(Originally posted at Rational Jenn)
Ryan and I are having some disagreements this morning.
His point: "Why should YOU get to tell me what to do?" (A common theme of late.)
My point: "You are not speaking kindly to Morgan, or sharing the pieces of this toy as we agreed, and messed up her project. Now you are speaking so loudly that Sean will wake up. Morgan gets to share that toy and Sean needs to sleep and I'm reminding you that the others in this house deserve space and sleep."
I think that was a good way to explain it, don't you? And I remained calm, and you know what? He saw my point. Grumpily, begrudgingly, he has conceded my point and is behaving a bit nicer toward all of us and leaving Morgan alone and has quieted down.
I'm writing this post as a reminder to my future self and also as a way to stay calm.
One of the hardest things for me about having more than one child is balance. Being stuck with a nursing baby who is falling asleep, I'm in no position to do "Get Off Your Butt Parenting." Which is very necessary. Kids need to know that what you are asking is important enough that you are willing to stop what you are doing to go over and make sure it happens.
GOYBP means that you don't just say "Stop hitting!" twenty times from across the room. You stand up and walk over and help someone stop hitting. Or start sharing. Or talk about a plan for watching movies. Or help leave the room when they're being too loud.
Sleeping babes are not very conducive to GOYBP. So I'm left with my words--which are effective much of the time. Or I have to choose to let something go. Or sometimes, Sean has to take one for the team when he gets awakened by the ensuing commotion of my handling an issue.
And it's not just sleeping babies (although that's a common thing around here these days). It's a kid who needs comforting because she fell, but someone else is about to do something more harmful and needs to be stopped (teetering on a barstool in front of the freezer, for an example). Or a couple of kids fighting over a toy, but someone else needs help in the bathroom. Or a baby screaming because he doesn't want to be sitting alone on the floor, but there's another child screaming in frustration that her computer game isn't working.
You know, stuff like that. I feel like Keanu Reeves in Speed: Everyone is melting at once, someone needs wiping, the baby just blew out a diaper, the milk has spilled and you yourself really need to pee. What do you do? What do you DO? :o)
It often seems that I have to choose one child's needs over another's, even when they are both legitimate needs. It's hard, because if I've just been through an onslaught of having to make such choices, I feel drained and stressed that I couldn't be everything to everyone at the same time. I know that that's okay--and really, we're all just fine--that dealing with the fact that sometimes you need to wait for Mom and/or solve the problem on your own is a fine thing to learn. But, oh, in the moment--it's hard for all of us!
Thanks for listening. Like I said--this post is mostly for me, for the future. And to help me keep calm and focus on handling things they way I'd prefer to, which I did. And to remind me that this, too, shall pass. :o)
And all is harmonious once again here at the Casey Castle!