About 3 years ago, someone said something horribly mean to me when I was in a very disastrous house situation and desperately needed help. This person was making fun of me and refused to lift a finger. I didn’t know what to do and I was left to fend for myself, while pretending that it was under control in front of all my kids. Though lots of tears and shattered nerves, I did what I had to do. It took a very long time. I don’t know how it all went down exactly, but it just did, and things happened in the right direction, little by little.
Today I knocked it out of the park. I’ll take the high road and just be happy for my great life now, but you know how badly I just want to say, “Go F yourself”?
It often blows my mind how much chaos one teenager can create in a matter of seconds when they don’t get what they want. It’s like an earthquake as the friggin world is ending. People are screaming and running and doors are slamming as I feel cold-cocked in a spin cycle of mayhem. What just happened?
Will there ever be a day when our parenting skills are not scrutinized as we discipline our offspring? I’m not so sure anymore, especially in a world of divorce, when one parent’s technique can be used against them as a weapon or bargaining chip. Still, I stay the path and hold steady to my mantra of adult respect, regardless of whether or not I am obeyed. There are consequences for the latter.
It never crossed my mind that I would ever have 6 teenagers all at once. Who, in their right mind would ever dream of such a thing? Cocky, disrespectful, taking advantage, conniving, loving, kind- and not in that specific order. These young adults pull emotions out of nowhere like they’re trying on a new hat, all while pushing the parental limits as far as they can. If I tell them to be home by 7:00 for dinner, on occasion one will walk in at 7:15. “You may not go out tomorrow.”, I say. “Whyyyyyyy????”, the headstrong kid proclaims. Does this educated kid really need an explanation of why? Still, I find myself trying to reason. I’m breaking down and losing the battle at the moment, but it takes far more energy than I want to dedicate to the subject. I try to shovel my dinner in and choke it down before Round 2 begins. It makes for a very relaxed evening.
It’s quite interesting what happens when one kid is missing from the mix. It recently revealed to me who is responsible for much of the brawling among the boys. It’s a little slice of heaven not to have an instigator stirring the pot at the moment. Though it does make awesome, big family dynamics what they are, it also affords me a break and I am slowly learning to enjoy it.
I believe that the most challenging parenting skill is being able to keep your mouth shut and letting the child feel they are a little powerful in a situation- but only for a few minutes, in my book. More likely than not, that child will be back to following the rules in a short time.
Who gives a kid the right to be powerful at home? We aren’t raising the same children our grandparents raised and there are plenty of people that are on board with this. This is where our parenting techniques differ now and I seem to hold steady to the good old fashioned way. My brood hates it.
Kids unknowingly seek structure and parameters and when those things are missing they will feel out of control, eventually coming full circle- right back to where they started. I’ve witnessed this with some of my kids and the others have yet to experience it. As hard as this is for me to carry out, it’s my philosophy and I do my best to stick to it. Though I am “the meanest mother in the whole world” and I “don’t understand or care,” I am really only making it all up as I go along. It seems to be working. More often than not, the kid who blows everything up is sent to the bedroom and I get a text message about an hour later with an apology. Though I feel it is disrespectful that it is not in person, I am tired and I’ll take it.
I am gearing up for whatever firestorm will be coming through the door after school today. There will be something hormonal coming out of someone. I am sure of it. It’s kind of like getting a surprise gift box filled with dynamite every day. Still, I do the mom thing willingly because this is the life I have made for myself and I wouldn’t change it. The good outweighs the bad and the craziness is all worth it to me. I am very proud of the good children I am raising and I know someday they will understand why I do what I do. I am not really as flawed as they think.
I like to keep things positive because I’m a “glass half-full” kind of girl, so here is the one single thing I love most about Insomnia- the fact that I have built up a tolerance to Unisom, the only thing that helped me sleep.
People tell me if I go to the gym regularly and don’t eat anything before I go to bed that I will sleep better. They’re lying.
This is what I’m thinking about while I am awake for endless hours:
Were those four inch spikes I wore last November with the little black dress worth the pain I still feel in my ankle?
How long will my dog live and when she dies, do I have to split her ashes with my ex-husband?
It’s 3am and I could do an entire grocery shop at Walmart right now. No one would even know I’m gone.
I will have five or six kids in college at once. When I was cranking out all that cuteness, I only pretended to think about how to pay for it. How do the Mormons do it?
If I fall asleep right now, I will have a 2 ½ hour stretch of sleep before the house starts rocking with kids again.
Defrost the chicken.
Thailand seems nice.