Snow Day

The kids had a snow day today.  I’ve been trying some things to improve the family dynamic.  Things have been so tense lately, and I realized that a big part of the problem is my micro-manager tendencies.  I thought, instead, maybe giving the kids more responsibility would give them some empowerment.  Some of the changes are minor – I had them all start making their own lunches for school.  My oldest struggles with school and homework, so I am changing around the homework schedule to try to work with his energy, focus, and motivation.  I was letting him do a break after school then homework.  I realized, though, it’s working against him.  I had him do homework right away yesterday, and it worked out much better. I’m trying to be more vocal about choices and consequences, because that is a concept I have struggled with my whole life.  I’ve also started a novel concept of having them help me with chores.  I’m tired of being the only one responsible for how our home appears.  I want them to be more considerate and respectful of each other, and our home.

I believe most of the struggles I have with my gang are typical single mom type issues.  The boys want to play video games constantly, my daughter is a fountain of creativity.  I find common ground with dancing, music, and generally goofing off.  Discipline, though, is something I am not great at.  I find myself constantly scared and questioning, because I don’t want to yell or hit.  That, however, seems to lead to me getting walked on a lot.  All of these factors tend to create a snowball of fighting, disrespect, and chaos.  I know that if I control my emotions, the kids respond better.  I can never tell if this is my distorted lens or not, but I always feel like the kids blame me for their father and I not being together.

I’ve tried to tell myself that this is not reality, and it is unkind judgement of myself.  This type of self-talk, though, is new to me.  Today, I just want to keep things loose, easy, and fun, since it’s a surprise day off.  We played Tsuro, I had the boys clean my car, and I booted them outside.  Now, it’s YouTube music videos and relaxing for the gang.  There’s been a lot of fighting, as per usual, so I’m just trying to control my reaction and guide theirs.  I’m frankly sapped right now, so I am putting myself in time out.  I take things too seriously, so I thought taking a more gentle approach with myself, parenting, and life would help me focus and gain clarity.  Being their mom is my greatest gift, but I also know it is my responsibility to set a good example, and I always tell  myself I’m not good enough.

This is my struggle with letting go, forgiveness, and positive self talk.  I see it manifested in my family – the kids and I.  It has been 2 years since I moved out, and I still struggle with letting go of the past.  After 2 years, it’s become a hell of a bag of guilt to carry around.  I tend to be completely selfish or completely selfless.  The middle has never been my strong suit.  I just try to stay focused on learning and growing every day.  The kids have learned a lot of good and bad from me, like any child and parent.

Do any Moms have discipline tips? Conflict is not my strong suit – it’s always been default fight or flight for me, and that is an area I need to grow and improve.

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