my buttons (like most toddlers). L can be firm with K. But, he even struggles with laying down the law sometimes. Every parenting book/blog/advice column dictates that being a pushover is doing a disservice to your child. I am the parent and I need to set boundaries. I know more about how to live life than my toddler (let's hope), and she doesn't know what's best for her. My mom always told me it's much harder to say "no" to your kids than "yes". It's not easy being the bad guy, but we, as parents, aren't here to be our kid's BFF. My mom gives the best advice, and I find myself referring back to her little nuggets of wisdom more and more as the days go by.

Now that she's two, I am trying to be more cognizant of what role I play in influencing K's current and future behavior.  I know I need to toughen up. Allowing K to call the shots is already causing some issues in our household, and I can foresee future issues if I don't step up and put my foot down.

Here are some issues we are currently dealing with as a result of pushover tendencies:

1) I don't like to see K upset. I often find myself doing whatever I can to keep her from crying or having a meltdown. I am giving her all the power in these situations. She also isn't learning how to cope with disappointment.

2) K used to have a strict bedtime of 8:00pm. She had some sleep issues a few months back, and somehow her bedtime has been pushed later and later mostly due to the crying that ensues if she goes to bed too early. Currently bedtime is 9:30-10pm which I'm embarrassed to divulge because it's hours later than most toddlers go to sleep.

3) K gave up her nap at 19 months. She would scream her head off in her crib until I went back in to get her. This was torturous and led to K falling asleep during dinner (like mid-bite) on a number of occasions. Part of me questions if I really clamped down on her and persisted, if she would have gone back to napping. Now we are on a slightly modified schedule where some days she naps in the car. Other days, she will take a short afternoon nap on the couch if she's really tired. But, she continues to refuse to be put in her crib for nap time.

4) K had issues with eating and gaining weight. Sometimes I still get paranoid if she isn't interested in eating a meal, and will allow her to wander away from the dining table and eat on the couch or in front of the TV in the living room. I feel conflicted every time I do this, because I want to encourage good table manners.

I have my work cut out for me. That's for sure. Any other pushovers out there? 

2 comments:

  1. I think we're all a little guilty of being pushovers to toddlers and babies. Their little faces and cries are heart wrenching. That being said, I am the stricter one, but we are both trying to set boundaries for her because she's being strong willed and has her terrible twos for a loonnnngg time. I've also stayed in her room lately because she couldn't sleep anymore without one of us at least staying for a while. I know it's not a good sleep association, but I can't help ;(

    I can not even imagine the little lady giving up nap time. It is such a sacred time to decompress and my husband and I sometimes use it as family nap tim. I can only say good luck and ;(

    Interestingly enough, bedtimes for Asian kids I've met is around 10 pm! It's so different from what we are used to, but I see so many kids out at night!

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    1. That's interesting about the later bedtime for Asian children! Thank you for the kind words and support! It isn't easy raising a toddler. I'm finding it more difficult than the infant stage when she sat wherever I put her and didn't need to be entertained all.day.long. Hahahaa!

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