I like to read our old blog posts from time to time to reminisce. The other day, I read through dozens of posts and thought to myself, “wow, we’re like a family that constantly plays!”
The truth is, we do play a lot. And it’s fun for me to blog about our outings, craft projects, and travels. But in all honesty, we’re just like any other family most of the time. We deal with cranky kids who challenge us, we struggle with consistent parenting, and there are days when I’d like to stay put in bed. You don’t see me posting about these days because when I’m in that “zone”, I’m likely in no mood to be doing a blog post.
Just because I don’t post about our challenging times doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It’s much more interesting to write about our many adventures around the world and to post the prettiest pictures of us 🙂 But, to keep it real, here are some pictures of what many of our days are actually like….
We’re adapting to life with grade school children in the house. For the first five years of Bridgette’s life, we dealt with more of a physical exhaustion…beginning with sleep deprivation in the beginning, followed by wild goose chases with a toddler, and the caring of a completely dependent child. These days, Bridgette is much more self sufficient. She can bathe herself, dress herself, pick up after herself (when we remind her to) and sometimes even make breakfast for herself. She no longer expends our physical energy as much. Instead, we’re being challenged mentally and emotionally a lot more, which we quickly realize, is much more draining. She holds us to our promises all the time, to be sure we carry through to our words, and she’s constantly on the lookout to call us out on double standard parenting. What this all comes down to is us, as parents, having to really be conscientious about our own behaviors in order to be good role models for our children. Simple example–during the winter, I wear my UGGs a lot, especially for errands. Therefore, I don’t always put my UGGs back on the shoe rack when I come home, because I know I’ll be heading out again soon and would be wearing them. Well, when it comes time for me to remind the girls to put their shoes away after school, they are quick to point out that I hadn’t put mine away. Ofcourse, it makes no sense to explain my “logic” to them as to why I didn’t put mine away. At this age, they’re still fairly straightforward thinkers. Instead, I have to pick my battles. If I want them to pick up after themselves, I simply will have to pick up after myself to demonstrate this behavior. This applies to so many different facets of our daily lives, which is partly why it’s so mentally exhausting. Someone posted this quote on facebook though, which totally resonated with Alan and I:
Be the person that you want your children to be
If I want Bridgette to learn to speak calmly, I better not be yelling in front of her. If I want Bridgette to have good manners, it’s important that I show her mine too. Consistency is so important in parenting, yet it’s often the hardest part! Alas, children are gigantic magnifying glasses for parents to see all our flaws but we should also be grateful for the teachings that come to light because of these little beings. I’ve learned so much about myself through Bridgette, and have no desire to try to be a perfect person in her presence. Rather, I want her to see that her mommy and daddy as real people who try our best to live by the values that we believe in.