Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Where Did We Go Wrong?

Today will be a bit of a rant. So if you don't feel like reading my complaints (even if there is a moral at the end of the story), go ahead and click on something else. But as a mama I need to have a place to vent, in particular today.

My kids head back into school soon. Very soon. For a while I was lamenting this...until we hit this past week. Suddenly the thought of the three oldest in school most of the day long doesn't sound like such a bad thing!

Last night I said to my husband, "Where did we go wrong?" I'd just had to get after my younger son for swearing - something I never expected from a boy who has such a distinct sense of right and wrong. I was sitting in the same room as the word slipped naturally out of his mouth. He didn't think a thing about it, at least, not until Mom got after him.

Sadly, this has been the most recent in a long line of bad choices by my kids. Earlier in the day I'd had to get after them for wandering the neighborhood when they'd PROMISED to be at the park. They've begun picking on each other, and starting fights with friends. Not to mention saying they'll do one thing and then do the exact opposite. Tantrums have been flowing from the kids (even the older ones) like water from a sprinkler! ARGH!!!

So of course as I sat at the computer this morning with righteous indignation set firmly upon my shoulders, I found an unlikely answer in an unlikely place, and suddenly saw where we went wrong. As much as it pained me to do so, I had to take the righteous indignation off my shoulders and replaced it with responsibility as well as a need to be accountable for my own actions.

I was putting together a talk for a friend when the answer to my seemingly simple question was answered. During the school year we're fairly scheduled. It's easy to make sure certain things happen, even the spiritual things. During the time my kids have been out of school too many things slipped. We weren't reading scriptures in the morning anymore, neither were we having morning family prayer. Even our evenings weren't spent in each other's company any longer as the kids would rather play at the park. In other words, I'm the one who messed up, and my kids are paying the consequences.

"You're being too hard on yourself," you might say. Perhaps, but the truth is I'm the mommy. I'm the adult (when I'm not acting like a self-absorbed two-year old). I am the parent, and my children are my main responsibility. If I'm not doing my end of the deal, can I really be so surprised when everything seems to go wrong?

So now here I sit, having heard yet another two tantrums since the time I began writing this, knowing I need to make a start in pulling a schedule - one that especially involves the spiritual - back together. Maybe then we'll find a measure of peace, not to mention some nicer words, back in our little house.


LaDawn said...

I completely understand! Even our one child finds a way to start trouble when we don't stick to a routine and I often find when she's in the corner it's really my fault. (I just wish it was me who got to sit in the corner and do nothing for a few minutes!)

Josie and Wayne said...

I know what you mean about the routine messed up. As fun of a summer we've had with Wayne home so much, now that he's gone for the day again it's actually kind of nice. Me and the kids can get back into our routines and do things the way we usually do.

Herbie said...

That kind of language is everywhere now. Moreso than I was a lad. It is on TV which is so widely used by youngsters. It has become a 'second language' by so many. We can only hope by good example to stem the flow. As a parent and grandparent, I understand your shock on hearing that word from your offspring.