Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Topic: "Fun Mommy"

     I thrive on a little chaos.  Really, anyone with 4 children does.  And delivering babies for a living isn't much of a desk job.  Ask me to get on a roller coaster or ride a motorcycle and I will run the other way, but a part of my soul does indeed flourish with the unpredictable.
  That's why it pains me to have to yell things at my kids (okay, my boys).  In the past couple of days, these are true statements that have come out of my mouth:
"Stop playing with the trash."
"Get off your brother's head."
"Put down the couch." 
      When kids are toddlers, I think that most parents feel that some days, they just play the bad guy.  Saying "no" all day long is no fun.  Well, at our house, it's like one of our kiddos is perpetually stuck in that stage.  And I have seriously pondered if I was crushing his spirit (I know, cheesy, ridiculous) by constantly stopping him.  But when I don't, things like this happen.
     Pulled an organizational hook unit right out of the wall, despite the mother of all anchors that Ryan had installed it with.  Nuts.  I should have said no sooner on that one.
     It's a fine line being, as my hubby says, "fun mommy."  I often have ideas that in theory are good and in reality, very, very bad.  Usually there is paint and googling involved.  The guilt of stopping the boys from running, than sliding across the floor in nylon clothing with the intent of crashing into the door is about equal to cleaning up a kitchen full of water based paint and hand prints.
     I really want to be present and hands on with my kids.  Most of the time, I feel like it is there world and the rest of us are just in it.  Games and crafts and books and puzzles? Check, if you can find all the pieces or pages.  Snuggling and kisses and prayers and bonding? Absolutely, but it will probably end with a tangled pile of kids on the floor.  It's just not that Hallmark around here.  And that is okay.  I am not the mom at the playground riding the down the slide with her children.  I'm the one on the bench, catching my breath and checking my email.  That's real life here.
     So my solution is to pick my battles.  If there isn't blood or tears, I try really hard to pretend that I don't notice running, crashing and wrestling.  It's a mama of boys thing, I suppose.  We don't get too worked up about a little nudity or noise.   Truthfully, if they find new ways to get from the top of the stairs to the bottom, I want to see how it plays out.  Yet holes in the walls, dents in the wood work or extreme embarrassment of big sister aren't allowed.  Using a nylon tent to ride the stairs is okay.  Drawing or writing (even it is FINALLY a letter, praise God) on any surface of the house will always have a consequence.  Carrying your brother on your head, "Rwanda style" will not.  See how this works?  It's a fine line, a very fine line.
     Is this how it is with all girls?  What about families of only one or two kids?  I don't remember a little chaos with only two children.  Do I not have enough rules?  How do you handle constant noise and mess?  Am I the only one that has given up having furniture in descent condition?


  1. During the first year of Kaitlyn's life, I thought, having girls will be easier than boys. Not so much. My girls love to jump, climb, destroy, write (on walls), rip, tear, yell, scream, wrestle, and all the rest. They are just as messy and aggravating, but just as amazing. My house isn't nice, but that is okay, because God gave us a house that isn't meant for nice. It's meant for people to come over and say, "Wow, you have kids." Yep, very, very loud, messy kids. Being a fun mommy is something every house needs (on occasion) but being mommy (a parent first) is always needed. God gave me my kids to raise, not to be their best friend. He gave me a husband for my best friend. That being said, I, like you, tend to pick my battles. I write this while my 2 yr old spills my tea with no shirt on and a soaking pull up because she refuses to go in the big potty.

  2. Strike the last comment. Kirsten said, "poopy" and then went on the potty. Victory! It's the little things.

  3. I have 5. Three from Liberia ages 13,7, and 7. Two foster sons age 6, 4. One of the 7 yr olds is my only girl. And I'm single. I have 2 that seem to think writing on the doors is fun. And one that likes to turn the thermostat to 100 when he's stressed out. And usually it's the upstairs one, so I might not notice until it really is 100. But that happens less and less these days. The couch cushions are flipped over because one side of them have black paint smeared across. And I took my dining room furniture and put it in the basement, so that they can use the dining room as a soccer field. I figure, there are way more of them than me, they need more space than I do. Rules are reserved for things that can cause injuries, and/or permanent damage to household items(for instance, the whole painting on the couch thing..not okay). But if you want to use every blanket in the house to make a fort, or kick a soccer ball against the wall, that's cool. You can't kick your brother against the wall, or throw the ball at the lights. You don't need to scream at me when I'm sitting 2 inches from you, but if you want to sing at the top of your lungs, that's cool. For my kids the biggest issue is consistency. My foster songs especially have never really experienced it, and it's taken a LONG time for them to figure out that when A happens(kicking, hitting,outward defiance, etc), B(time-in) will ALWAYS happen. Eighteen months in and the 4 year old is starting to figure it out, and(sometimes) make better choices. I love your blog, btw.