Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's Probably Gonna Get Harder

Every once in a while the Colony is forced to go through obedience bootcamp.

It's typically after a season of traveling, inconsistency or changes in schedules, holidays and/or lazy parenting.

Let's face it...every parent is NOT going to be on their "A game" 100% of the time and life just gets the best of us sometimes.  So don't consider yourself a failure if you have to go through a season where you have to pull in the reigns to get the crew back on track and adjust to some new family rules.

But much of the time it is going to get WAY HARDER before it gets better.

For instance, bedtime was getting to be really difficult.  With kids ranging from 1-8 and all of them going to bed at the same time, some were tired but wired, tired and irritable, wide awake from too long of a nap or just not quite tired yet.

Josh and I decided that we were going to start allowing Rainy and Zeke to stay up an extra 30 minutes or so on "normal" nights.  Not only were we in need of some individual time with them, they needed to feel like they were valued and earned their right as an older sibling to be able to stay up past their 1-4 year old siblings.

But man was it tough on Cai and Alethia.  We had to keep reassuring them that they weren't in trouble and they were going to bed at the exact same time, but their bodies just needed a little bit more rest than Rainy and Zeke because they are older.  Plus, it gives them something fun to look forward to as they get older themselves!

It took several weeks for this new normal to become normal for Cai and Alethia mentally.  There were a lot of temper tantrums, tears and screaming on their part, and frustration, exhaustion and wanting to give in on my part.  But we pushed through and now the fact that Areyna and Zeke stay up a little later is normal and expected.  No more freaking out.  It just is what it is.

But what about when it comes to an area of discipline?
(Not that MY kids ever struggle in this area;)

But let's just say that my husband were to go out of the country for the week and leave me with the Colony.  And maybe the days went well, but I was exhausted, as expected, and when bedtime for the kids rolled around and the door closed for the night, I meant business.  Every night I laid down the law boundaries and consequences if they were not followed.

But what if one of those sweet, chubby-faced little boys comes sauntering down the hallway toward me...just to tell me that he loves me?  What in the world is one supposed to do with that?!

But I KNOW that if this week is going to go smoothly and I am going to get the rest and solitude needed to survive, then I am going to have to stick to my guns.

Man were those consequences tough:(  But do you think any of the other kids came out during the rest of the week?  Well, actually, the next night was very similar to the first, but through the consistency, even when it was hard, they all learned that I meant what I said and that I NEEDED them to obey.

It's not always easy, and it sure doesn't always feel like the steps are moving in the right direction, but you will get through it and it WILL get easier!
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