This morning I decided to put my foot down. My daughter woke me up early, as usual, and had some demands for me. If I wasn’t going to deliver on those demands she had a sulky tantrum lined up for me. I could just see it in her face. Her terms were that for her to be happy this morning, I would have to wake up at 6am on a Saturday morning, go downstairs to get her juice and sleep on the couch next to her as she watches TV.
A few notes to give you context:
- I am not a morning person and I thrive off quality sleep. Without the right amount of quality sleep, I wake up cranky and really have to work hard to get my mood in check.
- She walked into our room 3 times in the middle of night and I had to carry her back to her room.
- I am 8 months pregnant.
- She is 3 years old now so we are able negotiate and she is quite independent when she wants to be.
- She wakes up super early, EVERYDAY and is extremely chirpy and energetic.
She is currently our only child, and I come from a big family, so I get mommy-guilt when I feel like she is lonely. I also get mommy-guilt when she wakes me up with kisses and a big smile on her face, it makes me feel like I need to be the right type of parent and attend to her every ‘need’. This morning though, I had to put my foot down. I offered to go get her juice and put on the iPad which is loaded with tonnes of videos she loves watching. I told her I would sleep in her bed next to her whilst she had some iPad time with her headphones on. Sounds like a win-win situation to me!
I know there might be judgy moms reading this thinking –
“She gives her daughter juice in the morning?”
“She gives her daughter an iPad so early in the morning so she can sleep more. Screen time is SOOOOO BAD.”
All I can say is whatevs, we all do what works for us. You’ll get over it. Anywho, I thought my offer to her was VERY considerate, considering that I had ACTUALLY agreed to wake up (LOL). She started whinging and whining about how she wants to watch TV and with me on the couch and that was when I put my foot down.
This is what I told her:
- Mommy did NOT sleep because you woke her up 3 times last night.
- Now you have woken mommy up early and I am agreeing to go and get you juice, yes JUICE!
- I am even giving you an alternative to the TV you want to go and watch downstairs.
- If you want to sulk, mommy is going back to her room to sleep and you can sulk for as long as you want.
I then turned over and ‘continued sleeping’ on her bed to give her time to reflect. I was wide awake but had to pretend to be sleeping for it to work. 2 minutes later, I heard “Mommy I am sorry, I will watch upstairs whilst you sleep in my bed.”
And it worked! I put my foot down and she managed to check herself. We had a tight hug and kisses and I took her downstairs for her juice. At this point I was SO wide awake, I thought, “stuff it” and turned on the TV downstairs and here I am blogging. Clearly she still won, but I am glad she got to understand my boundaries for our morning routine, in which we can both win. As parents we have to realise that we are actually in this for life and boundaries and rules are necessary if we are going to be happy parents to be around and sane individuals. Parenting-guilt can make you prisoner to situations you really don’t need to be.
Share your thoughts on parenting-guilt in the comments section. We always look forward to hearing from you. Happy Saturday! If you are in Joburg, how amazing is the rain this morning? 😊