Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Discipline with Disease

Today's Shout Outs:

Stephanie G, Joan B, Gloria D, Lou Lou, Tracy S, Lisa R, Ted M, Marie H

Dear friends,

One of the things that I have been thinking about especially the last couple of days has to do with discipline.  It's not quite the same issue with my oldest since he's 11, but it is something that I think about quite a bit, but in a different way since my diagnosis.  A couple of years ago, my oldest was having some issues at school and we decided that it would be good for him to have an opportunity to speak with a counselor.  I am so happy that we made this choice and to be honest it wasn't an easy choice for us.  I believe that there is still a stigma, mostly unspoken about counselors and the need to see them.  It's another one of those "clubs" that we can't truly understand until you belong for whatever reason.  It always seems good and appropriate when it's the other person seeking mental health improvement, but when it is you or someone you are responsible for, it looks different.

My oldest did great and we have great respect for his counselor and at the end of 3rd grade it was decided that we would take a break, but that we had an open door policy if any future need arose.  That future need wasn't at all what I expected, but as soon as I got my diagnosis, I knew that I needed to make sure that his mental well being had to be ensured.  He is doing great, as great as any child can do at his age and development can do, so we have set a leisurely schedule for him. He visits about once a month and then of course if any other issues pop up he can see him in between.

At this point in time, I do not see a counselor and I think its because I have used this blog as a way for me to release my feelings and in many ways, all of you act as my mental health providers!  BUT, I have no issues seeking mental health support if I or my family members think it would help cope with our situation!!!  I truly feel that if anyone feels the need for this that they should seek help whatever the issues, big or small.

Ha, I digressed a bit, but it does all relate.  Clearly, the issues that we have with the oldest is much different than the situations we deal with when it concerns the little ones.  They are only 5 and at this point we don't see the need for them to visit the counselor, but I have noticed that at times it is hard for me to stay away if they are in a time out or not give in when they are crying due to disciplinary issues.

They tend to call for me when its "trouble" time and it is honestly very difficult for me to look at their tears and not give in.  Essentially, I feel sorry and guilty at the same time for them, that they have been put into this situation and that they themselves are in their own club that wasn't of their making.

I also have to say that often times discipline and structure go out the window when I'm not feeling so great too.  Its just one of those things and I understand it, but...  You all know what the but is all about!  You don't have to have anything "wrong" with you to "get" it... you just have to be a normal mom in any circumstance to understand.  I do think discipline can be at times trying when a serious illness is involved, it is for me. I can swing back and forth from giving in to just feeling so exasperated and frayed.  Ha I guess it doesn't help when Dad can come in and put the fear of God in all the kids immediately... go figure!

Anyway, my kids are good ones and I've decided to keep them despite my waffling discipline and I'm sure despite me they will turn out to be wonderful adults!

Until next time.



Virginia B. said...

I read your blog and sometimes I feel you are living with me. We are going through the same situation with me going through chemo now and we have 3 1/2 yr old twins. My husband and I were just having this conversation about discipline and how the situation we are in now has thrown a wrench on how we treat the kids. We decided to just take a day at the time and keep reminding ourselves that this too shall pass. Take care and God bless you! Virginia

Susan said...

Dear Katie, I appreciate your candor. Although I cannot relate to your struggle with cancer, I chuckled at the "exasperated mom" comment. My four children, now adults, are very close in age. I often just gave up and gave in (to this day, they tell me that I am a marshmallow). The fact that you are coping is amazing. You are amazing. Don't worry about the times when you just give up and give in. They will be fine. I love your strength for accepting the need for counseling for your eldest. It sounds to me as if you are an amazing mom in addition to being an amazing woman. I know that this is rambling, but I just want to try to give you strength, as you have given me strength by your example. Sue

Jade said...

As a mom to a fantastic yet trying 2 year old I fully admit to giving in and spoiling and you know what, she's still great and she will no doubt be great in the future. My mother always said you have to "pick your battles" and I choose to fight on the big ones and let the rest of it go in the name of quality time together. Maybe I'll pay for it one day but I know I will look back and say "I'm glad I didn't go ballistic when she drew on the walls with crayon - besides that's why God gave us the brilliance to create WASHABLE crayons!" :)

Hazeyj said...

It is not always easy to be consistent with discipline and I think that I 'angsted' too much about my failings in this regard when I should just forgiven myself and moved on. Just do the best you can do; you are aware of all the pitfalls and have given this lots of thought - half the battle - there are loads of people who are not so self-aware.You seem like a person to whom instinct is important but also you want the option that best suits your children; a solid foundation. XX Hazel

Janine said...

From what I saw when teaching, kids need structure and discipline but they need to be valued and loved. You are clearly looking out for them while they are trying to make sense of what has turned all your world's upside down so don't beat yourself up about being a bit less strict from time to time. Look after yourself - you have been set a great selection of hats! x

Candy F. said...

You're kids are great and so are you. Just keep taking it one day at a time and things will fall into place. Love you.

Jennifer Reynard said...

Be ever so gentle with yourself.
With the challenges you are dealing with, please lower any and all expectations of yourself. Do what
you are able to do, and that's that.
Will keep you in my prayers,
Jennifer, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Julia Aston said...

Hi Katie - dropping in to let you know I'm thinking about you today - it must be very difficult to discipline when you are not feeling well - and I'm sure the kids know how to push your 'new' buttons as all kids learn to do! I guess it's a good sign they are acting up now and then - life goes on as usual in the Renz household!

Debbie Nelson said...


I love reading all your are amazing! It sounds like you have great kids due to your great parenting! I know I started scrapbooking and cardmaking with my first cancer diagnosis eleven years ago and I know that it is great therapy for me! I hope that you have a great week!

Whimcees said...

Hello Katie!

So happy to see your post! :<)

Being a mom always has its difficult times, but being a mom and living with the issues you are dealing with now - that take so much from you physically and mentally - makes them even more stressful. You are a remarkable young woman and a great mother. Your children are well cared for and loved.

Please remember to take care of yourself also. I agree that this blog has been a wonderful help to you but having someone to talk to on a one-to-one basis can also be very valuable to help you cope with it all.

I keep you in my prayers every day. Wishing you a good week! Stay strong!


Barbara Diane

Holly said...

Hi Katie,

A friend of our family has said to me a couple of times over the past few years: "Don't hurry; Don't worry". I know I've been concerned about my kids and how they're doing when they've had to deal with some of my health issues, but then I try to remember that I just need to do the best I can and try to make sure they know and feel my love for them. As has already been mentioned by so many more eloquent people before me, you are a strong, intelligent, loving and nurturing woman/mother. How do I know this from just reading your blog? I FEEL it when I read your blog. I sense your deep appreciation and love for those you care about. While you are struggling with this illness, you are also struggling with balancing your role as a mother, wife, friend, etc. - and yet you're doing it and doing it well every day. :)

Continue to keep you and your family in my prayers.
-Holly in SoCal

Davi said...

I dont think there are many moms who dont give in sometimes. Not feeling well certainly makes it harder and then as you say things being turned upside down adds another angle. Above all your little ones just need be assured of your love and all the rest will be okay. Being willing to seek help for you son shows your wisdom in dealing with them :)

Curt in Carmel said...

Hey Katie! I don't have real kids, but I have two "fur kids" and believe it or not, the feelings are the same for me. I have a tendency to be lenient with them when I am sick, and I justify that because I'm not giving them the attention they need and want. So, I feel it is because of my situation that is causing their situation. So I ease up, that and I just don't feel like doing battle when I'm not well. But, with discipline in general, I don't give in, because I know that I've punished them for their own good. Hugs to all of you! Best, Curt

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