It’s been a rough 48 hours of parenting. I mean, seriously, like, the things that I’ve had to encounter while parenting my children, has literally made me question whether or not I am made for this. And I am this close to saying, “I’m definitely not made for this.”
The Diva lived up to her name this weekend. By doing so, I had to make decisions about whether or not what I was doing in terms of discipline was really working. Stinker wasn’t a discipline problem, but he doesn’t feel well, which brings on a different set of concerns. And Miss Double Digits… well, let’s just say the pre-teen attitude problem is alive and well. Based on these last 2 days, I must say that I have learned a few things.
It takes a village to raise a child.
I had to call on the village while I was out of town to help support my kids with pickups and drop-offs. Then with The Diva’s disciplinary issues, I didn’t ask for help, but the village could tell I was worn down. So, they picked up my cross. I’ve known for awhile that it definitely takes a village to raise a child, but I’ve had to implement the village heavily in the last 48 hours for various things which made this more evident.
If I don’t check the child at the point of the incident (i.e. stealing someone’s toy), then it is possible that whatever thoughts and feelings that they have about the incident (i.e. the behavior is acceptable), they will internalize and hold on to. I imagine that those same thoughts and feelings will become part of their “struggles while adulting”, figuring out how to undo the things I didn’t undo for them as their parent. So I would rather have the conversations now. I would rather have them upset with me today than to see my adult child 20 years from now struggling.
I’m not built for multiple little people issues in a small period of time.
I always wanted to be a mom, and I am really confident in my momness until I got to this level where I am out-numberd by a 12-year-old, a 8-year- old, and a 4-year-old. This particular stage of their lives have combined to be a perfect storm. I wasn’t built for that. I was built for single moments of distress. But when things pop off per child, within the same time frame, I just think it’s too much. And don’t get me wrong, I have the help and support of my husband. But even with his support, I don’t think we collectively, as a parental unit, were built for this. I think the show Survivor said it best, “The key is to outwit, outplay and outlast your opponents.”
I am convinced that the stress level a parent experiences multiplies by the number of children they have. For example, so you have one kid then your stress level is in a normal stress range, right. But then the more kids you have, the more stressful a possible situation might be? Well, that’s where I am. I’m thinking that in the last 48 hours, I literally went from 100 to about 350. This isn’t good for anyone involved.
Lastly, I’ve realized that I’m going to have to implement a few different ways to communicate my message.
That part is a work in progress for me even though I feel like I communicate pretty well with my kids. But it’s becoming more and more evident as time goes on, especially since they’re getting older, that each child responds to things a different way. I just need to level up; I need to add more tools in my toolbox of options.
For the last two weeks, I didn’t have a voice. There was nothing coming out but squeaks. So I couldn’t yell at anybody, and let me tell you a real strong whisper just doesn’t cut it. I had to start figuring out how to use other methods to communicate because it shouldn’t always be my voice giving the authority or the verbal smackdown.
Now if you’re waiting for me to give you the top 10 new solutions that I came up with, don’t hold your breath. I don’t have that list ready. I’m still working on it. But what I do know for sure is that I have to figure out new ways to attack this parenting thing. And if you are a parent, and especially if you are a parent of multiple children, my only true advice for you is: hold on.
I don’t know what you’re holding on to, for me it’s Jesus, but you have to hold on to something. Either you need to hold on to the seat, because this roller coaster ride is taking a turn. Or hold on to your hat because the winds might pick up. Or whatever analogy you want to throw in there that might be appropriate. Parenting is not for the weak. It is not for those who think they got it all together. Parenting has no manual and lasts forever. So I’m just saying hold on.