Last week was rough at home. It's usually bumpy after a holiday, getting everyone back on track and settled back into a groove. For me, it felt even more challenging because I ended my holiday by going straight into semester exams, grades and comments. Stress of deadlines at work were met with frustration at home. It pushed my patience to its limits. I spent several weepy nights missing my sisters and wondering what had happened to my children. It was like they'd turned into monsters.
I kept silent about it on this blog (until a few days ago) because I didn't want to have to write another whiney post about how hard it is being a parent (and I feel like I've written lots of those lately). Don't get me wrong, I'm a total believer in honesty. I'm not embarrassed about having bad days (and weeks). I got lots of supportive comments and emails, for which I'm most grateful. I am glad that I can vent, and share the absolute lows of my life, and then connect with people as a result. And even if I didn't get support or connect with people in the blogging community, I'd still vent. It's natural. And necessary.
Still, I didn't like the idea that, for the better part of this week, I'd left that uninspired post up. I'm not a pessimistic person. Quite the opposite. I'm sunny and optimistic. To the point of being flawed in my ability to see things on the bright side, better than they actually are. It sometimes drives Joey nuts.
I don't like to be a bellyacher. If I complain about something, I always make sure to address the situation rather than just bitch about it. So, we did just that. At the end of last week, Joey and I sat down with the two bigs and reminded them of some expectations of behavior - how we speak to adults, when homework should be done, how often should recycling be done, etc. We made clear (for everyone) our weekly routine, to reestablish some level of control. To be consistent. This is not to say that we've got a schedule and no spontaneity, just that we're trying to keep everyone on the same page, moving in the same direction. I had begun to feel like I was the only one doing this, and I was starting to feel like all I did was make kids cry or whinge. I didn't like the constant arguing. It hurt.
Now, each day, things have progressively improved. I think remembering the expectations and knowing we have a schedule, along with foreshadowing it each day, has helped to make our lives slightly less chaotic and the pace of each day less frenetic. Even Yaya and Jojo are on board, and we're back to being like a well oiled machine. Jojo is starting to have more confidence to hold the kids accountable as well.
I know there will be bumps. But I don't expect that they'll derail me or throw me back into the funk I'd lapsed into.
And just in case they do, I know Joey will stand by me, so I'm never totally alone.