I’ve been through quite the ordeal since about halfway through my pregnancy with my 5th child. I had what is called “Irritable Uterus” and couldn’t walk more than 10 steps, bend over, etc. without having a contraction. This happened with all of my pregnancies from about 20 weeks on, but it was especially bad this time. Before I even got out of bed in the morning, I sometimes found myself crying that I had to endure another day when it felt like my due date would never be here. I was fortunate that it didn’t cause any cervical changes, but it was miserable. Everywhere I went, people thought I was going into labor or that I should be on bedrest. My midwives weren’t worried because I had a history of keeping my babies in just fine. I joke that I have the most competent cervix in the world.
We moved when I was about 24 weeks pregnant in late July. The heat made things even more miserable and then I failed my glucose test by three measly points and had to test my blood sugar five times a day at first. Just as things were starting to level out blood sugar wise and I felt comfortable trying to push myself more physically without worrying about going into premature labor, I was rear ended at 35 weeks pregnant. I was in terrible pain from my mid spine down to my thighs. I had a difficult time lifting even an empty pot, putting on flip flops, getting in and out of the car, walking, getting in and out of bed, etc. Worst of all, my frequent contractions were now making my spine throb. As I attended my kids’ concerts and other events, I left crying. I don’t cry easily and I only cried once during my previous four drug-free labors. The one time was after a week of labor and two hours feeling the urge to push without being allowed to yet.
I was also a lame mother who couldn’t seem to follow through with anything and the kids knew it. Of course, I had the baby shortly after that which comes with other physical ailments and had a rather long postpartum recovery. Eight week later, I still had issues from the car accident. I finally scheduled some physical therapy visits, but dreaded figuring out how to make it work with my baby. It has been an absolute joy having her here with us and the kids adore her, but there has also been a lot of fighting and disrespectful behavior because I struggle even to do some of the most basic things, let alone chase kids up and down the stairs and make them comply with the rules. I couldn’t even seem to tell my husband where I wanted him to hang up pictures on the walls in our new home. On one hand, I didn’t want to walk into the room and look because of pain. On the other, I felt strangely mentally unable to even make the decision. I thought we would end up with holes everywhere after I decided I didn’t like it there after all.
Between two of our boys in particular, there has been a lot of name calling, teasing, and rough housing that leads to someone crying. They also make a joke out of it when we expect them to go to bed. We don’t care if they want to read for a while in their rooms, but for them to run downstairs to play or continue fighting with each other at almost 10pm, I had had it. I suddenly found myself uttering this horrifying phrase.
“GET IN BED NOW OR NO TV FOR A WEEK!!!!”
I believe his exact words were, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”
Hmmm. Dr. Phil once said, “Find your child’s currency.” Found it!
The disrespectful behavior not only continued, but escalated. I had to follow through and actually feel like I can deal with it! Hallelujah! It’s going to be a miserable week of groveling though and questions like, “If I do x, y, and z, can I watch TV?”
“What can I do to get my TV privileges back?”
“Nothing. You’re being punished after being warned. This is so you will know next time that I mean it.”
“WHAT?!?! You mean there’s no way I can watch TV?!”
“Nope. But good behavior will prevent me from extending the time you don’t get to watch TV.”
I have now set parental codes on the TV which will make it impossible for them to even watch a DVD. No Netflix. Nothing.
I will use this blog space of mine to scientifically document their TVless anguish. I’m starting to feel like me again!