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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Parenting Pouts

Had a rough weekend here. Im not sure exactly how to explain it or how much I should. I found myself wanting to tell the checker at the grocery store. Not a good sign.

I have a very blessed life: great kids and a very loving, Godly husband. God provides all that we need and we are in awe. I'm not complaining.
But lately, I have been trying soo hard and am being pulled in so many directions. Pushed, pulled, very thin. I joke that my children are ALWAYS there. I am trying so hard to be patient. I cant catch my breath from counting to ten with one child before I am tested by another. I have no time alone with my husband. no time alone with God. I am followed to the bathroom, interrupted on the phone. Older kids want to "spend time" with me until midnight. Little ones wake up early needing breakfast. I cant do enough laundry, buy enough clothes, make enough food, have enough variety, entertain enough, teach enough, be in ten places at once. My son cried all day that his friends all think I am mean. That I don't let him do anything and that his friends can play their gameboys and video games all day and go anywhere they want. This went on all day and many hurtful accusations and insulted were flung my way. Ofcourse he is exaggerating and needs to put his respect for his mother in check. BUT...many of my friends children do whine that "Mrs Eller is mean." and ask why our children lose privledges when they misbehave. My friends get frustrated when we get together and my chidlren arent allowed to bring their gameboys. I have been feeling very low lately. We are frequently compared to other families and we do fall short. Mostly I do. Add to this the lack of sleep from keeping up with the laundry, meals and shopping for 7 (with 5 in tow) and the teaching of 3 with two littles in hand and on hip. These words really hurt. Much more than they should have.

My dear husband has been sick and is spread as thin as I am if not thinner. Did he stand beside me and explain to my children what a great mother they have and let me know that I was doing right by him and our children. No. He announced that we weren't going to church. Not when we had caused so much anger in our children and something about being a "bad" family and bad people but not verbatim. I cried all day. We tried to adress the problem and talk it through but I dont think we got anywhere. I finally ran out of tears. My son apologized profusely and denied he said half of what he did. My husband said they may not be around the children with bad things to say about their mother and they may not attend Boy Scouts. He explained to me that he needs to quit his job because he can't leave like this. Then he went to work for 20 hours. I did not raise my voice today. (this is a little shocking. I am Italian. I AM loud. I am loud for no reason. I am louder when provoked) I didnt raise my voice. I didnt take offense. Instead of catering to my older children and letting my younger run ammock, I included my toddler and baby in the things I needed to do. I gently enforced first time obedience and gave my older two the opportunity to rest on their beds for 2 1/2 hours (they had complained that there is too much for them to do and they dont get to do what they want)I ended our commitment to outside school activities and social events where the education benefit was overshadowed by the influence and exposure to others, not to mention the need to drag around a non napping toddler.

I KNOW that I am the adult. I KNOW my goal is not to please my children and definately not someone else's. I KNOW that I will stand before God and give an answer to how I have behaved towards these eternal creatures He has placed in my care. I wonder how many preteens and teens like their parents. Still I feel very alone and stripped bare.

I am grateful for my life, for my family, for my world. But Im feeling very alone in it, and ill equipped.