We’re about a month into a new school year, and this is what it’s like: I wake up when John gets up. We eat breakfast. I take him to school. I come home, and start working. Matt picks John up from school, but there’s usually a (welcome) break in my day when I make a snack, get him settled with a babysitter, or otherwise get things situated. Then I work until 5:00 or 5:30. The real fun starts between around 5:30 and lasts until 7:30, during which time I spend most of my time saying things like this to John:
“Make your bed.”
“Eat your dinner.”
“Check Michael’s bowls.”
“Take your plate.”
“Brush your teeth.”
“Do your homework.”
“Try it again.”
“Go to sleep.”
And all of that in the sternest voice that I have. Then John goes to bed and I’m done for his part of the day. That’s it.
I’m feeling sad that I have time to incessantly tell John what to do, but not enough time to do things with him. There just isn’t enough time in the day after homework, dinner, soccer, violin and everything else that we need to get done. Every minute is spoken for. I suspect that I’m not handling it very well right now, either. My fuse is short. This month does not reflect the parent I hope to be.
Almost everyone I know seems to have similar challenges, kid-related or not. Extensive research (disguised as me complaining to friends and family) has not yet revealed a magic solution, but I’ll keep trying. In the meantime, I had a 90 minute MRI this afternoon, and believe me when I say that hearing “lie there, under a blanket, and try not to move,” was actually fantastic news. Kind of a welcome rest.
You are doing things with him – memories are made at the dinner table and the best conversations happen at bedtime. Parenting is hard work and requires direction, but smiles are powerful and compliments are underrated.. Long, tiring days are rough. My parenting changed when I decided I wanted to be a coach instead of a drill sergeant. I started encouraging more than ordering. I smiled more than furrowing my brow. I asked more questions and cared about the answers. If your child is old enough to read you can make a list or chart so he knows what to do on his own and you can spend some of the time praising him instead of directing. Sometimes it works. You sound like a good mom and your child is adorable.
“Enjoy the little things in life for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
Thank you! I hope you’re right. And we’re trying a chart! It has magnets that move on and off. I’m trying to work on not nagging him to do every thing every moment.