Apr 10, 2009

Psychological Warfare

There are days when I struggle with motherhood. I mean REALLY struggle. Just today I was telling my husband how frustrated I am in my kids' lack of responsibility with the animals. We have a horrible mean pitbull living next door ripping holes in my fence and it is just a matter of time before it gets through and kills or harms one of my dogs. So the rule is the dogs can be out for 2 minutes max until I can get the landscaping company to come out and replace my fence. So this morning I hear the dogs barking while I am nursing the baby. Ten minutes pass, still barking, 15 minutes. I finally hit the conference button on the phone and broadcast that the dogs are STILL outside.

Also, the cats. Christopher's job is to feed the cats and clean the litter boxes daily. Yet if I don't nag, it does not get done and then they seek out my towels. So now every time I think I have a "clean" towel, I discover it smells like cat urine. Nice. Also, when I am trying to feed Sophia, I have three cats underfoot circling around my ankles because their food bowl is empty.

Bobby called today and I vented, I vented good. I told him how frustrated I was at their total lack of responsibility, how Austin pulled out a progress report while we were walking out the door and asked me to sign it because it was due today and I refused because we would have been late if I had to stop everything and look it over before I sign it. I am just plain sick of it.

So I told my husband how I was half tempted to load up the three cats and two dogs in the van and take them to a kennel for the weekend and board them. How tempted I am to tell the kids that I got rid of the animals because I found them families that would take better care of them. How tempted I am to tell them that if they did not love the animals enough to feed them, water them, and provide them with a clean place to poop and pee that they will go elsewhere.

BUT that would be mean. I am not about to punish my pets, or my four year old because of something my teen & tween did. I am a mean mom, but at the same time I don't want to teach them that lying and trickery is OK. I struggle with where the line in the sand is sometimes. I struggle daily with trying to be effective without being too mean or too nice. I struggle with making the punishment fit the crime. I struggle with too many chores vs. too little chores. I have very good kids, and I believe I have good kids because my husband and I have always worked together and tried to be consistent, we have always given them responsibility, and we have never spoiled them with toys or candy because they held their breath or stomped their feet at the store.

I think with our family spread out like it is right now we are all feeling the stress and I feel less effective because I don't have my partner here to back me up. I think he feels helpless because he wants to help and he wants to put his foot up their butts, but from that many thousands of miles away, what can you say? "Just wait, in four months, you are going to be sorry!"? And I think the kids are struggling too, they miss their dad and it is hard to stay motivated when you are sad, I get that. I just wish they would see how overwhelmed I am carrying their load on top of my own. I need to heal this fracture, or I will crumble under the weight of it all.

I don't think this weekend is going to be a fun one, I can tell you that! Hmmmm, I wonder if I can figure out how to set up the parental controls on the TV??


Amy said...

I get it. I hear you. DH has been out of town for 2 weeks, and the kids push their limits so hard when he's gone. I'm usually just drained by the end of the day. Anyway, I don't have an answer, other than tomorrow is another day, try to let everything reset and start new.

Lynne said...

Honey, you know how it goes........ do you not remember where to find me so you can vent?

I'm not coming up there till the snow is gone...and I know it's not yet.. .I read the Gazette! LOL

But hang in there..... Make a chart (if you didn't already) with a list for them to do and check off.... FINALLY worked with Jared! Christopher and Austin can do it.....