I picked up the little ones from their dad yesterday and I thought it would be fun to go out. The plan was to get pizza and go bowling. Things didn't quite work out that way...
Between the constant yelling and whining in the car, to not sitting down at the table, to just plain not listening...I gave up and we went home. Well, we went to Walmart because I needed to go grocery shopping and it was unfortunately the 'best' opportunity I had all day. That was another fun trip!
Long story short, it was just one of those days as parent when you are counting down the seconds until bedtime. And of course, on those days, bedtime is just as rough. It took at least an hour and a half for them to stay in their beds. I threatened, I raised my voice, I spanked, I almost cried, I hugged, I tucked Ethan in 20 times... and FINALLY at what I think was 10:30 they wore themselves out.
That may sound inconsistent to some parents and I understand we all have our own ways of discipline and our own routines. There were times when the kids were simply getting out of bed because they were stalling and there were others when they were asking for their dad. Different actions needed different reactions from me.
Part of this new journey as a single mom has been finding that 'balance' between what is reasonable under the circumstances and what needs to be addressed. What I mean by that is essentially picking my battles. Now this is something that all parents do, but on days like yesterday when the kids are making that transition from their dad's to my house, choosing my battles is necessary.
Yes, there are times when I need to be tough. BUT there are also just as many times that I need to remember that it's okay to lay off a bit. It's one thing to throw all of the rules out the window but it's another to keep in mind that they are going through a very hard time. All of those crazy and confusing feelings they have are going to come out in behavior.
Patience has always been a hard thing for me, especially as a mom. I've always been quick to react and I don't always react appropriately to the situation. Yesterday has made me re-evaluate where I am as a mom. I'm trying to think of ways I can make things easier on the kids when they're with me while keeping order to our home. Boundaries and expectations have to exist, I just have to iron out some of the kinks.