I have been reborn and I am now a strong warrior woman. These are my stories.
Published on August 27, 2008 By Boudica In Parenting

I try really hard to be a good mom but there are days.  Days like today.  Mornings like this morning that I want to put in my two weeks notice and move on.  That's a joke.  Why do kids have to be so difficult?  I am a big believer in picking your battles.  I try not to make a big deal about the little things so hopefully I can have more impact on the big things that really matter. 

But...but...this morning it was all about little things.  It's about appearance.  My middle son has long, curly, shaggy hair.  Not long, long, not to his shoulders but it's so scruffy looking.  I really don't care about the length if he would just BRUSH IT!   What is so hard about brushing your hair? maybe wetting it down, maybe putting some product in it.  Just trying to look halfway decent.  I don't go for the whole rolled out of bed look.  The fact is that teachers are going to make judgements of you based on your appearance.  If you look like you don't give a crap, they're going to think that you don't. 

So now I've turned into the mother who threatens her son with a buzz haircut.  When did that happen?  How did that happen?  The fact is that if my mom said go brush your hair, I went and brushed my hair.  There was no discussion.  There was no argument.  I did what I was told.  I just feel like I have no control or authority over my kids.  They seem to think my directions are just suggestions to be ignored and that irritates the heck out of me.   

So issue number two.  My youngest thinks his clothes should be tight.  I buy him shirts that fit and he won't wear them.  He wanted to wear the same dirty shirt that he wore yesterday when there were three other clean perfectly acceptable shirts.  Ack!  Why do they have to be this way?  I have to disappear the too small clothes.  I try to point out that the other kids shirts don't fit that way.  He is always telling me that he's "not a giant".  I KNOW you're not a giant but these shirts are NOT TOO BIG.  It seems like such a silly thing to get upset about but it's just aggravating.  I don't want my kid wearing a dirty shirt to school.  So I have to resort to telling him that I will not fill out his school paperwork if he doesn't put on a clean shirt.  He screams, threatens to run away, goes out the back door and pouts then eventually comes in and puts on one of the clean shirts.  Of course, picking the oldest, smallest one of the bunch even though it has Buzz Lightyear and in third grade, he is much to mature and cool for Buzz Lightyear - ha ha. 

Well they are all off to school now.  I wonder what the issue will be with my oldest tommorow.  At least they seem to take turns giving me a hard time.  Tommorow will be his day. 


Comments
on Aug 27, 2008

I'm sorry but this made me smirk. Just a little. Why? Because this goes on at my house too. It feels like this only happens to you but it plays out all of the world. With slight variations.

My best advice. Try not to kill them. hehe...

At least you try not to sweat the small things. I could learn from that. Hang in there.

on Aug 27, 2008

I'm glad to know I'm not alone in these battles, Kelly.  Maybe I should just try reverse psychology and start buying my little one shirts from the toddler section and tell him those are the only ones that "fit" him.  I told my hippie kid that he should just grow some dreads if he doesn't want to comb his hair. 

on Aug 27, 2008

I feel your pain! My son told me this morning, mom I need more Jeans, he is the one who didn't want me to buy him anymore pants because he has enough, now he wants more!  All the sales are over I told him.  So...he waits.  Yeah, we love them, but they can be a pain!

on Aug 27, 2008

Good for you on the Buzz cut!  Long hair requires upkeep.  Buzz cuts do not.  Just tell him if he does not want to care for his hair, then you will make sure he does not need to - and he wins!  No more brushing! (of course no more hair either. )

on Aug 27, 2008

I just feel like I have no control or authority over my kids

In this instance I don't believe it has to do with your control.  You must be overwhelmed handling all this on your own.  But you aren't alone in this problem.  My husband assures me the greasy/uncombed hair is a phase all boys go through if their parents allow it.

This is an on-going battle in our house for the last year.  I get so worked up about the hair issue my husband told me he'd handle it.  I agreed.

Do you know how he chose to handle it?

Ignore it.  Let natural consequences be the instructor.  I almost lost my mind several times because ignoring it isn't handling it imo.

Do you know what that meant?  It meant Hunter's bangs were past his CHIN for almost a year, and he doesn't ever wash it well, so it was greasy too, add to that the gross smells that come with puberty and I think you get the picture.  Oh, and he refuses to part it at all, he combs it from the crown straight down into his face.  Even his teachers commented on how bad his hair looked always in his eyes.

When his dad left town I took him in for a "trim" tho he ran his mouth the entire time about it.  I couldn't get it "cut" because he and his dad had an agreement, but I could manage a trim without it stepping on Dad's toes.

I used the old, "You look like a scumbag!  Do you want people to think you're a scumbag?"

