Friday, May 15, 2009

The First of Many Posts for Today

I know that some of my blogging friends are very careful about what they share on their blogs for fear of readers getting the wrong impression of them. I, I'm sorry to say, am not cut from that mold. I'll tell you how it is. So, think what you want of me.

I figure from this angle, there are probably others out there who might suffer from the same kinds of problems that can benefit just as I benefit from those who so willingly share their lives on their blogs. This has been one of the distinct joys of blogging to me.

I'm trying very hard to turn over an old and very heavy leaf. I've had a couple wake up calls with my kids lately and feel that they are running my life. This is a hard place to be. With a baby on the way, I want to feel that all is in hand and that they are self-sufficient enough to be left on their own with their oldest sister in charge while Z and I are in the hospital for the day.

I love that my children are old enough that, this time, we can be totally self-sufficient. I trust my oldest children with my life. They can totally run the show without supervision--all except the driving aspect, but soon enough, that will be a reality too (I hope).

In the last few months, we have worked hard to make sure that housework is organized and assigned, and the kids are doing a great job. I haven't touched the dishwasher in weeks. The laundry and the garage are mine, but other than that, I have delegated all the jobs out. My four oldest children know how to do the laundry, it's just that I have some control issues there that need to be handled before I can hand that task over to anyone. Come summer, I'm hoping that will happen.

In the past, I would assign jobs as needed. No one was assigned a certain area; they just did what they were asked to do. Now, they each have a list of jobs that they get to do for a week. At family council on Sunday night, they rotate. There have been instances in which a good enough job hasn't been done, so that child's hung onto that job for an extra week. In one case, one child had such a hard time with the kitchen that it was hung onto for three weeks. By week three, all of our dishes looked new when they came out of the dishwasher. One child, even volunteered to do the kitchen for two weeks in a row because she did such a beautiful job that first week that I think she was enjoying the continual pats on the back she was receiving.

Regardless of all this, last night, I sat in a chair at the end of the hallway bawling my eyes out. I felt all day yesterday like I didn't want to be the mom any more. So, here we go with my honesty, as I mentioned in the first paragraph of this post. I have one child who is scared to go to bed. I have started the bad habit of sitting outside his bedroom door until he's asleep. This has been a HUGE waster of my time and something I won't be able to continue once a baby comes into my life. Part of the problem has been the older siblings telling him that the "bad guys are coming to get you," so he doesn't want to be alone. Can't say as I blame him for this, but it was one way that the older kids could get him to stay in his room.

While this was going on last night, I found that one of my other children had taken something he/she wasn't supposed to have and then bold-faced lied to me about having it. This is not the first time this has happened.

Do you ever get the feeling that some things are just never going to end; that this is a phase that will never be grown out of? I know that's not true, but with this particular kid, that same wall has to be hit over and over again. It's just very frustrating.

I'm not sharing all of this to tell you I have terrible children. I don't. I just have very normal children. We all make mistakes. But, I'm also sharing this to tell you what I've learned from this.

After getting into bed, I turned to Mr. Jim Fay. He and his partner, Foster Cline wrote "Parenting for Love and Logic." I LOVE their parenting philosophy and would like to be better at living in accordance with their ideas, but I find that every so often I need a wake up call. Last night was that for me.
I went to their website and found these great things--for one child's bedtime problems and for the other child, I found this, which fits perfectly our situation. Instead of letting this child work through the issues, we were just lecturing. That was getting us nowhere. We were carrying too much of the problem.

The other thing I realized was that too much of my precious one-on-one time with my kids was being sucked up by facebook. Not facebook itself, but sudoku. I could play that all day if given the opportunity. I love that facebook has bound me to so many people I have been out of touch with. I love the whole being in touch from day to day thing, but that darned game is what I would sit and play while sitting in the hallway waiting for T to go to sleep. Why couldn't I be sitting there studying? Too many interruptions to study by, but perfect for pausing a game. Then, when my kids got home, I was so wrapped up in the papers I was writing that I had no time for them like I used to. So, last night at 11pm, I deactivated my facebook account. So, if you're looking for me there, I'm gone. Find me here.

I'm hoping to get back on the same track I used to be on. I'm hoping to find time to reach out using this blog, but I'm also hoping to regain the time I used to connect with my kids daily.


Devri said...

I so need to read that book...

CB said...

That is a great book and in many areas the community or the schools actually do classes based on the book.

OH my parenting is hard -hang in there!!

