earlier this week, I realized my Kai daughter was driving me to a new level of crazy.
She has so much expectation of what I'm supposed to do for her, then tries to guilt me into doing it. All this week, I have not been feeling well, and she has had 1,000,000 requests that just felt like too much. It wasn't necessarily the requests that were bothering me, it was her delivery, her expectation, her lack of compassion, and then her response when I wasn't doing what she expected. I don't usually mind her pouting, I'm used to it. But I kept walking away from these exchanges feeling like I was in the wrong, quite fed up and questioning why I felt no compassion or desire to carry out her requests. I would just walk away, feeling mild distress, then proceed with my day. She wasn't learning anything from our exchanges, and I was just becoming frustrated and annoyed with her. Something had to give...
"Mommy I need a skirt."
Ok, I'm sure you don't need it today. We'll go looking this weekend.
But mommy, I need it for tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be warm, but not that warm. And then it will be back cold for the rest of the week. it can wait and I'd really just like to go home and lay down for a bit.
Omg, mom! *sigh, huff, puff, shutdown*
Me: left wondering why in the world do I feel like the bad guy. Yes, I am her mother, it is my job to provide for her, but not at the expense of my health for something she decided she wanted last minute. I just left it alone, drove home, and tried to like her for the rest of the evening.
Then it happens again and again and again, same child, same scenario, just different request. Then this last time...
Wednesday, 7:45 a.m.
Kai: Mom, I need something to eat.
Me: Kai there is plenty of things to eat in the kitchen, have whatever you want.
Kai: No, mom. I have MSA today, so lunch will be super late and we are allowed to bring snacks. I need snacks or I will be hungry.
Me: Why are you just telling me this? I'm sure there is something down there you can turn... (into a snack)
Kai: *walks away before I am done talking*
Me: left wondering why I feel like the bad guy AGAIN. Yes, I am her mother, it is my job to provide for her, but not at the expense of being late to work for her last minute requests for snacks. I just walked away to my room to put the finishing touches on getting ready to leave. But then it hit me, I should go knock some sense into her. LOLOL! Figuratively, not literally. As much as I just wanted to knock her out, she needed to be schooled on why these exchanges were never going her way, and why I could just walk away from her eventually unaffected. She needed some sense, figuratively, knocked into her.
I walk to her room, and tap the door open and then announce; "I am going to say something." (I have been very dramatic about announcing my parental speeches, it makes them feel more official)
"I am going to say something, and I want you to listen carefully. (trying to remember what I said because I am still quite sick and my brain isn't working at full capacity. In brief...) Yes, I am your mother and it is my job to take care of you. But you need to realize that you are already well taken care of and all the things you have wanted lately, are extra. EXTRA. I don't have to do it. And I see that it bothers you when I am unwilling to go out of my way for you, but I currently feel no compassion for you. (Harsh Mom!) BUT... it is your own fault. I am a generous person, I go out my way for people all the time. I like to do things for other people, you need to question to why I have no problem ignoring what you want. Why I have no desire to do things for you, the daughter I LOVE?
It is your delivery... it sucks! It is your lack of compassion for me, how I feel and what I am currently doing. It is your expectation. I do not owe you anything! Stop coming to me expecting me to guess what you want, then expecting me to offer to do something you never even asked me to do. Mommy I need food, is not a request. Try instead, 'Mommy, I see you're busy and have to go soon but do you think you have time to take me to store so I can get snacks for MSA? I'm sorry I didn't ask sooner, I forgot. I would really appreciate it.' That is a decent request. It is a requests that asks me something directly, shows your compassion for my time and takes responsibility for why I may possibly say no. Stop being a selfish 13 year old and learn to communicate effectively and unselfishly. You are not always going to get your way with me, but you will have a much better chance if you approach me better. I should not have to walk away from our exchanges feeling like you are trying to manipulate and guilt trip me into doing something you want. And then feel badly when I don't entertain your guilt trip. It is not working, I do not like it. Stop doing it please."
Pack your bags we're going on a guilt trip! (I heard this line in a movie recently, I chuckled.)
She didn't have much to say after that. I went and got her some snacks just because I am the Queen of Grace (that's not blasphemous, is it?) and I like to show her I am still kind to her even though she doesn't deserve it. I am working to teach her to be a better human being. I have to practice what I preach. (dang it! Sometimes I just want to be "Michael Jackson" BAD)
I posted this because I was proud of a text she just sent me "Mommy, could you take me to Family Dollar when you get home? If you don't mind. I would really appreciate it."
and I replied with a simple "Yes." Lord knows, I don't feel like it now. But I would be a real idiot to teach a whole lesson, then she not see the fruit of her doing what I asked. She asked ahead of time, she had a clear desire, she took into consideration my time and how I felt AND showed some gratitude??? WHAT?? Jesus is real!
That's my "I working on us both being better people" peace!