I could blame it on the Headache From Hell which slayed me for much of yesterday.
I could blame it on the Party-Round-The-Fire-Pit that dragged on the night before, and while not unruly, there were sounds of footsteps in and out, the back door opening (and subsequently slamming), while sometime in the wee hours, I nonetheless drifted off to sleep.
But not for long.
I could blame it on the wretched wrangling over car keys, the parade of usual (and unusual) suspects through the house, and my diminishing tolerance for kid commotion as each day grinds on.
Might we note a pattern developing? She’s up! She’s down! She’s pert! She’s cranky! (Can anyone spell Roller Coaster?)
As the sun was setting last evening (and the banging on my temples had not abated), I knew it was enough – of my own permissiveness, however well-intentioned, which had reached critical mass – and apparently, in my head.
It was time to close the Open Door. To reclaim my vehicle. And more.
Sacrificing Sanity is… Insane
Wanting my kids to bask in their weeks off, I’ve traded my own zzzzz’s and a tranquil environment for their holiday happenings. Shall I scrawl an admonishment to myself across a white board 100 times – people pleasers – just say no?
And thus I arrive at the need to politely and resolutely say no. No to my sons taking the car, no to a dizzying stream of teens, no to sawing wood in the dark (!), and no to the fire pit parties.
I have, however, enabled the Much Superior Yes.
Yes to my kids washing the dishes, yes to them grocery shopping, yes to weeding in the front garden, yes to tearing the ivy off the worn brick, yes to making magic with my computers (gotta love a Systems Guru), and yes to anything involving reading, running, cooking, cleaning, making music or making art.
Or socializing elsewhere, and without my wheels.
Parental Rights to Nights
As to a parent’s rights (to quiet, to respect, to sacred space – as in a little piece of peace), I collided with this spot-on article at The Next Family, as author Joe Newman addresses cultural issues to do with raising boys, and in particular, this item dealing with discipline:
… in the last 30 years, our parenting culture has shifted from an emphasis on raising children who respect their parents to raising children who respect themselves… the way in which parents deal with conflict has shifted to using more and more communication and explaining instead of action consequences…
While we weren’t experiencing conflict (because I hadn’t spoken up), guilty as charged when it comes to a tendency toward explanation over action. I believe we need both, but Mr. Newman’s point is well taken.
Enter the simple, consistent no, and sticking to it until I feel less drained by interruptions and chaos. I need a small measure of time (two or three days) with no one and nothing to worry about – except moi.
The Mother (of All?) Migraines
I suggested a temporary ban on comings-and-goings, an organic pizza popped in the oven, and a cup of potato leek soup. I received zero resistance followed by All Things Calming.
I know, I know.
In three weeks I’ll miss the action dreadfully. Worse, I’ll be aching for my sons’ faces, voices, and even their shenanigans. But as the headache hangover lingers, I crave serious silence.
And for now, I’m insisting on it.
- Can you say no to preserve your sanity?
- Do you find yourself trying to be all things to all people, especially those you love?
- As a parent, do you find you substitute explanation for taking action?