I love you blog - You deal with many of the same issues I do. I also tell it like it is!

Messy Jess said...

I love that book! My husband and I used to fight our son going to bed every night- we look back on it and see our mistakes and thank Heavenly Father for helping us through that stage. I am so excited for your new bundle of joy!

Crazymamaof6 said...

AWESOME! i love it when bloggers are real. and have real, normal children and all the "fun" that comes with them.

i love 'Love and Logic' i took the class, more than a few times. i could do it again. it's awesome . i need to invest in the CD's and find my books.

WOW on the face book thing. it's true, it's an unnecessary time suck.i have been neglecting my duties, and other interests there this week.

so way to go on that positive change.

vaxhacker said...

Man, would we love to have a 4-hour talk with you sometime about all of this. We can so relate to all of the above, it's not funny. We have also liked the Love and Logic approach but never followed through enough to really use it, but maybe that would be a good thing to try.

And personally, while I do enjoy reading all my friends' blogs and their vacation pictures and kids' soccer games—sometimes that's the only way I keep up on what's going on with people I don't see all the time—you blog like I do... like a journal for your thoughts and experiences, with all the challenges and triumphs and clouds with or without silver linings, all there because... well, life is like that. So yours is one of a few online journals I really treasure reading because of the depth and sincere honesty.

I wonder sometimes what impression people get from reading my journal, but I guess I feel that whatever people think, it's me, so it's better to be open and know people accept me for who I am (if they will). My choice to keep my journal non-public is more for concern about having it open to the entire Internet at large, having heard too many stories of predatory activities where people exploited information on strangers' blogs, not because I'm afraid of my friends' reactions to anything. Not that what I write is all that interesting anyway, of course, but it is me. :)

Unknown said...

I have always appreciated the "real-ness" of your blog. In my opinion, this is a real blog, not just a forum for family update. You inspire me to be more honest on my own blog, knowing that I can't completely be honest in fear of hurting certain family relationships. I am inspired because you have helped me on a personal level deal with my own "real-ness" in life. I am sorry about your trials. I think anxiety like this is completley normal for a pregnant mommy like you. Plus, yo are dealing with growing children and the nerve-wracking importance of teaching them to be the wonderful children that they are. I too like soduko and spend too much time doing things that are not as productive for myself, let alone my children. I struggle with this daily it seems, but I do try. I know you are trying too. After all- you are the mother of the year- I saw a news report on you. :o) I love you Julie!

By the way, I want to read your paper on parenting that you wrote!

Anonymous said...

I remember my mom telling me that her mother had passed away right before my youngest brother was born. She remembers being so tired from taking care of 3 young kids, having a new baby, recuperating from pregnancy and labor, and she would just sit and cry at night as she woke up numerous times for feedings, wondering how she was going to make it. But she did! And we've all turned out pretty good--and we were no where near as wonderful as your children. I think it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel--especially when you have little ones who depend on everything form you. I know I'm probably not done have kids, so I constatnly tell myself that it will get better and easier, if Ryan and I stay close, and make sure we follow what the Lord wants our family to do.

Plus--you're pregnant you can do whatever you want, with in reason.

P4 said...

I have always loved your honesty on your blog. It always makes me feel better about life. In my 12 year old eyes you were and still are near perfect. So it makes me feel better to know that life is a constant learning and growing experience and that we can be happy through it. Thanks for being honest and thanks for being you. I admire you and one day if I ever have kids I hope they are as beautiful and wonderful as I know yours are and that I can be half the mom you are. I miss you!

Alyson said...

I'll miss you on facebook! But I understand. That's why I haven't added any applications and I don't do quizzes, etc. I spend enough time there just keeping track of my FB family group, and seeing what the nephews and nieces are up to! :)

This is our last week of the regular school year. I am really thinking about how to conduct our summer; I've always had lots of plans (both for me and for the kids) and never have really achieved any of them because, as a homeschooling mom, I just decide to heck with plans! I deserve to chill!

But there are so many things I want to use the time for. Would you mind sharing your rotating chore plan with me? We've divided the house into zones and given each kid a zone, but the zones don't rotate and so each kid becomes really proficient at only one thing. I've been pondering for a while that I want to change it, but decided to wait for the summer. If you have time (and ack, I know what I'm asking there, oh pregnant mom of seven who is busy!) would you email me a little bit about what you do? I'd love to use your blueprint and not have to reinvent the wheel.

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