Posts tagged: Parenting

Getting unstuck from parenting power struggles

parenting struggles

Meghan is the parenting columnist for the Washington Post and a certified parent coach. She is the mother of three daughters and lives with her family in the Washington, DC, area. You can follow her online on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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There are so many places to get stuck while parenting: From power struggles to chores, from sassiness to ignoring, there is no shortage of ways and reasons to struggle with children.

Before you can deal with the drama of your children, you must figure out why you are struggling with your children.

Key questions to ask yourself about why you are struggling:

  • Am I having the same struggle over and over about the same topic with my child and expecting different results?
  • Am I angry, resentful, or sad about something from my childhood?
  • Am I always disagreeing about
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Baby Stucks: Santa Claus keeps coming to town

Christmas was a whole new adventure this year, now that my little boy is old enough to be fully aware of Santa Claus, or more fittingly, the man who gives presents.

It started when we thought it would be okay to put the presents we had already received under tree. Of course, my son immediately spotted them and exclaimed, “Presents!”

With a coy glance to my husband, I thoughtfully explained, “Yes, these are gifts from Grandma and Grandpa and your aunt and uncle. They give gifts, too, for Christmas.”

“Okay.” [Pause.] “They’re from Santa! Santa came!”

“No, these are from your family.”

“Presents from Santa. Yaaaah!”

And in just five seconds, I realized presents = Santa. Let’s not overcomplicate it.

“Yes, you’re right. They’re from Santa.”

After wave one of gifts, my son set his sights on the next round of gift giving, talking eagerly about Christmas and Santa arriving with his sleigh. I wondered what he was
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Baby Stucks: For crying out loud

I feel like some moms completely overuse the term “meltdown” to describe any situation when their child does not behave perfectly. It’s a bit overly dramatic, if you ask me. But sometimes, there’s no other way to describe it. Last week, there was a complete and utter meltdown in my family. Except it wasn’t my son — it was me.

I’ve been preparing myself for my grand return to work, and one of the biggest hurdles is the commute. Since moving to Manhattan, I always loved the ease and efficiency of the subway. That was before I had one kid strapped to my front and another strapped to a stroller. So I decided to do a test run by picking up my son from daycare with my daughter in tow.

I was already a bit frazzled before even getting on the subway. My son had decided to play hide and seek at
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Baby Stucks: Traveling in the time of parenthood

My husband and I have always loved to travel, and we promised ourselves that having kids would not leave us stuck at home. With our first baby, we somehow managed to keep our vow, toting our little boy from place to place. As self-proclaimed super travelers, we thought adding a second kid into the mix would be no problem, so we went ahead and booked a slew of trips before our baby girl was even born.

Oh, ignorance is such bliss, isn’t it?

All of a sudden, our first trip was just days away and the reality hit. How were we going to get two kids, two strollers, two car seats, two pack n plays, plus 3 suitcases full of clothes, toiletries, shoes, and our own things to the airport? Oh, and did I mention we don’t have a car?

I felt like I had been hit by a ton of diapers. (Shoot!
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Baby Stucks: Managing through my fear of being a bad mom

While I’m on maternity leave, we have still been sending our son to daycare. Officially, as good caring parents, we just didn’t want to break up his routine.  Honestly, I didn’t know if I could handle juggling both kids at the same time.

For the last two months, I’ve been spending my vacation — err, I mean maternity leave — enjoying time with my little baby while my husband drops off and picks up our son every day. Every day until last week, when daycare was closed and I was suddenly responsible for both kids.

I feel a bit ridiculous admitting this, but the idea of having both kids to myself for a full day totally scared me. I was scared that my son would run off and I would not be able to chase him with baby in tow. I was scared that the baby would be left to cry too
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Lessons heard (or how to get your kite out of a tree)

A good friend of mine generously gave me a handful of his favorite children’s books, among them one titled “Stuck” by Oliver Jeffers. At first read, “Stuck” is a beautifully illustrated, silly tale about the absurd and nonsensical approach little Floyd takes to get his kite out of a tree. A few hundred reads later at the request of my son, I couldn’t help but uncover

deeper messages about getting unstuck (blame it on my English degree).

• You don’t have to go at it alone.

• Focus on the solution — it might help you forget what problem you were trying to solve in the first place.

• Maybe the completely absurd, nonsensical approach is exactly the one you should take.

• Oh, and don’t forget about the people who helped you along the way.

Thanks, Floyd.

Next post: Fear of failure almost gets in the way of enjoying her children.
Previous post: Sabrina figures out a way to read more

Baby Stucks: My birthday wish comes true — sort of

You know those obnoxious people who are completely obsessed with their birthdays, planning for the next one the day after the last one? Well, that’s me. Hey, we’re all getting older regardless so why not milk the attention when you can get it?

This year, however, my tried-and-true celebration ideas felt wrong. The thought of going out for a wild night of shots at the bars, breast pump in tow, didn’t appeal. If I threw an event at home with the kids involved I knew it would turn into a glorified play date. I was craving a party with a theme other than Elmo. I wanted an occasion with great cocktails worthy of a pump and dump (as in breast milk). But it just didn’t seem possible this time.

After wallowing in self-pity and nostalgia over birthdays pasts, I realized I needed to embrace my new reality with a fresh perspective.  So
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Baby Stucks: I refuse to be unhappy!

My husband, sweet man, spares me the challenge of reading the Economist cover to cover. Instead, he selects a few articles from each issue that he thinks I’d enjoy. Recently, he selected one entitled “Generation Xhausted,” which talks about how people are having children later. “The most grueling part of child-rearing now coincides with the make-or-break phase of careers,” it says. True. I find myself in this same conundrum. But it also says I won’t be truly happy again until my 50s. I refuse to accept that!

There’s got to be a better answer, don’t you think? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Next post: Sabrina figures out a way to celebrate her birthday in style.
Previous post: The brunch, the belly, and the hostess.

Read all Baby Stuck installments.




About Sabrina
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Baby Stucks: The brunch, the belly, and the hostess

We’re making our way to our table for brunch on Sunday, my husband carrying our two-year-old and me pushing the stroller with the baby, when the hostess exclaims, “Oh congratulations! A son, a baby … and another one on the way?” We both look down at the pooch that pops out where my formerly flat stomach used to be. I slowly look back up: “Nope, just the two kids,” quickly adding, “the baby is only a couple weeks old.”

Embarrassment all round.

Because my recent labor wasn’t nearly as intense as the first pregnancy, I assumed I could bounce back to my normal body shape much faster — but the only thing bouncing these days is my jiggly belly every time I give it a little poke. This limits my wardrobe choices considerably. I alternate between empire-waisted maternity tops draped over belly-banded bottoms (that happen to slide down my butt like
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Baby Stucks: What to expect when you’re on maternity leave

I haven’t quite pulled the plug on work-Sabrina, even though maternity-Sabrina took over in a hurry when

my water broke at the office.

So now I find myself in this strange place where I keep one toe (okay, maybe a whole foot) involved with work, while the rest of me seeks a sense of accomplishment from my new-Mom responsibilities.

I think I was expected to turn off all office thoughts as easily as twisting a faucet once the baby was born — but it’s not like I’m on a remote island without wifi, or my language skills have been reduced to single syllables. Besides, what else is there to do during a 2 a.m. feeding other than take a quick peek to see what’s going on with that project I couldn’t quite complete?

You might be thinking I’m a control freak, but that’s not it. I know my coworkers can survive without my
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