failing every day

These first few days back at home have been rough mentally.  
Balancing unpacking with cooking, baking and care taking has left me exhausted.

Mix that with three boys who are testing boundaries, limits and rules in a new house, and one little one who is throwing tantrums like no other, and I have found sticking to my new "No Yelling" goal impossible (ahem) very challenging.  

Honest moment? I have failed. Every day. But that's okay. No, really, it is.  Josh and I were talking about it yesterday, and even though I am still yelling (Lord help me) I am yelling less than I would be if I didn't have that goal in the back of my mind.  I am looking at my mistakes, studying the chaos, and consciously thinking about how to do things differently so that our days are less crazy.

I am working to shape our day, our routine and my chores in a way that makes everything more manageable.  For example, the twins cannot follow directions in the same room.  A large percentage of my yelling comes from asking them to do something (go potty, get dressed, clean up) and finding them playing "fight game" instead of doing what I have requested.  Watching myself, finding out why I am yelling, what my triggers are, is allowing me to identify those triggers and eliminate them.  So for our morning routine, I have Logan downstairs getting dressed & brushing his teeth, while Jack is upstairs.  

Another part of the day I hate is the morning.  The very first kids-are-awake-and-out-of-bed moments.  Normally one of the twins, usually Logan, wakes up when the light is green (or before) and comes in to tell me he's awake.  Then we trek downstairs where the two or three of them (depending who is up) start fighting over toys.  It's awful.  I dread it, I hate it, and it makes every day start miserably.

This morning, Wyatt was up first, and I brought him into our bedroom to read books quietly while Josh and I woke up slowly.  The twins joined one by one, and soon all three of them were reading quietly in our room while Josh showered. It was my perfect morning. 

I hope to continue finding things that work for us, because I hate feeling like such a mom-grouch.

Thankfully I follow some awesome momma blogs that left me feeling inspired yesterday.

-There was Sarah's advice on reconnecting with your children.
I especially want to remember to snuggle.  My kids are young enough that they still want to, and I want to treasure this time, as I know it is fleeting. I also want to disconnect from my phone (hard to do!) and read more books.
-There was Nie Nie's hilarious confession about back to school shopping with five kids.
This post almost made me grateful there's not a Target in Marshall. Almost.
-There was Tabitha's post about putting a check in the box.
Seriously, you have to read this one.
It's brilliant.
-There was Kelle's thoughts on being in the moment, even when you aren't super happy, and sitting with your discontentment.  This struck a chord with me.
-There was an excerpt on Rants from Mommyland about loving our kids No Matter What.  
"I hate my inner monologue. If you have one, please don’t listen to it. Your inner monologue is a dick. Listen to me. Listen to the small part of my brain that actually likes me. The part that I can hear if I listen hard enough.
“Just apologize for yelling. Explain why’re upset. Tell them you love them. Shake it off and begin again. This time use your nice voice and remember that you're all they have. -Lydia
Everything I read on Rants from Mommyland cracks.me.up.  This post was no different. I loved the honesty and the message.  
-There was Stephanie's post that exactly echoed my sentiments about fall's arrival not being soon enough, and made me want to make pumpkin muffins.
And Sarah wrote recently a thoughtful essay about the number of children you have and how it impacts your family.  I found it intriguing and it made me look at having another baby differently.  It made me think of my sister's family versus mine. I only have one more than her, but that one more (which makes us parents outnumbered) seems to make a huge difference in the amount of chaos that ensues.  I love the life she and her husband have chosen for their family and respect their decision to be done having kids so they can provide the kind of life they desire for their two boys.  It inspires me to think about how I want our future to look, and if a fourth child fits into that picture.

Oh, and for fun, you should check out Holly & Nathaniel's pictures from their post on returning to their village. (They teach in Alukunuk, which is one of ten other villages in LYSD.) The pictures from the plane are exactly what mine would have looked like if I had brought my camera.

This year my challenge will come with making being a mother (and now a teacher-- we will be homeschooling the twins) come before housekeeping and homemaking.  I am so glad to know and read about other mom's attempting to balance it all.  It makes me feel less alone in my struggle to become the mom I want to be.

"Learn from the past;
set vivid, detailed goals for the future;
and live in the only moment of time
over which you have any control: now."
-Denis Waitley


Marilynn Raatz said...

Hi honey - I love Rants from Mommyhood. She cracks me up! I read all of the blogs you mentioned, and I really enjoyed them. I also loved the pictures Holly and Nathaniel's
Balance is a good goal. Staying in the moment helps. I love you!

Rox said...

The goal of no yelling is a tough, but simply having the goal is making you more aware and helping you make simple changes (brushing teeth in separate bathrooms) that reduce stress. That's a win right there. You will get there. Something I'm trying to do, along with no yelling, is kneel down to their level. Simply squatting down and making eye contact can reduce my tension.