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There was a time, last week, when I felt like a complete idiot and bad mother. Then I got over it.

For part of the holiday season, we stayed with my husband’s family, also known as the In-Laws. During our stay there, I relinquished control of my family and allowed everyone, Hubby included, to run wild. It was during this time that I reached a level of lethargy I had not seen since high school. It was wonderful. But the day I felt like an idiot jolted me out of complaisance.

When you are a new parent, your world is filled with insecurities. I can recall one tear-filled evening when Ellwood was a baby of about 4 months. He had fallen asleep in his car seat and I was unsure whether I should wake him and move him to his bed (actually my bed since that is where he slept until he was 6 months old) or just leave him in his car seat. I don’t remember what I chose to do, but I know it took a call to my mother and another call to her nurse friend to make the decision. In retrospect, I wasted a lot of good sleeping time.

I got more secure as a mom when Ellwood proved himself to be a hearty child and my lack of experience did not kill him. So when a friend of mine berated me for the way I handled a situation with Ellwood, I only cried a little bit until I reminded myself that her only child was not yet at the ‘I can run away from you and you can’t catch me’ stage; which in turn meant that her sermon was purely theoretical and not yet practical.

Over the years, Hubby and I have developed a system of discipline and praise which works for us. On the discipline side, our arsenal includes, but is not limited to: the Naughty Corner, Removal of Toy/TV privilege/Desert and whatever clever ideas we can come up with. On the praise side: this is self-explanatory.

I was jolted out of my idle reverie by the fact that SIL#2 reprimanded both of my children five times in the span of about one hour. She was completely correct in most instances and did nothing that should not have been done. But I was suddenly aware of my inattention towards my kids. And I felt horrid.

My eyes were opened, though, which helped restore me to a semblance of my normal self and take back control from the usurpers. Yeah, right. The little buggers have me wrapped around their fingers and they know it.