Am I a better parent by not working right now? I say "right now" because I quit my job a little over a month ago to take a midlife sabbatical. Now, I seem to have more energy to focus on parenting than when I was working.
I'm not saying it's helicopter mom time; quite the opposite. I'm just more relaxed. I find myself with more energy to discipline my daughter, which has been my major parenting shortfall.
My 9-year old daughter's not an easy daughter to raise (not that any child is); importantly, I'm not an easygoing, mothering-comes-easy to me type mom. I didn't have lots of discipline growing up, and often I'm "deaf" to my daughter's rude tone because I used the same rude tone on my mom growing up. I also have faced a lot of problems from my own childhood's lack of discipline; it caused major damage for me and still impacts me to this day.
It's only been with the help of my husband that I've come to realize how inappropriate her tone of voice to me and others can be, and how I'm repeating history by ignoring it. I've repeatedly tried to become more observant about it and discipline her more.
However, again even today, on Mother's Day, only my husband had the ear for it, and the toughness and patience to call my daughter out on her tone and manners. But by hearing him do it, I feel I can do it too, and that I can continue to do it with more consistancy than in the past.
So I will add disciplining my daughter better as one of my primary goals for the forseeable future. And, I know that after love, discipline is the most important gift to give a child. Hopefully this next year will prove that I have the toughness, courage, and fortitude to deal with the tantrums and damage of not disciplining my daughter as well as I would have liked to in the past. However, I know there's probably no goal in the world more important.
My husand gave me a gift card for Mother's Day; my daughter made me a wonderful gift. But probably the best gift was my husband's example of discipline he showed with my daughter that I fianlly feel I can take on.
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