David came home from one of his trips. We were all sitting at dinner and the kids were speaking rudely to me and each other. He looked at me like 'What the fuck has happened?' I threw up my hands and shrugged my shoulders. There have been so many new adventures since the school year ended. Murphy, Harvey and Teddy can swim so they head over to our local pool alone. They are calling from my phone setting up times to hang with friends all the time. It's AWESOME, but it's an adjustment, as parenting and families always are. Plus this is the first summer I have had 6 mobile children. Our house is noisy, everyone is moving and doing something. It's nutty. But I wouldn't change it for a second. But it's been a BIG change, I have decided to slow down, gather myself, handle what I can and stay calm. I have let some things slide.
I have let the children speak poorly to me (at times) because I am just getting my feet wet with this new world. There are so many changes with children all of the time. Most of the time I adjust, shift and roll with the changes. My life has changed from having one step-son to today where I have one child out and about in the world (Ian) working, driving and planning trips with friends and the other five running circles around me. Every time I find myself with a new big change I try to turn in, slow down and get calm. Because I will tell you what, when I get stressed, I get pissed and then I do some pretty shitty parenting. What does my shitting parenting look like? I'll tell you in the next paragraph. I think worse than my marginal parenting is how much I beat myself up about it. I am so hard on myself. I have a very strong inner voice. It has served me very well in life. But when I fail or don't succeed to the level I thought I could or I'm just being a jerk, I dig my heels in and live in the past. I should make a list of what I can learn from the past situation and move on. But, I don't. I dwell in the negative. I'm 44 when will I learn?! Ha ha ha.
What does my, the author of, SAY IT ONCE The No Bullshit Guide to Parenting shitty parenting look like? Ha! I yell more than I like, I let the little stuff set me off. I get too mad. I may even get into an argument with my children.
Normally, in our family I am the heavy, the decision maker, the CEO if you will. It's not that David doesn't do anything, it's just that when he decided to start his company and travel the world we were told by the counselor we see from time to time that it would be best for ONE person to wear the shoes. That person is me. Since school got out I've taken my shoes off and only wear my flip flops from time to time.
At dinner the other night David stepped in and dropped the hammer. He sent children away from the dinner table, he raised his voice, he sent his message loud and clear. The children will not behave or speak this way. His actions got me back on track, I heard his message too. I realized I needed to re-read my book. Yes, I had to re-read my own book to get my parenting mojo back in line. My book makes parenting so easy, I should have named it 'I TAKE NO SHIT FROM MY KIDS Parenting Book.'
Do I feel bad that I have let our home life slack for the first few weeks of summer? Yes and no. Yes, because when you are a stay at home mom you are your own boss. You manage your workload or you don't. And when you decide to take a little break it really slaps you in the face. On the other hand I don't feel bad, because sometimes I just get exhausted, overwhelmed and burned out by my work. Just like any other job on the planet. The key is I got back on track. The kids are back on track. We are all back on track. But it's summer so I'm still gonna wear my flip flops.