5 mins read

WWII at Home

It’s Saturday morning, 7am, 3 of my kids are up, David is watching the World Cup and I am wondering why along with motherhood you MUST give up all rights to sleep!  I just stumbled downstairs for a cup of joe, and now I’m stealing this time, even thought I wish I were sleeping in, to write.  

It feels like WWIII in my house lately.  Every night at dinner, which I really look forward to for family time, there has been a huge fight with my older girls.  It not just Wednesdays anymore, the day they return from their father’s house, it’s been every night.  And 10 yr old girls, with barely enough age between to define themselves has resulted in a sisterly battle like two alley cats fighting for a smelly fish bone! And as is often the case with pre-tween girls, this phase I must admit is defeating me.  My ideal family vision, with harmony and peace and respect among the siblings seems to be mine and mine alone.  This year it worse than ever as my older girls begin to crave alone time, not from me, but from each other, hormones are kicking in, WAY TOO EARLY, and I find myself in unfamiliar territory.  I never went through that. My sister and I, three years apart, lived parallel lives for most of our childhood and paid little attention if any to each other.  We have a beautiful relationship now, but it wasn’t until we became young women that we acknowledged each other’s existence.  Maybe that’s why I want it to be so different for my own girls.  Light bulb just went off in my head; maybe this is more about me than them…… 

I look forward to spending family time because we don’t get enough of it with shared time between two homes.  Because of that, my expectation is higher and my disappointments are greater.  Why can’t everyone just get along?!?   My vision of what a sisterly relationship looks like certainly isn’t like theirs.  They are sadly bordering on despising each other!  It’s so sad and I let it break my heart.
I hate to use this blog as a bitch platform, but in many ways venting helps so much, so bear with me, and PLEASE share if you have any ideas or can just relate.

I feel like family is all we have. In my girls’ case, because they have two homes, I tell them they always have each other.  It’s as if I am speaking a foreign language.  One acts as if the other has a germ disease, one moves at ½ the pace as her sister, one asks too many questions which is annoying as hell to her sister, and there is NO exchange of love.
My original intention was to create a place of love at home….boy was I channeling ‘The Partridge Family’ with that vision.  I have come to accept the normal family drama, but lately it is just one fight after the other.  

So I have decided to separate my older girls until then can begin to appreciate each other.  I have also put 2 huge boxes in their rooms, which they will use to pack up all their stuff. Yes, ALL their stuff! All they do is complain about their lives, so I am removing all the luxuries from their personal space until they can recognize how privileged they really are.  Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but I will settle for a pinch of grateful.  I am moving my middle child out of her room that is joined with her older sister by a bathroom that they can NOT seem to respectfully share without a daily brush or toothpaste battle.  My younger two girls will share the larger bedroom, they get along beautifully. My son will move into her old room and make it a “BOY” room, which will be new and hopefully encourage some commitment to sleep in there all night.  I will fill my older girls’ new, clean, and technology FREE rooms with some “good” books, summertime school requirements, and some old classics, instead of the bratty funny reads which encourage sassy attitudes. That’s basically what I am giving them this summer, some good books.

God I sound like an old militant mother… My original intention with this drastic change was shock and awe, to create a response…. It’s not impulsive, I have been begging for them to act differently and respect one another, no luck.  I have no idea what will happen, but I will let you know.  Maybe they’ll think I am the Nazi Mom, but I’m more hopeful for a serious change.  What a way to go into summer, so sad but TOTALLY necessary.  I can remember my dad used to ground me for everything, no phone, no TV, confined to my room, early bedtime, all at the same time.  OH NO, am I becoming him? 

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