Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Who's the Boss?

Sometimes I wish there was a drop off for children that are driving their parents crazy.  It would be a safe and fun place for them and I would be able to drop them off, no questions asked, anytime I was on the brink of insanity.

Alas, there is no such place so I did my best to make it through a week of single parenting without becoming a martyr.  I was tired and in a general funk and  my kids began to see a kink in my armor.  They started to realized that, suddenly, they could get away with a little bit more.  And so they started pushing and pushing and pushing until I found myself in a puddle of tears.  My husband, however, had spent a few days at a team building camp focused on centering your energy using meditation.  To say we were diametrically opposed upon his homecoming is an understatement.

My husband walked in the door with his general air of confidence but I also felt a calmness surrounding him. He is usually filled with kinetic energy; he lives life like he's been charged overnight.  The man before me did not have his eyes darting around and five electronic devices at his fingertips.  He was, well, serene.  I hugged him, feeling the tears welling up again and asked him to please please take these little creatures away from me for a short time.  He did.

They went out to the pool and after a half hour of complete quiet, I went out to join them.  (I know, I know. I should have just stayed inside.  But I really missed my husband.)  My oldest was squirting my little one in the face repeatedly with a squirt gun.  My youngest was saying, "Guke!  No! No!" and trying to shield his eyes.  "Luke, please stop squirting your brother," I said.  Nothing.  He didn't even acknowledge my voice.  "Luke, I said stop.  Stop it," I said again.  Nothing.  Then my husbands voice cut through the nonsense.  "Out of pool.  Now," he said to my son.  "But Daddy! (insert whiny tone)  I want to swim!" he yelled.  My husband picked him up out of the pool and told him he would let him know when he could come back in.  "You have to listen to Mommy the first time.  That's the way it is, pal," he said to my son.

I realized in that moment what had made me fell so broken.  After all, my husband has traveled before.  Why was I such a basket case this time?  It was because I had let my children be the boss.  In my tiredness, I had let them run all over me and they were winning.  My husband's return bought a restoration of order and a reminder that it is our job to make sure our kids aren't jerks.  We simply cannot let the bad behavior go, no matter how tired and spent we are.  At least not for long.  "You have to spend some time to get back to center," my newly minted Buddha husband said.  And he's right.  I do.

How do you regain control when suddenly your children are running the house? How do you overcome fatigue and keep at the job of parenting?


  1. My two boys can try at my nerves sometimes too, it's normal :) I'm lucky that my oldest is at the age where he is beginning to understand what is and isn't okay and he will tell his younger brother to stop doing things. Which I love! I hope you have a less stressful week this week :)

    1. Hi Ann,

      That must be so great to have a helper in the behavior department. I hear my oldest do that sometimes and his sense of authority seems so pure and sweet. This week is already better, thank you! After a day alone, I am "back to center". All the best to you and your boys!


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