I told my husband yesterday at lunchtime (why yes, he comes home for lunch almost every day) that a monkey could do a better job parenting our kids than I do. Everything with the kids these days is a battle~no one puts away toys, they're constantly fighting, the twins fight me on every diaper change or clothing change. It's enough to make me want to curl up into the fetal position and stay in bed all day. Instead I eat a lot of chocolate, drink too much coffee and count the hours until Doug is home and I can put the kids to bed and have a drink or two. Mother of the Year I am not.
Which belies the question~am I a parenting failure? Do I expect so much of my kids that I'm setting them up for failure? Am I so overwhelmed at the sheer volume of WORK it takes to raise these kids that I am screwing them up so much they'll need therapy when they're adults? Of course I don't have those answers, because if I did I wouldn't be writing this post and I'd be RICH RICH RICH from writing parenting books and going on talk shows like Ellen and Oprah.
We have been trying to encourage the older kids to help out around the house because quite frankly, we just can't do it all. By encourage I mean bribing them with money for doing certain chores. And it's a colossal failure. Instead of doing the chores on the chore chart, Meg will just pick A chore to do, and of course it's the one that just involves scooping four litter boxes. If you ask her to clean up her room (the deal is for every day her room STAYS clean she earns money), she throws herself on the floor and screams at you. We're not neat freaks by any stretch of the imagination, but we cannot walk in her room and neither can she.
So, should I just take on that chore for myself during naptimes? Or do I let her room rot under all the crap she refuses to put away? If I take on the chore myself, am I just teaching her that if she is lazy enough, Mama will do it all for her? Or is it just easier on my sanity to realize that she is lazy and that to save myself from further torture, I should just clean it myself? Or maybe that she isn't lazy, but the task is just too overwhelming for her very smart 8 year old mind to handle. Again, if I had the answers, I wouldn't be here.
All I do know is that I feel like I'm failing my kids. I don't want to be constantly stressed out. I want to have a harmonious house and maybe even a clean one at that. I want my kids to respect my decisions instead of telling me no all the time. Am I just asking too much? Should I just let it go and realize that I'm never going to get what I want? I think I'll have some more chocolate and try to figure it out.