Tag Archives: chaos

It gets better. Right?

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The older my kids get the harder it is to be a parent.

People with small children ask “It gets better, right?” and my answer is always “No. No it doesn’t.” And if they ask that same question about girls my answer is “No, it gets worse.”

Just for clarification, some things do get better. You don’t have to wipe their butts anymore. That part’s way better! If they’re hungry they can get food and feed it to themselves. That gets better. They can bathe themselves, it won’t be done very well and only when you tell them to, but they can, so that’s better. They can pretty much care for themselves. Which is better.

Other than that, not better.

When kids are small it’s a physical game. You are just wiped out. Every. Day. You’re up at the crack of dawn after you’ve stayed up half the night trying to get him to go to, or stay, asleep. There’s never any rest because you’re constantly chasing a toddler to make sure she doesn’t get into anything and try to keep her safe. You’re always feeding someone else then you forget to eat. You’re always taking him to the bathroom for the 5th time in an hour and answering the call to ‘come play outside with me’. And do you really want me to start talking about grocery shopping with three kids under the age of 4?

When those cute little ones turn into teenagers it’s a whole new ball game. It turns into a strategic mental game that will leave you emotionally exhausted for days on end. And they are ruthless. Teenagers don’t back down. They push and push until you back down. Then once you do it, even just that one time, they will never forget and push even harder to get you to back down again. Not to mention that the struggles with teenagers are bigger. Now it’s trying to get her to wear real pants, not leggings. Prying them away from electronic devices so I can remember what their face looks like. Not to mention the boyfriends and girlfriends and every unfortunate thing that goes with that. There’s riding in cars with other teenagers and worrying about road conditions and weather. Attitude and disrespectfulness, anyone? Watching them make decisions that you know aren’t the right ones. And let’s not forget the fact that they know everything and are never wrong.

So no…it doesn’t get better. It just gets different. Harder and different.

I have to admit though…As difficult and draining as it is to be parents of teenagers there are rewarding moments. Like little gems nestled in between the jagged edges of the cliff you want to jump off of on a regular basis. I enjoy having good conversations with them that were impossible when they were small. I look forward to sharing a meal with them every night and hearing about their day. I love going to their ceremonies and celebrating their artistic talents and accomplishments or watching them play sports and celebrate wins with them. I always watch in awe as they build a bow and arrow out of a rubber band, a pencil and shish kabob skewer or design and create an elaborate rubber band bracelet. And my favorites are family movie nights, going to the fair and spending holiday mornings together. Those are all the moments that make it worth it. And keep me from running away.

running away

It’s Chaotic In Here….Or Is It?

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A house with 7 people in it can get a little crazy. Ok, a lot crazy. There, I said it. My house is crazy. At any given moment there’s at least one kid running around for no apparent reason [although they usually do that in pairs and it’s almost always 20 minutes before bedtime], a tv blaring with no one even in the room, a dog howling because there’s a train going by [or the ice cream truck which oddly enough is still making it’s rounds in January], one kid singing on her karaoke microphone stand that Santa was dumb generous enough to get her, two to four kids involved in a dart war, one kid practicing her violin, a kid on the xBox, and someone saying “Mom/Alecia!!!” or “Dad/Gary!!!” over and over and over….and over. For us it’s nothing out of the ordinary. For outsiders it’s total chaos. And a form of birth control. Some even leave with a twitch.

I’ll be the first to admit that our house can get a little chaotic-ish. It’s not quite like this but close. Really close some days. For a while I would hear people compare our family or home to a circus or zoo. My feelings would get hurt! On the outside I would smile and chuckle and go along with it but on the inside I was thinking “Our house is NOT a circus. Why would they say that?” I imagined them coming over and thinking “Good Lord, here we go again. I can not wait to get out of here.” But then I realized, with a little help from Gary, that to other people it only seems like a circus because it’s not what they are used to. Chaos is defined as a state of utter confusion or disorder; a total lack of organization or order according to dictionary.com. That is so not the case at our house. We’re more like organized chaos which Urban Dictionary defines as a situation or place that seems to be in chaos, but has an underlying organization and pattern which is evident to those involved in the situation. This describes us much more accurately I believe. What other people see is chaos, what we see is organization.

Over the next few days I’ll be sharing with you all the things we do around here to make our daily lives seem a little less chaotic. In the meantime go to the Circus. No really! It’s in town! Go!