Saturday, September 13, 2008

Learning to be a New Mom

I am sorry for the brief absence. I will try to write in the next couple days. My new puppy is a handful and I am working hard at creating a routine that works for both of us. I was in tears yesterday because I am exhausted...not sleeping, trying to keep track of the puppy etc.
I think we are close to getting the house training routine I feel better today. I do not know how anyone brings up a child...a puppy is overwhelming me. I am intent on positive reinforcement, redirecting bad behaviour to something better (i.e chew this toy, not my couch) and never ever punishing my puppy.
I don't know what is going on but recently I am feeling completely re-traumatized by how I was punished as a child. I will never let myself be like my father.


Handsome B. Wonderful said...

He/she is adorable but I understand being overwhelmed with a pet. We've tried the pets before to no avail: 2 cats and a dog. So yeah, kids are out of the equation for sure with us. I can't imagine. I'd probably kill everyone in one of those murder suicides. :/

The Silent Voices in my Mind said...

Your puppy is adorable! I totally understand where you're at with the exhaustion and frustration. Getting routines down can take a while. Take heart - it gets better.

As for the punishment issue, that gets sticky very quickly. I am still amazed at how many parenting decisions I make to consciously do the opposite of how I was raised.

I had a family counselor give me probably the single best piece of advice for dealing with my kids during stressful situations. She told me to:

"Act, not react."

Basically she meant to take an extra step between the (puppy's) action and what to do next. Take a deep breath and decide what to do about it instead of lashing out which can be my first reaction.

(BTW, that's much easier said than done. But it's a good ideal to strive for.)

Anonymous said...

You're not your dad, you are yourself, be yourself doing a great job.

Michelle said...

What adorable photos! I have an 8 year old lab and I swear I will NEVER have a puppy again. Another dog absolutely but one that is at least somewhat trained when I get him/her. I hope it gets easier soon!

Polar Bear said...

Yes, I'm pretty sure it is exhausting. But I hope you also find it rewarding.

Positive reinforcement is great - much better than punitive stuff. I'm just learning myself, from V, that positive reinforcement works much better. It's hard though, if you come fromm a background where punishment is the main way of discipline. That's why I'm afraid to have children. I'm not very sympathetic with kids. I tend to treat and expect them to be little adults. The way my mom raised me.

I hope you can learn that you DON'T have to be like your father.


Aqua said...

Thanks everyone...I am having fun with Skookum too. I'm just not sleeping hardly at all(for almost two weeks now...even before the puppy) and my level of patience and my mood declines with decreased sleep.

I am not my father, but unfortunately I have anger inside me like him and the rage/anger I feel sometimes scares me.

I will not let that anger out on my little puppy though, no matter how frustrated I feel. He's just a baby and deserves all the love and positive reinforcement I can give him.

Tamara said...

Skookum is precious.

Just the fact that you are aware you don't want to be like your father will keep you from ever being like him. Anger can be a good emotion and you can learn to channel it is productive ways. I promise because I have done it.

Having a new puppy can be very exhausting and without sleep it is more difficult to stay positive and upbeat but I know you are a wonderful puppy-mom and you will do all the right things. Just enjoy him. He will grow out of this phase soon!