I can not believe how difficult it is to parent. I feel like I must be the worst in the world, for Naomi just keeps getting more and more defiant, and Josiah is increasingly disobedient. I try everything I can think of, but Naomi's attitude is unbelievable. She says things now like, "I don't have to obey you. I can do what I want" and "You're so bad, Mommy." She's also treating Josiah more meanly everyday, and saying harsh things to him.
I don't know what to do. All my life, I've been pretty good at following instructions, reading and learning, but there's no instruction manual for this job! There are no extra study sessions, and my results are not just a grade on a test but the atmosphere in my entire family and home. I'm tired of battling and punishing. I'm tired of hearing complaining and disrespectful words.
I guess I haven't been surrendering my life very well to Christ, and maybe this is evidenced by my kids. I haven't been praying for them, and it's pretty clear that they're not going to change without Jesus as their Lord. I need prayer for my own commitment, to fall in love with Jesus again and let his Word pour into me. And I need prayer for my sanity as I struggle to not go bonkers.
On the positive side, Ethan is finally sleeping well. He used to only take 10-20 minute naps, and only if he was being held. Now he will nap for at least an hour at a time, and we're putting him in his own bed (which he doesn't appreciate yet, but he's getting there...) He's happy now to be in a johnny-jumper or an exer-saucer, and he loves chewing on teething toys, stuffed animals or rattles. It's much easier for me to get stuff done when he can entertain himself a little and sleep for an hour in a bed!
By the way, I probably won't benefit from any 'parenting advice' you think you can give me. I've pretty much heard it all. I think I just need a heart-change in my kids. Please, God, help us...