The mornings here are a mix of hustle but also a lot of downtime which turns into a lot of time for people to make bad
choices and get in fights.
IPS has a drop off window between 9:05-9:20 and if the kids are up around 6:30- that’s almost a full three hours for whatever to go down. It’s nice to have lot’s of time, but I swear I’m more late sometimes when there is more time to spare.
There are more fires that need put out. More messes made and more drama surrounding what clothes they are willing to wear. Currently they will basically only wear athletic pants with shorts over them. And today we couldn’t find any pants that fit Marshall so he wore size 5T that are two sizes too small and I just told him to wear tall socks. Whatever. (Heads to Target.com after posting this to buy 3 pair of Cat & Jack Khakis)
My real point here is, I am TRYING really hard to not constantly rush everyone. And sometimes that just means we are a little late. And that’s OK. I don’t want to be rude or disruptive, but I have decided that when everything seems to feel crumbly and stressful if I just let go of needing to rush out the door, there is a little bit of peace that falls over us.
I have to tell myself just do one thing at a time. You can’t get every person dressed at the same time and you can’t break up every fight while you are dressing, bathing or feeding one of the little guys. Yes. We sometimes do morning baths too because people just like wake up smelling like pee around here and I wouldn’t really want to take care of a kid at daycare who smelled like pee. Trust me, Sandy doesn’t care if he smells like pee, but his caretakers probably do.
I also want to note. I get a lot of comments and messages on social media praising me for how chill I am about messes and craziness around here. I will proudly say I am generally good about staying cool with the messes because I’ve realized I just have to let that shit go with four little kids BUT that is certainly not always the case and you just don’t see the meltdowns. Last night I lost my ever loving mind multiple times waiting on Glenn to get home from work about messes and little things. I just didn’t put them up in an instagram story for fear that someone might think I am a legit crazy woman who may not actually be suited for this job. As words and yells were flowing out of my mouth I actually was thinking to myself how awful I must sound but I was angry and had reached my limit.
I also spanked Louis for saying he hated me and that he hated someone else last night. When nothing else seemed to work, I didn’t know what else to do…. and guess what it worked. I did not want to spank him. I used to be anti- spanking when my kids were super little. I was in the line of thinking that it was counter productive and I TOTALLY see how that argument is valid. But when you have an older kid and nothing else will work, and a spanking works, well that’s what I did. This was after calmly trying to figure this out. I had gently carried him kicking and screaming to his room. He kicked me. He hit me. He told me he hated me again and then when I left the room and told him not to leave the room, he came out a solid 10 times. All the meanwhile, I was trying to keep Sandy who kept climbing up and down the stairs alive and Russ from destroying the house.
I felt spread too thin – only one of me and four of them. I felt ill-equipped to discipline the way I’d like to discipline. But here is what happened after I spanked him. He cried. He was upset. BUT he didn’t open the door again. And in 10 minutes I went back in to check on him and talk about it and he was quietly reading a book. He hasn’t said the word “hate” yet today. (In the three hour window we have before school) Hopefully if it happens again we can avoid getting to the spanking but if it ends in that, I won’t feel shame about it.
And look here- Louis and I had the most special time walking to school after the little boys went to daycare and Marsh got dropped off. He knows I love him and hopefully he knows not to say he hates someone again, because if he does and then refuses to stay in his room- his little butt might be spanked.
On this topic, I will be interviewing a positive parenting expert – Wendy Snyder of Fresh Start Families next week for The Illuminate Podcast and I have a feeling she is not pro spanking. I am really interested and excited to learn from Wendy and hoping to fill my toolbox with more ideas for discipline that works. Do I want to be more gentle? Yes? Am I human and sometimes feel like my only option in the moment is to spank? Yes. Parenting is hard and I will never have it totally figured out but I am always willing to learn and try something new.
Now go be kind and don’t judge other parents based on if they do or don’t spank, if they do or don’t give their kids food or lotion with “bad” chemicals and definitely don’t judge a Mom who is screaming at her kid in the grocery store. Lord knows I’ve been there.