And he used the old, "Didn't you raise me to be my own person and not care what other people think?  To make my own decisions and live with the consequences?"

Grrrr.

He's not into "fine lines" yet, so debating it is like talking to a brick wall.

So every time I took him for a trim last year I had them wash his hair really well.  It looks better and I know it has to feel better.  After a few trips he admitted he could tell a big difference when he washed it and when they did.

So yesterday FINALLY a break thru.  I took them both for haircuts.  I told Hunter he could keep his bangs long, but not in his eyes.  He didn't even fight me that much, grumbled, but I think maybe he saw a bunch of kids yesterday on the first day of school with nice neat hair cuts and decided, hey maybe it ain't so bad.

Now he looks so handsome!  I can see his face!  He looks much older tho, not to sure about that..heh.

So don't sweat it mama, they will eventually learn to comb it.  I really hope this sticks with Hunter and this phase is over.  As for the teachers thinking their scumbags.  I hold out hope that most women/men in the field teaching this age group understands it since they see it year in and year out.

Also, my husband's dad forced them to get burrs their entire lives.  It causes a lot of anger and angst with boys when they get to a certain age and don't even have control over how they wear their hair. 

We say "Grow up."  But them don't let them make little choices like this, even when they make the wrong ones.

That is why my husband said let it play out.  He was a the other end of forced haircuts.

You're doing a fabulous job with your kids.  The older mine get the less "control" and influence I feel I have over them.  But then, that' s the whole point of raising them isn't it?  To let go a little bit at a time?

Disrespect tho.  I'd squash that hard and brutal.

on Aug 27, 2008

I am so not looking forward to hair battles. 

We do have issues with clothes.  They have "uniforms" so that is easier, but Xavier insists on wearing pants 3 inches too short even though he has pants that are long enough. It's like he doesn't care/notice.  I have started making them run their clothes by me the night before so I can approve them, which is pretty ridiculous.

After the first morning Adrian has been getting them ready so I can have a little extra sleep but I don't get much sleep because I can hear him being a drill SGT, LOL.  Maybe you just need to use your "command voice". He apparently feels this solves every problem in the universe.

I agree with Tova, you are doing a great job.  I think parenting wears on everyone, and especially when you are doing it by yourself and have no relief, back up, or sounding board.  I think or hope someday our kids will realize/understand how hard we worked and how much we doubted ourselves and sweated decisions and just how much love and effort we put into raising them.

Or maybe they'll just talk about us in therapy.  Heh.

on Aug 27, 2008

Also, my husband's dad forced them to get burrs their entire lives. It causes a lot of anger and angst with boys when they get to a certain age and don't even have control over how they wear their hair.
  I've considered that factor too.  Like I said I really don't even care if he has it long if he would do more than shake it when he gets out of the shower like he's a dog.  I just want his hair to meet the comb occassionally.  Is that so much to ask?  I keep asking him if he's trying to look like the Jonas Brothers.  He says no.  Actually I think there's is much better.  I can see their faces - lol. 

Now he looks so handsome! I can see his face! He looks much older tho, not to sure about that..heh.

I think us moms all sound the same.  I can just see their eyes rolling at that comment - lol. 

Or maybe they'll just talk about us in therapy. Heh.

lol

I agree with Tova, you are doing a great job. I think parenting wears on everyone, and especially when you are doing it by yourself and have no relief, back up, or sounding board. I think or hope someday our kids will realize/understand how hard we worked and how much we doubted ourselves and sweated decisions and just how much love and effort we put into raising them
  Thanks that makes me feel a little better. 

Ignore it. Let natural consequences be the instructor. I almost lost my mind several times because ignoring it isn't handling it imo.
  I've considered that philosophy.  I'll probably take him for a trim and we'll go from there.  I did take a picture so I can remind him when he has kids how ridiculous he was - lol. 

No more brushing! (of course no more hair either. )

He might have to learn the hard way.  He did eventually brush it but it was a battle. 

So...he waits. Yeah, we love them, but they can be a pain!

Don't you love that - but I need it NOW!  Never mind we had a tax free weekend with tons of sales a couple of weeks ago. 

on Aug 28, 2008

Hey, from a former boy's perspective: my folks let me grow my hair as long as I wanted once I hit a certain age.  They both used to complain how ridiculous it my brothers and I all looked with long scruffy hair.  Looking back at photos from then, they were sooooo right.  My recommendation is to take lots of photos and use them to blackmail them into doing things for you when they get older

on Aug 28, 2008

My recommendation is to take lots of photos and use them to blackmail them into doing things for you when they get older

You are diabolical!  So you got some of your nieces and nephews?

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