Friday, June 21, 2013

It's them or me.

the kids.
it's them.
or me.

I'm not sure who's going to win but I refuse to go down without a fight.

I feel like, in our parenting, we do really really good for a long time.
And then we just don't.

It's not that we love them for a long time and then just don't.
No, not like that at all.

It's that we do really great with teaching, disciplining and just generally being on top of things for a long time, 
and then they do really good, so we slack, 
and they trick us by doing good even though we're slacking 
and then they sneak attack slack 
and then we snap wondering what the crap happened 
and how come our kids are being so ridiculous?

And then, even though we love them fiercely and have sweet moments here and there, 
it feels like we just go through the day mad.
Mad at them, mad at ourselves.

I get more mad at myself because I know they are slacking because 
I am slacking 
and I know to fix it: 
I'm going to have to not be lazy but I like to be lazy but I don't wanna but they know what to do but I already showed them, but
I just want them to SNAP TO!...but but but....

To other people they are probably not being unruly and ridiculous, but I honestly could care less what 'other people' have to say about my parenting.

These particular children have been entrusted to us.
The things we deem important in our home have been orchestrated by a Master Planner.
What is important to our family is designed for our family...our kids.

I care what people think a lot.
I struggle with it in every other area of my life.
But, for some reason, that particular struggle skipped this part of my life.
Counting that as a protective measure from the Lord.
Protective measures for my kids.  Not necessarily me.

What was I saying?

oh yeah.
or me.

It's been a little like boot camp around here.
No second chances.
Mommy and Daddy are baaaaAaack!

You throw your cucumbers over the fence when I let you eat outside because I think I can trust you?
You thought your big sister wouldn't tattle?
Then you watch your sisters down humongous churros at Costco.
AND you get double cucumbers at lunch the next day.
eat it.

You left your bath suit on the bathroom floor.
And again.
And again?
Then you get to get back out of the car, even though we're late to your fun activity, to go back in the house and hang it up.
I don't care that you left it down stairs and it needs to be hung upstairs.

You tell me your room is 'clean' but I go up there and it's so obviously NOT!?
NO breakfast until it's done.
(breakfast may have been at 11am today...maybe.)
And I refuse to tell you what's wrong.
You get a 'yes, this is clean' or a 'no, it's not'.
No specifics. If it's a 'no' you just gonna have to figure it out.
We have worked on the specifics for hours and hours and hours and I think you have me figured out.
You act like you don't see it, I give you grace because you're 8, 7 or 6 and just pick it up myself.
No. flippin. More.
(well, I'll still give grace, just not in your rooms, k?)
MIRACULOUSLY, their rooms looked like I cleaned them this morning/almost afternoon.
The secret is out.
I know you know how to SEE those things you pretend not too.
(dude. I feel like I just ran a marathon)

You pee in the trash can instead of the toilet 'cause you wish you were a dog?
Go right ahead.
And then you get to scrub it out of the trash can with your hands, some paper towels and some spray cleaner.
Same time, same place tomorrow?

You lie while I'm driving?
I will just pull over.
I will not threaten, I will not say, "don't make me pull over", I will just pull over.
And then I will pray that CPS isn't in the car behind me.

We have a great system.
It kinda looks like this or this, but we've tweaked it to fit our family.
more on that later.
The gist of it is:
You have a list of things to do each day.
You miss one mark, you loose 1/2 your allowance.
You miss two marks you loose all your allowance.

That seems like such an OUCH to me.
But, alas, to my first world kids, it's just not.
More tweaking.
Miss one mark, loose 1/2.
Miss two marks, loose all.
Miss three marks, YOU START PAYING ME.
got 'em.
$.50 per missed mark.
I have some savers that HATE to see their already saved money go out of their wallet.
I have a spender who gets really discouraged at her IOU's in her wallet instead of more money.

This isn't the first time I've turned into Bootcamp Mommy.
But each time I do I think to myself, "this wouldn't happen if you'd just stop getting lazy!".
You wouldn't get angry with them if you'd just self-discipline a little more often Holly.

Maybe it would, maybe it wouldn't.

Hardest part about parenting.
Your kids faults always seem to be direct results of your sin and laziness or unwillingness to address their own sin in a calm and 'above it' manner.

Yes, they are their own little people.
But, by God's design, you do have a huge impact on them and their character and their own ability to self-discipline.

To me, maybe not to you, that is one of my biggest goals in parenting.
Teach them to SELF-DISCIPLINE so someone else doesn't have to be doing it to them all their lives.
Teach them to self-discipline so that they can discipline themselves to be a Jesus feet naturally.

Keeps you on your knees before Jesus.
Well. It keeps me there.
Begging God to protect them from my mistakes.
Begging God to fill all those lazy gaps, angry moments, missed opportunities to pour into them and I could just keep going with all that I beg of God for on their behalf.

after all that, there are still moments like this:
I mean, for reals?
I looked out the other day to see them reading, all decked out like this:
they melt me. they melt me more than they make me angry or more than I get angry at my own laziness.
I'll take that balance as mercy.
They make me holier.
They make me work harder, be purer, seek justice and love fiercer.

Even if I slack sometimes and then have to unleash Bootcamp Mama, even if.


Amy said...

Um... Yeah. I can relate to this. A lot.

Liza said...

Haha, Bootcamp Mama. I will offer no advice. I have no idea and I have shared with you before our respect for whatever you guys are doing over there in parentland (huge). Just love - and some laughs. Johnathan read this, too, and is still laughing...and trying to guess which girl did what :)

Mandy said...

I love this.

Courtney said...

yes. we are so the same.

(peed in the TRASHCAN?? i can say i've never had that happen. yet.)