Today wasn’t the “arms wide screaming with joy it’s a beautiful life” that I wrote about yesterday.
Today was a bitch.
I was tired through lack of sleep and hormonal.
Oh, and I’ve got worms (yes really). That’s what happens in a house of four kids under the age of 8… no one gets off Scott free (except maybe Ryan).
And I’ve only just gotten rid of my last batch of head lice.
So let’s just say I wasn’t in the best possible parenting place.
Since last week we’ve been allowing the kids to choose their own bedtimes, as part of our freedom journey.
I’ve really enjoyed this as it meant I’m much more relaxed in my own schedule.
We’ve done things like go swimming at 5pm when I’m usually preparing dinner and we’ve eaten as late as 8pm as there’s no rush to get them into bed early for school.
But the downside is that I haven’t spent much time with Ryan. I miss him.
My kids follow me everywhere around the house… especially Jack who’s two years old.
Everyone wants to fall asleep beside me, and everyone wants to be wherever I am.
It’s lovely and annoying all at the same time.
So tonight I decided that it was okay to exert just a teeny tiny little bit of control, and get them into bed early.
They were tired, and we have a busy day tomorrow. It was fine.
(You can tell this isn’t going to end well)
My four year old daughter refused to go to bed as she was watching Ben & Holly and everyone else kept getting out of bed and following me around because they didn’t want to be left out.
Ryan was peacefully watching another episode of Breaking Bad, warmed by the fire I had lit, in blissful, child free, silence. (I’m not bitter at all)
In that moment, nothing was going the way I wanted it to go.
I had it all planned perfectly in my mind. The kids would be in bed early(ish), I’d be tucked up in front of a warm fire watching Sherlock with hubby, and my worlds would be perfectly aligned.
And when the reality didn’t match the dream, I got pissed off.
I remember having a realisation that if I never had any expectations, I’d never be disappointed.
(I don’t know what caused me to have such a profound realisation, but I’m sure there was gin involved.)
Tonight I had a vision in my mind of how it would go, and I wasn’t prepared to be flexible when it didn’t happen.
Inflexibility causes control, and perceived lack of control causes anger.
And being openly angry at kids, in my opinion, is the singularly most damaging thing we can do to them.
There is something wonderful about having a truly deep connection with my kids that I absolutely love.
But there are times when I wish they’d all just piss off and leave me alone.
Freedom perhaps, then lies, in my ability to pause between stimulus and response so that I may uphold my highest values, and shape their lives for the better.
Thank you for reading my drivel. I’d love for you to leave a comment.
Until next time…
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