Warning: This is a rant post. I’m extremely agitated, I am extremely angry, and there will be cursing, screaming and teeth grinding. Continue at your own risk.
The past month with both Jonathan and Tre has been an extreme challenge to say the very least. Issues with both of them at school – behavioral, academic, socially – in addition to problems with the two of them at home as well such as not doing their chores, expecting to receive everything and do nothing in return.
Today was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back in me. I have snapped under the weight of the stress and become the most threatening evil bitch imaginable in their worst nightmares.
Top 10 Reasons I’m My Kids Worst Nightmare
- I AM IN FULL-BLOWN BITCH MODE. I have always been the soft one, the one that caves, the one that gives in. From today forward they get nothing but necessities which are food, shelter, and clothing.
- I AM NOT THEIR FRIEND. You cannot be friends with your children. They will begin to disrespect you, to treat you like one of their friends, talk to you however they please, and that is unacceptable.
- I WILL NOT BE WALKED OVER ANY LONGER. When I say that something needs to be done, or that they are not permitted to do something, that is it. There is no arguing, no running behind my back to their father, no wheedling, no bargaining.
- I WILL NOT ALLOW THEM TO KILL ME. I refuse to allow them to skyrocket my blood pressure any further and put me six feet under the ground.
- I AM GOING TO SIT WITH THEM IN THEIR CLASSROOM IF NECESSARY. Since they cannot seem to conduct themselves in a manner befitting a young man in 6th grade and a young man in 9th grade, then I will attend classes with them and hold their hands to help them through the day like we did in kindergarten.
- SCHOOL IS NOW A NO PHONE/iPOD DEVICE ZONE. When they received their phones, I informed them that the were allowed to take them to school on the condition that they (a) did not use them during class and (b) they did not interfere with their grades. Since they have both had theirs taken by teachers multiple times and have been using them in class instead of paying attention to the instruction going on, when they return to school after spring break it will be without their devices until they earn that privilege by pulling their grades up.
- I WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT HALF-ASSED CHORES OR HOMEWORK. Chores are never done properly. When Jonathan empties the dishwasher, the dishes are set on the counter instead of being put away in the cupboard. When Tre is asked to take out the trash, he never puts a new trash bag in the can. Neither one of them have ever cleaned their rooms completely. You can’t go to work and only do half of your job and still expect to get paid – the sooner they learn to have a stronger work ethic, the better off they will be later in life.
- I AM GOING TO TREAT THEM LIKE INFANTS TILL THEY PROVE OTHERWISE. When you request the earned freedoms of a tween and a teen, you need to understand that with those freedoms come responsibility. If you cannot conduct yourself responsibly, then you will no longer be allowed those freedoms.
- I WILL BE THE BROKEN RECORD PLAYING IN THEIR HEAD. They are going to hate the sound of my voice in a few days because I am going to be harping constantly like the proverbial shrew every single day on what is expected of them and how they are to govern themselves while at school and at home.
- I AM GOING TO BE AN IMPROVED VERSION OF A PARENT. It isn’t all on them. I’ve dropped the ball several times. I am also my own worst critic and will be working to improve myself to be more of a parent and less of a friend.
And just in case you were wondering … the background.
Jonathan has been on an Individual Education Plan (IEP) since he was in kindergarten. He is now in 9th grade. At the beginning of the year, he requested that he be given the chance to prove that he’d grown up, that is ADHD/ODD was being handled well, and that he could do the requirements of a regular classroom setting versus the smaller classroom setting that his resource class would offer. I understand wanting to fit in at high school, especially as a 9th grader, so I agreed. I also told him that if the time came where he was no longer able to work, was no longer able to keep his grades up, was no longer able to be a functioning, participating member of every class he took – that we would go back to the resource setting. He has earned a solid “F” in every single class he is enrolled in since after Christmas. Obviously he cannot do the work, so obviously he is back in resource, and obviously he is pissed as hell at me for it and quite frankly, I don’t give a shit.
He also believes that he should be able to spend all hours of the day on the telephone texting/talking with his girlfriend, Hannah, and that I am supposed to just drop everything the minute that he gets home from school and take him to Bradley’s house, or Austin’s house, or Hunter’s house, or where ever he decides he wants to hang out for the afternoon. On weekends I am supposed to drive him to Hannah’s house 30 miles away and come home, and then come and pick him up when he is ready to come home. Yes dear readers, he thinks I am his personal taxi service.
Jonathan has three things to do each day – that’s it. Keep his room neat, tidy, and picked up, take his medication every morning before school, and to empty the dishwasher. That’s it. He never cleans his room until I start screaming like a crazy woman, and the dishwasher doesn’t get emptied unless I scream and rant about that. When it is emptied – its half-assed. The dishes get put on the counter instead of him taking just a second to open the cabinet door and put them inside. No, he expects me to do that.
Tre thinks he is entitled to all the best in life. He hounded me for an entire year for either an iPod Touch or an iPhone. I got him the iPod Touch for Christmas – cost over $200 – and within a month it was smashed and useless. He also thinks that everything he wears needs to be name brand clothing – like $160 sneakers, or $70 shirts or $60 jeans – all items that he will outgrow in 3 to 6 months.
Another issue with Tre that has built over the last several months is his temper and his anger. I refuse to deal with it any longer. It has gone beyond the “normal” temper tantrum type of anger because a child doesn’t get their way. He is becoming increasingly violent both verbally and physically. It is occurring at school as well now and has cost him several in school suspensions and an out of school suspension this year. He has an appointment scheduled for a psych evaluation at the end of April, and I can only hope that things will improve after we’ve had a chance to sit down with the psychologist and find out how to move forward and get him back on an even keel.
Tre also does not grasp the concept of having empathy or compassion or concern for anyone but himself. Yes, I told him yesterday that I would take him to the skate park today if the weather was nice. I can barely hold my head upright at the moment, and I got none of the sleep that I so desperately need this afternoon because Jonathan managed to get himself suspended from school for two days for telling a teacher “fuck you” when he thought the teacher was “mocking him.” He has no concern for anyone else’s feelings but his own.
I will be the first to admit that I’ve dropped the ball in the parenting department. I give in, I let them get away with stuff that they should not get away with. There is a fine line between being a mother and being a parent. Any woman can become a mother, but it takes a strong, resilient, patient and loving woman to be a parent. I’ve not done so well in that department.
I am also going to start telling others no more often. I have nothing at all against helping another person – especially during family emergencies and things like that. However, as much as I love my extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins) they do not come before my children. My first priority will always be to make sure that their needs, their schedules, their routines are taken care of and I feel like that should be every parent’s first priority regardless of the situation. Everyone knows that I am a kind-hearted individual and that I would give someone in need the shirt off my back if they needed it. However, when your kindness is constantly taken advantage of (think give an inch they take a mile) it begins to wear on your patience.
I am but one person. I am a human being. I have been sick for over a week now and I fight every single day to do the work that I was hired to do, to take care of my home, to take care of my family. I cannot be everything to everyone and I am quite literally killing myself trying. At my doctor appointment today my blood pressure was so high that the doctor informed me point blank that if I didn’t bring it down and maintain an acceptable level, I was going to need medication for it, if it did not cause me to have a heart attack first.
I am not a person that you can take advantage of simply because you do not want to do something yourself. I am a parent, a wife, a friend, a neighbor. Not dirt under your feet, not a stepping stone, not something you show love and affection to when it suits you or will get you what you want.
The boundaries and expectations of this household as well as other relationships and friendships will be clearly defined once again. I am not going to lose myself, or my sanity, by allowing this insanity to continue any longer.