Saturday, September 29, 2012

Are my expectations too high? What I learned about motherhood from my dog trainer!

"This is a great dog!"  Said the dog trainer I hired to save my sanity from my hyperactive, barking and destructive 7 month old Labradoodle.  "He is so calm and loving...and so trainable."  You really lucked out."

Uhhh...really? Are we talking about the same dog?  The one who barks incessantly? The one who drinks out of the toilet bowl? The one who body slams the front door when I go to get the mail? The one who eats my underwear, chews my kids' toys, and unravels every toilet paper roll in the house?  The one who destroyed my screened in porch in a matter of exactly 12 minutes?  The one who needs put under next week to get his nose scoped because we believe he snorted a lego? That dog?

Yes, he is one and the same. "He is just a puppy,"  She tells me.  Right, I forgot.

And then it struck me, people say the same thing about my kids.  Well, not the calm, loving and trainable part...but that they are great kids.  I often have the same reaction-Are you talking about MY kids?  I have the same conversation with my husband about 8 times a year.  It usually goes something like this:

Me: Are other kids this difficult?
Him:  Yes
Me: Do other parents struggle as much as us?
Him: Yes
Me: Our kids are so damn hard!
Him: Yes, they are strong willed kids.
Me: Are we doing something wrong?
Him: No, they are kids.  You expect too much.  You work in a school, you should know what is normal kid behavior is.
Me:  Pissed off that he didn't agree with me and walk away. He's right, I should know better.

But...when you are a mom and you have emotions tied to your own kids, AND they aren't behaving the way you want them to, these are normal questions.  I often have to remind myself that all kids say "no," ignore their parents, don't listen the first time, fight with their siblings, have meltdowns, need reminders to calm down, be quiet and have manners.  Few of them like baths, bedtimes or getting ready in the morning.  I never met a kid who behaved all of the time. They are all a pain in the ass-sometimes. That is why they call them kids, not adults. Come to think of it most adults I know need similar reminders from time to time too!  

So yes, I've decided that my expectations are too high.  That my kids behave like kids.  Yes, they ARE great kids, but they also can be a pain in the ass.  Just like every other kid I know!