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Peachy Keen, Jellybean

by on February 21, 2014

Sometimes you just need to know that not everyone has the most perfect life. The advent and proclivity for everyone (and their mother- literally) to be on social media makes it easy to put forth the best image of your life. Rarely do we encounter honesty with daily updates, photos, and check-ins. Enter: me.

You won’t see me checking into the gym on FB. I don’t have a gym membership let alone time and motivation to go work out. Sure, I love my children more than life itself, but there are times they want to have a battle to see who gets to spend time in the padded room that day. (hint, usually they encourage me to be in the padded room- sometimes I want to be there for the peace and quiet)

My BFF and I started this blog to show people what real life was like in our lives. We both love to craft and have fun with our families, but we’re also realistic in saying that it’s not always perfect in our houses. Laundry isn’t always done, and when it is it usually sits in the baskets for at least a few days before A) we finally fold it and put it away or B) we’ve worn everything from the basket so it’s empty again and the clothes are back in the washer. The house isn’t always spotless. In fact, it’s RARELY spotless, if ever. The dog needs a bath, the sink is full of dishes, and I haven’t had a full nights sleep in over 4 years. It’s life, not a movie.

You’re all aware we’ve had some financial struggles this past year. I’ve been out of work since November and we’re financially strapped because of it. I have tentatively secured a new position across the state, but I haven’t finalized my contract yet and I have to travel over there occasionally for meetings- on no money since I haven’t been paid yet, with a car that won’t make it since I blew a coil the LAST time I drove there in December (i.e. it won’t make it back over the mountain passes). We have to figure out how to sell or rent out our house and move with two kids, a dog, and some large pieces of furniture I’ve inherited that I refuse to part with anytime soon.

The children are 4 now, and have their own chore charts with daily activities. There are 5 things for each of them to do daily: put dirty clothes into the clothes hamper, pick up their bedroom, pick up their kitchen/grocery store area (located in the corner of my kitchen), and then they rotate daily on the following; putting away silverware, wiping down the coffee table, wiping down the bathroom counter, and picking up the living room (at least their own stuff from the LR). In my opinion, and from searching a lot online about appropriate chores for 4-year-olds, this isn’t outrageous. If they do these everyday, none of them should be too hard to do. Husband and I even help them with all of these.

Then yesterday happened. The girls were sent to clean their room… at 1:00 PM. I kept checking on them and offering suggestions. Their room wasn’t that messy, it should have taken about 15 minutes. Instead, every time I went in it was messier. More stuff dumped on the floor, clean clothes strewn about, blankets as far as the eye could see. And it just got worse at the day went on.

They got to have a break for dinner- after all they’d really just been playing for 5 hours. They ate and then went back to clean, or in actuality to play. We have a method of reminding them, encouraging them, showing them, and telling them what to do – in that order. They know there are consequences to not following the rules and directions. They’ve cleaned their room many-a-time before with no issues. Last night they refused to follow the rules.

Bedtime came quickly and we’d already run through our discipline actions for failure to comply to with the standard house rules. They start slow and work their way through consequences. They couldn’t play anything else until their room was clean, and that usually involves playing Minecraft with Daddy. They lost TV privileges- so no Jake and the Neverland Pirates or Bob the Builder the next day (yes, my girls are awesome). No computer time- with or without Daddy. No going to the park (one that Mommy HATES enforcing because I like to get them out and tired). Finally we start to take things away. Last night I removed 3 FULL trash bags of toys. Pretty much anything they got for Christmas is gone now. This is on top of the 2 bags we removed LAST month for similar infractions. I’m at a loss on what to do with them. Yes, they’re only 4, but they know the rules and they’ve followed them before with no problems, we’re really not being unreasonable.

Add this stress of having to take away stuff that they love to my current unknown about the job (as far as I’m concerned until I have my signed contract I’m not employed) and having to make due with my husbands income alone, I cracked.

I folded 5 loads of laundry. I was putting stuff away and dropped all the sheets and blankets I’d just folded. I snapped. I threw everything down and stormed off to my bedroom. And I cried. And cried. and cried.

It wasn’t pretty. I’m still puffy today. It was somewhat therapeutic, but also stressful in and of itself. I know it didn’t help anything, but at this point I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know if I should be looking for other jobs, or trying to apply to things locally even though we still plan on moving to the other side of the mountain no matter what. I don’t know if I’m being unfair with my expectations of the children (although I will say that I really don’t think that I am) but I know that something needs to change, and soon, or I’ll end up in that little padded room for realsies this time.

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