Parenting can be hard…

 When I first saw this image I have to say that I just loved the phrase.  Something about it struck a chord with me and everytime I see it, I love it more.  I am sure you are wondering why, so I will tell you.  I love the simplicity of it….it says it all for me.   I’ll explain.   I am a mum of four kids.  It takes a lot of effort and a whole lot of energy to keep these 4 kids motivated and focused on what they are supposed to do.   I have learnt that unless pushed and sometimes shoved, all children are basically lazy.  They would like to do what they want – when they want.  This is the reason for their tantrums!

Many days I feel like I am pushing and shoving my kids along the road called life.   I am tired of asking them to do the same thing day in and day out.  Just today I had a heated discussion in the car with Bethany about not touching Chanel’s booster seat.   Almost everyday I hear Chanel ask Bethany to stop pushing on the booster seat.   Bethany’s point today was that I had not yet told her ‘today’ to stop touching Chanel’s booster seat.   My question is – if I have told Bethany almost everyday to stop touching Chanel’s booster seat, why does she think it would be okay for her to touch the darn booster seat today.  If its a rule – you just don’t do it!  you don’t argue that your allowed to touch it because its a new day!   Anyway, the usual frequent demands that I ask is that the girls (not Jaden (18 months old)) – Make your bed, pick up your socks, could one of you please help me put the washing out?, could one of you help bring the washing in?, The dishwasher needs unloading before we can stack the dishes.  Helping out around the house is what I consider an expectation rather than a choice, considering the mess is rarely my mess!  I don’t believe for one moment that any mum, whether they are a stay at home mum or a working mum should be 100% responsible for all areas of the home.   Every mum needs help and every person in the home should carry some expectation and responsibility.   Jaden’s job is to help pack up the toys at 5pm.   Its an activity I started getting all the kids to do from a young age.    I want my kids to enjoy life, have fun, be creative, and all that these elements contain, but I want them to be responsible and have a good work ethic and I believe that helping out a home, helps kids become responsible adults.    Having a good work ethic is incredibly important on so many levels…at home, at school, and then later down the track at work.

I love my kids more than anything.   Structure is important in any home, school and business/workplace, and so if we want successful kids, we (us parents) need to put the work in.   Good kids don’t necessarily just happen, in many cases, if you give kids an inch they will take a mile, so its really important to show them that while its important to be responsible and have a good work ethic its also necessary to know when to take a break and have some fun.   Life balance is what its all about.

My kids need fun mum to come out more often, I find that serious mum can be on duty probably more than what she needs too.  I find that my day is split into four shifts.  The first shift is about getting organised and ready for school and getting them there on time (or at least before roll call), the second shift starts as I either head home for the day to get jobs done, or to do a chore out and about with Jaden,  the third shift starts at 2.30 pm as I head off to pick up the girls from school.  The third shift deals with homework, an activity and getting dinner organised.  The fourth shift is dinner, cleanup and get the kids organised for bed.   This usually happens around 7:30pm .    Then its time for me to focus on what I would like to focus on – sometimes I am a bit tired to do anything.

I often reflect on the day and sometimes the issues of the day.  I often smile and think how easy Carol Brady had it with all those kids.   Six kids, a husband and a housekeeper called Alice.    I know its a fictional show but there are some mums out there with this type of help.   I know for me, I don’t believe women (in general)  can have it All.   Its a very feministic point of view to say women can have it all.   Many women go to work each day, and then come home to dealing with the kids – homework, baths, dinner, bed, and then still have to clean up and plan for the next day, not to mention all the jobs such as washing, drying and ironing.   There are so many elements to keeping a family and a home….  I honestly don’t know how many women do it.  i am tired just thinking about the pressure that many of these women have on their shoulders.    The notion of it is exhausting.     Many husbands come home and do a few things to help out, but the bulk of the responsiblity is felt by the woman.   If the project isn’t done, or the homework has gone missing, many women say that the failures feel like they lie in their (mums) lap rather than dads….and I think this is why women can’t have it all.

Life to me is about the many phases.   We all have many phases to our lives, and every new phase brings change to the family.   Right now I am a stay at home mum, and in 3 1/2 years time (not that I am counting because I am not) I will have a little boy going off to prep.      Life is short, its important to enjoy each phase of our kids life with them and put the work in so that down the track when they are one day adults, they can cope with the big world outside of their family and become their own person.  Afterall Amazing People just don’t Happen.