As the days count down toward the beginning of motherhood, I have become keenly aware of how I handle day to day situations, especially with my pets. Recently our lovely yellow lab Maggie has decided that she should start sleeping on my love seat every night. I knew that this would be one of my first tests as a newly pregnant mommy to show Greg how I can take care of business!
Now, until I came into the picture she was not even allowed into the house, so she is knowingly taking full advantage of my suckerish, for lack of a better term, personality. When I first met Greg I was extremely impressed with how well he had trained Maggie. She stayed home when we had to leave, she never jumped on people or misbehaved, and would listen to Greg's every command. I took note of this and thought, well I know he'll be a great disciplinarian, which was a relief because I wasn't so sure about myself in that department. So now, as I wake up every morning finding her on the love seat, I feel that I have eyes watching me and how I react and "discipline" Maggie. I certainly don't want to be the pushover mom who doesn't support my husband when he lays down the law, so I'm trying to work on it with our pets.
I, of course, try the nice approach first, telling her to get down, pointing to the floor and saying "stay down!" The next morning, more of the same. After a couple days of that I barricade the love seat with a table thinking that would do it, and of course I then found her on the couch... I got her down from there and got a text later that morning from my husband saying that my nice mom approach hadn't worked because when he got up, she was back on the love seat, never minding my barricade. Well that did it. When I got home from work I called Maggie over, put her paw on the love seat and said "NO, you stay DOWN." Then I walked her over the the couch and did the same thing. Following that I laid down a rug and told her to lay down on it and stay. This morning I discovered a lovely thing, Maggie was STILL on the RUG! I was so proud of her, and trying not to give her to much credit, scritched her and praised her for being a good girl and staying on the rug, then, in a moment of weekness, I gave her a treat. UGH! I can't teach my kids that every time they do something right they get TREATS! What kind of mother would I be!? So, as I reflect on this whole learning to discipline effectively process, I feel that I am at least making some progress....right?