Strict Mommy

Lately I have been feeling like I am very strict with Leah. She has been giving so much attitude and pushing the envelope. I don’t know where it is coming from, but I haven’t given her an inch to work with. At bedtime, if she gives us a hard time she gets tucked in with no snuggles. At dinner if she doesn’t eat, it gets reheated for her night time snack. I limit her television time, even though she often fights me on it. She must clean up her own toys, or they get taken away until she earns them back.

None of that sounds too horrible, I hope. It just feels like lately I have been repeating these things to her in my stern mommy voice over and over again. It adds to my guilt and frustration about being in school so much. I feel like I don’t see her as much and when I do I am either doing homework or having to punish or “yell” at her (I don’t really yell, but use the stern voice and let her know I don’t put up with that stuff.)

Small infractions aside, she has taken on a bit of a mean attitude towards her uncle lately, my twelve year old little brother who absolutely adores and spoils her. She is with his mom one day a week while I am in class, but when he gets off the bus she is very mean and stand-offish, telling him to sit away from her or she doesn’t want to see him. I think it is an attention thing, having to do with her not wanting to give up the one on one time with Grandma. But still, it’s not okay. We had a long discussion on the way home last week and I let her know in no uncertain terms that I do not tolerate her treating anyone that way, but especially someone who loves her so much. She did call him and apologized, but I still feel like she doesn’t truly understand.

At three years old, I hardly thought I would be asking my daughter to do something simple, like pick up a toy to be met with a loud sigh and “Fine!” I don’t know what I am going to do with this girl. I am really hoping she just feels like she needs some attention. That would be an easy fix. I am feeling so stretched thin between school and mommyhood lately, but maybe if I make an effort to make more time for one on one I will get my sweet little girl back.

Moms who work or have other obligations, how do you do it? Do your kids act out like this, and if so how do you deal with it?

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