We’ll See

Mean-mom2Every mom has some word, phrase and or statement that their kids loath. Mine right now happens to be “we’ll see.”

When I was a kid I swore I wouldn’t do this. I did not want to “put my kids off” with an indefinite answer to anything. As a mom I would make my kids happy all. the. time.

Then motherhood happens.

It’s not that I don’t want to say yes. Honestly, I want to say yes to everything fun.

“Can we go to the park?” Yes!

“Can we paint today?” Yes!

“Can we play hide-n-seek?” Yes!

“Can we go to nana’s house?” Yes!

“Can we have a bubble bath?” Yes!

“Can we go to the library?” Yes!

“Can we make cookies?” Yes!

“Can we play baseball, football, soccer, handball, four square, monopoly, sneaky snacky squirrel, and battleship today?” Uh…We’ll see.

You see, it’s not that I don’t want to do these things. I honestly do. But there is only so much time in a day and I still have to be the mom and make meals, clean the house, do the laundry etc. Some days I put these things off and just play but some days you do have to get some shit done!

Plus, I’ve learned that with my kids it doesn’t matter how many fun things we did that day, if I said we could do something and it didn’t happen, even if we put that thing off so we could do something more fun, then they will be upset, I’m mean, and the day was horrible.

So, “we’ll see” it is.

And when my kids say, “I’ll never say that to my kids when I grow up!” I’ll smile and say, “We’ll see.”

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Better

Having three kids is hard.  Sometimes it’s in the ways you would expect.  Other times things you never expected sideline you.

As I was putting things away this afternoon (I’m still catching up from the whirlwind that was Christmas/New Years) I glanced at a picture of my oldest that I haven’t looked at in a while.  He is around four and MMM is probably one and a half.  I remember taking the picture.  It was a gift for my husband for father’s day.  I took them in my in-laws backyard.  It was a warm, sunny day and the boys were being really good.  What I don’t remember is how little my oldest was.  I remember him being older, the big brother.

I’ve been thinking about this lately.  My expectations for my oldest are all out of whack.  I keep forgetting that he is still a little boy.  I often expect him to act like a little man, mostly because he is the oldest.  Sometimes I need him to be a big boy. Sometimes it’s fair; sometimes it’s not.

I mostly just wanted to write this down for me to remember.  When I get frustrated with him for not behaving I need to stop and evaluate.  Am I being reasonable?  Are my expectations on par with his age?  Is my reaction equitable considering he is only six?

My mother-in-law jokes that this is why we should have more than one kid.  In a way I agree.  I’ve learned so much from parenting my oldest.  I’ve learned some things about what I should do but I feel like mostly I’ve learned what I shouldn’t be doing.  I’m hoping to be more fair to my oldest.  I don’t want to stop having high expectations for him  but when he falls short I want I need to be more gentle with my sweet little boy.

Extremes

Motherhood is full of extremes.  Elation to despair.  Joy to desperation.  Often within a single hour.  I try to temper my reactions and moods but oft times I fail.  They say that consistency is the most important attribute to bring to parenthood but it seems the most illusive for me.

Each evening, when I take stock of my day I think, “tomorrow will be better.  Tomorrow I’ll be patient and loving in everything I do.”  Then, tomorrow hits.  Things never go as planned and soon I find my voice raised and anger in my expressions.  I can see it in my kids faces and I hate myself.

  1. I want our home to be a safe haven.  I want my kids to always feel love and know I am ALWAYS here for them but I feel like I’m failing.  I have shining moments but I feel like the vast majority of the time I’m doing it all wrong.I know there are things I can do to help me be better.  For example, if I get to bed on-time my patience lasts a whole lot longer.  There are variables that are out of my control (ie: babies who don’t sleep well, dealing with nighttime illness etc.) but I can do my part to get in bed and close my eyes on time.  (Curse you “Outlander!”  The sexual tension is killing me {I know.  I know.  I’m way behind the curve.})
  2. I need to start bedtime earlier.  My kids have been going to bed later (thanks to daylight savings ending) and getting up earlier (thanks, again, to daylight savings ending). I need to move their bedtime up since it doesn’t seem to make any difference in the time they wake up.  An earlier bedtime means:
  3. I need to make dinner earlier.  Thankfully the soccer season is over so this should be easier now.  No more late practices.
  4. Put down that device.  I’ve mentioned it here before but I have a slight addiction to electronics.  I’ve noticed that when I’m distracted by something electronic I tend to overreact to whatever it is my kids are doing.  I yell more and feel more angry in general.  It’s just so darn hard to put it away, though.  Especially on the days when my hubby is working late.  That distraction is so easy and readily available when I’m already feeling alone, frustrated, or just plain crazy.

That’s all I’ve got.  Do you have any advice, tips, or tricks for keeping your temper under control when your kids are fighting, yelling, mouthing-off or just plain making you crazy?

And on a completely unrelated note, have you heard Wild Ones before?  I’m loving them!

Motherhood: This is Hard

I started a post this morning about exercise but as my day has worn on it isn’t exercise that’s on my mind.  Right now I am in survival mode.  I’m trying to survive a sick day with angry kids and it’s not going well.

It’s something you do not, no, cannot fully grasp until you are a parent.  You hear, over and over again, that parenting is the hardest thing you will ever do.  You try to imagine what that means.  And then you are there and you think, “Oh.  This is what they meant.”

Today is one of those days.  I’m not sure what to say other than I am drowning.  I was not born with the gift of patience so, over the years, I’ve cultivated, practiced and learned to be patient.  But today it seems that everything I give just isn’t enough.  There has been yelling and scolding.  There have been tears and frustration.  And I don’t know what to do.

One of my boys has been incredibly challenging lately.  He is angry, mean and manipulative.  He is not always this way but he has been for the past few days.  I don’t know what to do.  I don’t know if there is something wrong or if it is because he feels sick or if he’s sleep deprived or if it something deeper than that.

When your kids go off to school you are no longer in control of their day.  You don’t know if someone is being unkind to them or if they are being unkind to others.  You don’t know if they are struggling with new concepts in class or if the excel.  You can’t control the friends they play with or if they even have friends at all.

I’ve also not had good success in simply asking him.  He is happy to blame others for his bad choices but I still don’t know if that’s where the behavior stems from.

Some days I think maybe I should just pull him out of school and homeschool him but I’m not sure that is the best choice.  He and I often butt heads which makes me “teaching” him incredibly difficult.  I know we could overcome this if we really needed to but, when asked, he says he loves school so I don’t want to take him away from something he loves.

I’m confused and stressed and frustrated and not sure what to do.  I’m hoping tomorrow is a better day and that all my anxiety is for naught but if it’s not I feel like we’ll need to make some changes.

Any thoughts from out in the blog world?