Wednesday, July 28, 2010

crazy littles driving me crazy

Last week I was hustling about trying to ready the children to leave and run errands, when suddenly my mum stopped my buzzing + told me that I appeared "to be wound as tight as my curls". I was. It has been about 1.5 months since school let out and I must say that my romance with summer vacation has ended. It has been wicked hot + it seems that the crazy that would occur on occassion in the after school hours had begun to encompass entire days. In addition to the demands of a 6month old, suddenly I found myself redirecting, cleaning up messes, calming hysterics and yelling {very much like Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland} more than ever at the Monks + Fif and I couldn't quite pinpoint exactly what happened?
My mister and I were young{er} first time parents + used to ascribe to a more laid back, Waldorfy style of parenting, however, it did not seem to work as well for us as our littles got bigger and our family grew larger. {I probably was not doing something right} I will always embrace some Waldorf + unschooling philosophies, but I felt like we needed more structure. Is it selfish of me to want my littles to conform to how I want them to behave? I know some parents wouldn't bat an eyelash at the stuff that they do that makes me want to climb the walls.
And that brings me to my 2nd querie: Growing up, John + I were very well behaved. Was it the catholic schools we went to or just different expectations about how children should behave back then? My mum and I were cracking up when I asked her if she could imagine my childhood friend, Jean {or myself} running around her parents living room or accross their couch {as my littles + friends have done}? Through gasps of laughter we agreed that such a thing would certainly never have happened.
My mum went to an all girls catholic school + her father only had to look at her and her brother to let them know that they were about to put a toe out of line. As a therapist, she referred to some of her recent reading, that infact, sometimes being too lenient with littles or not enough structure is actually a disservice + that many believe that we are actually raising a generation of narcissists. I'll leave you all to ponder that thought independently...
As for me, I know that I have high expectations but I like to think that I will continue to seek the middle road + will be consistant about the house rules that cannot be bent. I want my littles to have fun, but I also want them to be able to be respectful + to listen. The situation has been much improved by consistant "quiet times" {even if it feels like some days the little folk are in their rooms half of the day!} I think this tiny revolution will benefit us all, as it is much easier to do things as a family when your clan is not a rowdy one! So you see, life can be very far from the sweet, glossy, cropped version that comes through the computer screen. We are all learning + figuring out what is right for our families as we go... presently {since my situation is improving + no one is screaming} I can say with a smile that the trials of parenthood really do make the successes just that much more rewarding, don't you agree?


  1. My parents' house was very lenient, I think. My sister and I grew up as "good kids" who never had discipline problems. And we were never discouraged from being clingy, or brazen, or mischevious. I was spanked once, and it was (I know now) out of fear, as I'd wandered out of the house and didn't answer as my mother screamed and searched for me.
    Interestingly, I find I run a tighter ship with my own children. My parents and in-laws like to give Daddy-B and I reproachful looks when we put lil' b in time-out or won't allow marmallow to touch the CDs. I don't know if there IS one right way. I don't think I could have thrived in the climate my children live in as they seem to. :)

  2. I think too about how come I "behaved" for the most part while I feel like my parents look at my kids climbing the walls with raised eyebrows. It's sooooooooo hard being a parent!! I always like to think about how it portrays what I am feeling inside, although that gets deep and tricky at times. I yell, but I do not want to, and am trying to let go more and more, but sometimes, I've just had enough. One thing I have found that NO TV or screen of any form. Even if my kids watch something real short it makes them whiney and crazy for two days straight! Nutts! It's all about balance in some contorted way I suppose. Good Luck!


  3. @Earth Mama
    Yes, the balance is the tricky part, right? I so agree with the tv thing. We are big movie people...but not 'shows'. Either reading or watching a movie as a family in the evening is something everyone really looks foward to.

    The other thing that is tough is the ages. The Fif (3) wants to get into + do everything Monks 6.5) is doing. Sometimes he has to share + other times he should have his alone time...again, balance and patience!
    Thanks for your posts, they really do make me smile!

  4. We're a large family and I believe there is no right or wrong just what works for your family! Im much more tolerant & chilled with our younger 3 than I ever was with the older 3. What seemed important at an early age back then doesnt seem so important now? Im a fan of quiet time too, we try to have it when DS3 has his nap. Its not too hot here in the UK to send them out to play when its all getting a bit much and that helps. Whatever the weather though I 'insist' on them getting out in the garden for a bit, just so they can burn up some of the pent up energy.
    I like routine and all the kidlets are creatures of habit, they like their routines and are definately out of sorts if we dont stick to them.
    Ask me in a few weeks though once we're further into our summer break - Im not so sure I'll be quite so chilled by then!

  5. wow, yeah. nice external processing about the whole day-to-day of discipline/lenience/etc...(also - props on the honesty about life *not* being contained inside the blog screen - fer.real.) i had a few thoughts to share?

    i feel like a lot of times, the level of discipline or lenience that a mama or papa thrusts upon her kiddos is a direct and unthinking result of her own up-bringing. sort of a default setting, and i really think That Makes Sense, to default, because parenting is *not* something one can learn from taking an online course or reading a book so you sorta "do what you know." (or in some cases, do the Opposite of what you know) - i *also* think that the level of structure vs the level of spontaneity that any particular child can handle is exactly that - particular to the child. those two thoughts in tandem have provided me the rationale to go with the "mindful parenting route" - examining one's own motivations/intentions within one's actions while honoring a child's developmental and emotional capacities...
    cuz it's that simple (*huge eyeroll*), but maybe i'm at least *kinda* articulating the theory behind the practice (as in "makes perfect"(but it doesn't, really, does it...))

    it truly bluely is such an honor and a *huge* (and oftentimes muchly needed) dose of inspiration to get an inside peek into yer brilliant mama mind, good luck with those precious, crazy littles!

  6. @aftml
    Yeah, mindful parenting...I think that sounds like what I'd like, or is what I try to do. I think in the end there are no clear absolutes, like "if you do this, this will be the result", bc you can parent exactly the same with 2 different kiddos + get 2 totally different outcomes.

    So yeah, I'm just roll'n with it. Everyone has managed to chillax a bit...maybe it was a full moon? All I know is that my 2 older ones are at my mom's to sleep over...and it is way too quiet here! I love a little baby man + 'hubby' time...but I really can't wait to get them tomorrow!
    you rock

  7. I can so relate! We’ve been struggling recently with our ideas on structure and discipline. I want to respect my daughter and treat her like her own person – but we also don’t want her to rule our life and become a brat that nobody likes.

    So no, I don't think its selfish of you ‘ to want your littles to conform to how you want them to behave’. Its only because you love them and want them to be likeable/loveable children and adults.

    As soon as we introduced a few rules and some structure my daughter seemed to instantly become more settled. She needed and liked the boundaries.
    I like the middle road also. I like spirited children :-)


I would love to hear your thoughts...especially if they are nice! So post away friends, post away!