Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Messy, Crazy, Chaotic Life With Kids

What parent, at some point in their Parenting Career, hasn't thought, " are hard!"?

Yeah, you love them and they're cute and you're glad they're around, and truthfully you cannot imagine your life without them, but...

  • They're messy
  • They smell
  • They leave their clothes all over the place and don't seem to understand what a hamper is for. Or, they'll jump-shot the clothes in the general direction of the hamper, but if the item falls short, it will stay where it lands.
  • They're picky - about food, about the way their clothes fit, about their hair, about the color of the sky or the grass
  • They can be super annoying
  • They don't listen - or, at the very least, have selective hearing. ("Huh? What did you say?")
  • They neglect their chores unless you remind them and when you remind them they get irritated that you reminded them because they're not dumb, mo-om! Sheesh!
  • They, all the time. Sometimes it's exhausting.
  • They need you when you're peeing or showering behind a closed door and feel a driving need to knock and ask you what you're doing as if it weren't obvious. (At least they don't stick furry paws under the door and try to get in, or snag the nearest whatever on the floor with their claws, or cry obsessively until you let them in. Oh...wait, yeah - they kinda do, but it depends on their age.)
  • They almost never go to sleep when you tell them to. There's always one more thing.
  • They have fifty-eleven hobbies or obsessions or collections going at any one time so there's stuff everywhere.
  • They haven't figured out how to file yet, so there's paperwork everywhere. (Oh, wait...that's...uh...never mind.)

On the flip-side of that coin, though...

  • They love you, and find lots of little ways to show it. Hugs are huge in our family and Girl-child could probably squeeze you to death if you let her. She's very effusive.
  • They enjoy spending time with you - and miss you when you're peeing or showering and therefore must simply remind themselves that you're the house with them.
  • They think you're pretty funny - most of the time - and laugh at your stupid jokes, silly stories, and goofy voices.
  • They talk to, all the time...because they need to. They need someone they trust to talk to and I am grateful every day my kids are little chatterboxes and that they come to me when something's up. Sometimes I need to drag it out of them, but that's really pretty rare.
  • They have good, comfy beds and whether or not they get in them when I tell them to, they do sleep and have a safe, warm place to do it.
  • The stuff they're picky about? I don't really care so much any more. It used to bug me to no end when (for example) Girl-child absolutely refused to wear jeans of any kind (I'm a jeans and tee shirt kind of gal and she's not) but now, provided she's dressed modestly and comfortably, I just don't care what she wears. She's her own person, right? Boy-child has never really been too picky about his clothes, he just gets dressed and that's that. When they're picky about food, they know I'm not going to cater to them and make them another meal. They can figure out what to eat if they're not going to eat what I (or hubby) put in front of them. They won't starve.
  • They have fifty-eleven hobbies, obsessions, or collections because they're still figuring out what they like to do. They're developing those things and it's a hands-on experience. So all the fishing gear, all the electronics, all the pieces of cut cardboard, foam-core board, paper, all the doll clothes, all the colored pencils and drawing pads, well...yeah - they're everywhere and I would sometimes like to throw it all out and turn my house into a museum, kids live there.
  • They want to snuggle with you - even at 13 years old. That time is so precious to me. It is sometimes - admittedly - hard for me to stop being selfish and go spend that time with them. And I'll be the first to admit I sometimes tell them, "Not tonight," because, frankly, I'm tired. But they still ask. And I won't always be there to tuck them in, so I should take full advantage of this, right?
  • When they're asleep, the sound of their even breathing calms me down.
  • When hubby and kiddos are gone, I don't sleep well AT ALL. So it's better when they're there.
Life with kids is busy and messy and crazy and chaotic and there's always stuff to do all the time and stuff everywhere all the time. Do I wish sometimes it were quiet? Just me and my thoughts and maybe the cats or a good book? Absolutely. (Though, me, alone with my thoughts, might not be such a good idea, really.) That doesn't mean I don't want my family around. It just means I'm human and need some Me Time occasionally. But I wouldn't trade my kiddos for the world. 

I know it's going to get more difficult as we really push our way into the teenage years (they're currently 13 and 10) and there will be a time or two that they think they hate me. But I'm OK with that, I guess. I know it will upset me, but I'll deal with it when the time comes. Right now, I'm just reminding myself to be grateful for them, for the mess (even though I hate living in chaos) because it reminds me that my kids are living their lives and are happy.


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