Friday, August 16, 2013

This thing that's called Reality

I've been participating in a project online called Project Life 365. It's hit or miss with me because I don't have a smart phone, I have 3 children and life just happens sometimes, not to mention that I am more committed to my family than any project. And my internet has been acting up lately. Like yesterday, the theme was Reality. I tried all morning to get a shot that I liked, that really portrayed my reality yesterday but it just didn't happen. I had something in mind that afternoon and got a few shots I thought would work but by that time my internet was down again so I just gave up and forgot about it until I had settled down on the couch and by that time only the prospect of winning a million dollars could of gotten me up.

So this morning I decided to blog about my reality.

Audrey's body language and facial expression portray my feelings this week exactly. While it's been great getting back in a much needed routine and adding some much needed stability to our busy, busy lives, the reality of it has set in. Exactly what reality is she talking about, you may be wondering. Well, I'll tell you:

1. James and Audrey are in KINDERGARTEN. While it's not a lot, they have home work now and that symbolizes so.much. more than what I ever imagined. It seemed like ages before we would get here and now that we are here it feels like I blinked.

2. I have two kids in kindergarten. Two sets of the same homework each night which means it has to be done separately because they sneak looks at each other's pages to make sure theirs match!

3. I have a 2 year old who is more independent than you can imagine. While she has a sweet spirit and a strong will, one that can somewhat quickly be shaped when needed I might add, she is still 2. And if you've ever raised a two year old, you are smiling right now. It's the most magical age and the one of the hardest.

4. I have a 2 year old that is ready to be potty trained. This fact makes my eyes hurt.

5. James and Audrey are almost 6 and I am seeing some attitude changes already. In fact it really started over the Summer. I have been doing this thing they call parenting long enough to know that you go through cycles of easy and hard and harder. I'm also aware that the older they get, the parenting needs to change. It's a harsh reality when you realize that play time is over, basically.

Parenting is always serious business, I know that. It's just a completely different ball game with a whole new set of rules when they are 6. It was that way when they turned 4. Maybe it's every 2 years that the rules change? I'm not going to call any body out, not now at least, but we have been having some serious discipline issues with a certain twin of ours. It's brought me to tears several times in last few days and if I'm being honest, it's been tough all Summer.

It's just that this week it's hit us that even though the issues aren't exactly changing, the child is and so we need to as well. We've got to arm our selves with some new strategies, a little bit more patience and a lot of love, grace and mercy. And I need to sharpen my iron will. Not in a bad way, but in a way that it will help every one involved. I've got to remember that things an angry 6 year old can say, well, most of the time are not really valid. Any way, parenting can be challenging and sometimes I wonder if I'm up for that challenge. At times this week it's really felt doubtful. But I've written a verse on a note card for me to look at every day and I've plunged back into my Dr. Dobson books. Yes, I am a Dobson advocate. He's gotten me this far (with the Lord's help, of course).

Lamentations 3:21-23 
This I recall to mind. Therefore I have hope. It is of the Lords' mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion's fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.


Dani said...

Britt is our strong willed one, a few months shy of two up to a few months past four were HARD. I'm grateful for the reprieve at the moment. Ruth is just starting her terrible twos, just shy of 3. But she's much more easy to redirect.

My dad use to say that parenting kids was like trying to hit a moving target. What works today, might not tomorrow, and you have to have a different approach for each kid. I get what he means now.

Ya'll are amazing parents with some amazing kids. Just keep sharing what you are learning for the rest of us. :D

Becky said...

Oh how I can relate! This post took me back about 10 years to a time when I felt very overwhelmed some days. A word of encouragement: it gets easier. And it sort of doesn't, but you'll be having so much fun you won't notice. I'm pretty sure you're already having that kind of fun most days, so I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. But just in case you need a pick me up, hang in there. You're doing a MARVELOUS job.

Emily said...

Wow. I really needed this! You have such great advice. Yall are doing a wonderful job!

Sam and Nelda said...

Dear Amanda,
I just read the comments from your friends and I'd like to say Amen to what they have said. You and Jon are doing a great job. I'm so glad you're reading Dr. Dobson. He has been given great wisdom to help parents with the biggest job in the world, parenting! The devil loves to accuse us and discourage us in our life's work. Just ignore him and all others who like to do his work for him. And keep on keeping on!
I love and admire you,