I am a good millennial mom. I read Janet Lansbury and listen to Dr. Becky. I follow all the instagram accounts and TikTok’s that tell me how to be a gentle parent. We have a consistent, relaxing bedtime routine thanks to the multitude of sleep training books I have consumed. We don’t do much screen time (I’ll accept my award later, thanks so much!), and we don’t usually have brownies before bed. However, brownies are delicious. So if they are in the house we eat them. But I’ll get to that later.
I was raised by boomers who modeled the exact opposite of gentle parenting. They created a discipline structure around yelling at us so loudly it scared us into doing whatever they wanted. And sure, I’m in therapy now, but at the time it seemed like I was a pretty obedient kid? (Note: I checked in with my mom, and she says I was a “pain in the ass.”)
I have been diligently working to not make the same mistakes my parents did. I don’t want my kids to be scared of me! But the other night, in the throws of an emotional stand off with my 3 year old, all my gentle parenting techniques I'd so diligently added to my toolbox failed. So, I resorted to the only thing left: yelling like a boomer.
Here's what's happened. My husband was out of town, and I’m in my third trimester, so I decided we should have big fat brownies for dessert. I gave one to my 3 year old. She loves brownies even more than a super pregnant woman. However, chocolate before bed has never been a good idea…and as predicted she was awake from 1 to 4 a.m. using all of the tricks she'd diligently added to her toolbox to explain why she absolutely needed to sleep in bed with me. After five or six “calm check ins” I just lost it.