It has not been all sunshine and roses around here at the Ehlinger family abode. Gasp, shock, horror….I know you are all blown away by this but it is the truth. We have 7 different personalities and 5 of those are going through rapid changes that this mostly awesome, but sometimes sucky mom has a hard time keeping up with. I mean there is only so much rum one can consume and still function. That is tongue in cheek folks…mostly.
Anyway the break down is as follows….I have an almost 17yo that is so passionate about what she believes in it makes my heart almost explode. However, we clash on things like how I parent her younger siblings, how I homeschool, how I arrange the kitchen utensils in the large drawer in the kitchen. That last one is NOT a joke.
Then there is the 13yo. She is also passionate about what she believes in. She also believes everyone should have a memory like an elephant, just like she does. That kid can remember some stuff that none of us can recall but she is so convincing that we just roll with it. However, she can’t remember to throw away the pile of eyeliner covered q-tips on the computer desk along with the 2-3 empty cans of Mt. Dew. And she fails to understand the complexities of the ages of 7,5 and 3 and therefore has little patience for her younger siblings.
Next is our 7yo. Ahh 7. They can do so much and yet still aren’t quite ready to be completely independent. They want to be reassured they CAN do something and at the same time know it is ok if they CAN’T. My 7yo is a sensitive spirit and sometimes I inadvertently tread all over said spirit creating an emotional, drama filled afternoon that would rival any drama/tragedy that Shakespeare wrote. She wants to be grown up like her older sisters and is stretching to create distance from the youngest two. It causes me to smile and want to melt into a puddle of tears all at the same time.
Then there is our 5yo also known as our loud child. I like to think that it is because she is so full of life that it comes out in the form of immense volume. She is a happy child except when she isn’t and when she isn’t she has a killer whine. I try hard not to get that nails on the chalkboard feeling when it happens but as I mentioned above I do have my sucky moments and the whining can really drive me over the edge. She was never a cuddly nurser as a baby but I am learning that she needs to be a cuddly 5yo to get us both through those whiney times.
And last but certainly not least we have the 3yo. I am going to be brutally honest here. At our house 3 is a shitty age. As another friend once shared she though it was because she had a 3yo while being pregnant and that made it hard. Then, when she had a 3yo and wasn’t pregnant, she just realized that three was HARD! If you have a three year old I don’t need to explain. If not then I would suggest you begin working on a formula that will allow you to skip the year from about 3-4.5…depending on the kid of course. If you are successful with that all moms with kids under 3 and future moms will adore you. Those of us that have had to go through 3 at least once will secretly think you are a b**** and hate you for it. In short 3 will require you to be on your toes in the mental department constantly. What works today will not work tomorrow, or even in the next 5min. You will think you have it mastered and they will come up with something that will throw you for a loop. Of all the ages 3 needs a rhythm to their day. This will not guarantee a smooth year. It will just help keep your rum budget in check.
I don’t share all of this to be down on my kids. Everything I mentioned is all normal, well within any behavioral text you will read. I share it because after reading a blog this morning I realized that I need to change my perspective of my children. All of the things above are real. They are part of my daily interaction with my girls. Maybe not every day, but most days. I do have five kids…there are no days without some problem(loosely used term) to solve. However, it is HOW I choose to look at the problem/issue that is important. Am I working to change who they are so life is easier for me or am I seeing them for who God created them to be and am I working WITH that?
It was this quote:
“We were made to enjoy life and our Creator, and we were meant to choose to live in His beauty and provision.
“When I choose to notice, every day, the beauty of my children instead of the duties my children bring my way, I am worshipping God.”
~ Sally Clarkson, The Mom Walk
From this blog: http://www.steadymom.com/2012/04/ive-been-reading-this-10-times-a-day-you-should-too.html that inspired this post.
And even if you read this and don’t view God the same way as I do I still encourage you to notice every day the awesomeness of your children. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be rum days, or wine days, or “OH my, I need to RUN FAR AWAY” days. But it is something we can come back to, to buffer us through those times, to get us through the melt downs, the whining, the disagreeing, the growing pains.