This hard. I have said that before and I am about to say it again. This is hard. It makes me feel better when I voice that, when I speak the truth openly and let world in to all the pain and frustration that is parenting kids that other people hurt. I must say that I also know that parenting your own bio kids can be hard as well but I can only speak of what I know and that is older child adoption.
We have spent the last four years of parenting Randall and Kevin and there are days when I feel as though there is no way that I am ever going to make it through their adolescence and they are not even actually teenagers yet. Then you add Kate to the mix and not only am I outnumbered but their joint super powers are like kryptonite against my therapeutic parenting powers.
This week has been really hard.
Epic tantrums, big emotions, pee in places I would rather it not be, hurt feelings, mean words, anger, sadness, thrown food, lies, manipulation and triangulation just begin to scratch the surface of the things I have dealt with.
Tuesday was among the worst days I have had in a long time. Once it was over I took a deep breath, changed my expectations for my kids and talked myself into changing the way I had resorted to handling things lately. It was not working and if something did not change there was no way that I could keep the gray away until 40.
I put on my patient pants, I lowered my voice, I challenged myself to remember that some of this was just kid stuff and not only hurt kids behaviours. I worked on that for Wednesday and Thursday, it was a bit better, not great but better.
Then there was today, I threw a curve ball at my kids. changed up their routine with the announcement of unexpected ( although welcomed and loved) guests for supper. The house looked like a bomb went off, there was nothing to make for supper and I was busy canning peaches. Guests were not on today's list. But I need to say aloud that my kids pulled together, listened to me, cleaned, got along and made it all happened.
Were the chores all done properly? Nope. Was there bickering? Yep. Did kids have to repeat things? Oh yeah, but no one hurt anyone else. Progress I tell you, progress.
My kids look for fights with one another and with me, they long for the chaos that an argument brings and when I do not engage, when I just call them back and make them fix it ( even though it is the 3rd time they are sweeping the bathroom because they have missed behind things each and every time even though it has been specifically mentioned multiple times), in those moments I am Wonder Woman because when I can stay calm. I am not feeding into the chaotic crazies that they want.
It is hard to stay calm in when yogurt is hitting the fan or when they walk away in the middle of a sentence but it really does work. I did not raise my voice once yesterday and although there were lots of reasons for me to yell my head off (trust me I am one loud mama) I didn't do it. I was calm and quiet and it worked. Today was a little tougher but I did not yell about the big stuff although I did raise my voice but mostly just to be heard over the lawnmower or for kids to stop carrying one another like sacks of potatoes up and down the recently mopped staircase because the paper work after the big accidents is horrendous.
It's hard, this parenting stuff, but keeping some perspective about my reactions is helping make it a little easier this week.
May I be wise in the coming week.