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I’m Sierra. I live in the Boston area with my family.

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Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

by Sierra on November 9, 2010 · 15 comments

in Uncategorized

Winter and I don’t get along so well. It’s been dark cold and rainy for only three days and I’m already waiting for crocuses to pop through the snow that hasn’t fallen yet and herald the coming spring.

I’m telling you this as the backdrop to how I came in with a sleeping child in my arms and three backpacks dangling from my elbows cold rain dripping off everything and the kids said, “CAN WE WATCH A MOVIE MOMMY?”

And I said, “Sure, give me five minutes to get settled and then I’ll set that up for you.” I started unlacing my boots.

And the kids said, “CAN WE WATCH A MOVIE MOMMY?!?”

And I said, “Yes, but I really need five minutes to get in the house and get settled. Then I’ll set up your movie.”

I got the boots off and started hanging up the pile of wet coats and hats by the door.


“I need five minutes to get in the house. Then I will set up your movie. Please do not ask me again. I do not like the whining.”

I picked up the soggy mail they’d trampled over in their rush in the door, and started up the stairs.



Now. Nothing makes me feel like a worse parent than yelling rude words at my children. I don’t think I have ever told them to shut up before, and I hope I never do again. That sucked. We all stared at each other.

The little one said, “That was too loud for my ears, Mommy.”

“I’m sorry. I still need five minutes, though.”

I put myself in time out. Rio pulled out a book and actually read it to her sister, because OMG that child can read all of a sudden hallelujah.When she finished I came back in the room and apologized for yelling at them.

“That’s OK, Mommy,” Rio said. “Every grown-up makes that mistake sometime. Even kids make that mistake. Serena and I made that mistake this morning and yelled at each other about pancakes.”

My kids: they’re pretty awesome. I must be doing something right, even if its hard to tell what on a rainy gray grumpy day.

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  • http://writingasjoe.blogspot.com jo(e)

    I like that!

    I can’t tell you how often I had to apologize to my kids when they were little. But I figure that at least I set a good example. If nothing else, they learned from me how to take responsibility for their actions and apologize.


    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you! That’s what I always hope: they get something good out of seeing me model mistakes. I can’t do it right all the time.


  • http://notlikeacat.blogspot.com/ It’s Not Like a Cat

    There is hope for me yet…and it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who snaps. :)

    What is UP with the repeated question/whining when I clearly say, “In a minute, I have to do this one thing first”???


    Anonymous Reply:

    I wish I knew! My son, who is four, is the same way. I chalk it up to his 30 second attention span.

    Nicely done, Sierra! It’s not easy to apologize to our kids when we’ve grown up with parents who probably never did so to us.


  • http://andromedayelton.com Andromeda

    Yer kids are funny. :)


  • http://twitter.com/veek Vika Zafrin

    It takes a lot of grace to recover quickly from that sort of thing. I like the ways you do it. Sprezzatura comes to mind.


    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you. Now I have to Google “Sprezzatura”.


    Vika Zafrin Reply:

    Oh hey – the link I provided in my comment might make the compliment seem underhanded. I was thinking of the *positive* aspects of sprezzatura. :)


  • Liz

    Sending (((HUGS))) your way — and your opening line perfectly expresses how I’m feeling these days, here in the Boston area. You’re doing just fine with your kids, if they can back off when you know you need a time out. Hang in there!


    Sierra Reply:

    Thanks, Liz! So glad to know I’m not alone w the weather.


  • http://unintentionalhousewife.com/ Unintentional Housewife

    Good for you for putting yourself in timeout. I do think that kids model what we show them, and I think that you gave them a valuable lesson by showing them how to comeback from losing your temper. I also think Rio proved how great a job you’re doing. Teaching them the skills that will get them through the rest of their lives is FAR better than always being perfect in front of them (impossible, plus it would give them unrealistic expectations, even if you COULD do it). Kudos to you!


    Sierra Reply:

    Thank you!!


  • http://playfightrepeat.com Suzita

    This post reminds me of when my kids were younger and I’d do something in my mama-fog such as call them the wrong name. They’d often respond with a comment which suggested I was of terribly low intelligence. This, of course, did not make things at all smoother, so I came up with a better idea.

    I told my kids that every time I mixed up their names, they were to say back, “Mama are you tired today?” Even though they said it in a kind of rote way, I didn’t care, it was still better than before and I could say back, “Yes, I am tired today. Thanks for asking.”

    Along these lines I also taught my kids rather than just saying, “thanks Mom,” when this phrase was necessary to say, “Thank you Mama you’re the best.” Although when they say it, I know the original phrasing came from me, it’s still nice to hear the words. When you are a parent of young kids, you take what you can get!


  • Manjari

    I love this post, and I can really relate to it! Your kids seem pretty amazing, so I’m sure you must be doing a lot right.


  • http://fastforwardacademy.com/index-page-continuing-professional-education-enrolled-agent.htm enrolled agent cpe

    I am not yet a parent but I enjoy reading parenting related articles. I admire couple who are very much hands on to their children’s needs.


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