Parenthood is a constant tug-of-war. I'm constantly questioning myself...do I say something? Do I let them figure it out on their own? Do I let them fight it out in the front yard? Do I beat them senseless? Do I walk away? Do they need their hearing checked? Am I screwing them up? Are they going to need therapy and meds when they grow up?
One of my mom's best pieces of parenting advice was "Pick your battles." I totally get what she meant too...I just haven't quite grasped how to decipher which battles I'm supposed to fight and which ones to bypass. I mean obviously I'm not gonna sit around and debate whether the sky is blue, but it's not always a simple black and white. Plus, I have two GIRLS!!! WWIV, V & VI are likely to take place at my house at some point.
Unfortunately, living with my dad...it gets, well a little stormy sometimes. He's of the opinion that rules are rules and are to be followed NO MATTER WHAT. He sees every battle as important and that the adult is ALWAYS the victor, even if they're not right. To him, it's more about the girls respecting their elders and not challenging my authority...EVER!! But whats that saying? Well behaved girls rarely grow up to make history? That's the theory that my parenting is based on...or well that's what I tell myself when I want to choke out my children or duct tape them to their beds.
Bottom line, they're my kids. I'm their mom. I'm their sole provider and disciplinarian. If I want to let them stay up past their bedtime, that's my choice. If I say they can have ice cream for dinner because they had a craptastic day...that's on me. If I want to walk away when one of them is being a disrespectful shithead, let me. I'm probably doing it so I don't actually choke them out. Let me count to 10, take a few deep breaths and come back to it. I don't need you to jump in and take over. I need you to tune us out. If I need your help, I'll ask for it.
I don't want to sound ungrateful to my parents with this post. If by chance either of them read it, I totally understand their point of view. This is just my platform to communicate my thoughts and feelings and to vent if need be...or even talk myself through things and possibly end up at the same conclusion they did.
I was raised in a house where your parent's NO meant NO! If we questioned why...the answer was because they said so. Sometimes I think the answer was NO simply because they wanted us to know that we didn't always get our way...which I'm in total agreement with sometimes. A child that grows up ALWAYS getting their way, grows up to be a selfish rotten adult. However I do try not to abuse my authority either. If there's not a solid good reason for me to say no, I usually say yes. Maybe I'm a softy on some things...sue me!! I'm tough as nails when it comes to what is important to me...and they know it.
Ultimately I know I'm doing a good job. My kids are well-mannered (when they're NOT around me). They're thoughtful, helpful & sweet (when they're NOT around each other). They're smart, witty & clumsy (all the time). I'm proud to say I'm their mom...even when I want to stab out both of their eyes due to an unwisely timed eye-roll. So when they're actually getting along and giggling in one of their bedrooms, I bite my tongue and let them have fun. Even though another one of my mom's quotes rings in my ears "it's all fun and games til someone gets hurt". I cross my fingers, eyes & toes that they'll grow up and be friends one day.
Please follow me here and on Facebook and share my stories with your friends. Happy Friday everyone. My house survived the first week of summer without it coming to blows...hope yours did too :)