I am writing this blog tonight for therapeutic purposes. Today was a tough day. It ended really rough. My kids are constantly bickering, my house was full of neighborhood kids in and out. They ate all my food, played horrible music, and had tantrums. And yet my kids want to play with them. I want to be the nice mother. In reality I would rather have them all here than have my kids all over the neighborhood. I am dreading the end of school when all the school kids are around all the time. I think maybe we are all tired and overstimulated. I think a lot of times I overreact to things, like bickering and crying. I am supposed to be the parent who figures out how to find solutions to a problem - and yet I find myself in these circular conversations about whose right and wrong, and they I find I am in some way taking sides.
I am not sure if it is a teen thing - and I can't really complain because my teen is quite wonderful. However, this constant struggle between respecting their independence, and keeping them safe - or even respecting their independence versus keeping everyone else in the family happy....it just drives me crazy. My younger daughter is sad because her older sister wants to always be on the computer, on the phone, or IM-ing her friends. I get that this is kind of what happens at this age. But I feel for my younger daughter too. I understand that she wants her sister to be her buddy.
It has been several weeks since I last wrote the above post. I was going to delete it, but I thought I would write about some of our solutions. We have started making a list each night of what each one wants to do/accomplish. If Music lessons are scheduled, or they want to work on something, they write it down. I am trying to do the same thing. What I have found is that we accomplish more, that they tend to want to finish things on the list, and then my teen will IM, but if she has written that she wants to continue to learn a song on the guitar, she writes this down. Just this morning Brianna was playing a game with Lexi - and I guess it just goes in cycles. We do tend to have lots of neighborhood children here, but I am trying to limit it to certain times of the day - or for certain periods of time. I guess I would rather have them all here, then have my kids off somewhere else. I am still working on this as some of these kids can be downright annoying - two of them are constantly fighting over my daughters attention, and it gets a little old after awhile. I have been pleasantly suprised at how well she handles them. She just says it like it is. The other day I finally said if a person yelled or name-called another person, they were going to be asked to go home. And it seemed to work.
All in all I guess it is just working through things as a family and trying to balance life - as Dr. Suess would say "Life is a Great Balancing Act"