Certain behaviours at my house have been escalating for quite some time.... some worse than others! I have been a very relaxed momma with my girls their entire existence... I have never been over paranoid or over protective...well in some cases I have been... but basically I would say that I am pretty chill! I didn't get upset at too many things and then due to certain other circumstances going on I became even MORE lax then I already naturally am.
By nature I am peace keeper... a lover and not a hater... I HATE confrontation and am what many refer to as a "pushover".
I don't think push over and momma is a great combo! this is MY experience and totally MY opinion based on MY experience.
My girls have learned that if they cry....scream and fuss long enough I give in. Not good.
My girls have learned that if they are mean to me...and sometimes they are quite mean verbally... I fold in and cave...kind of like going into the fetal position with my thumb in my mouth while I rock myself :) great mental picture there eh?! I shut down basically. Not good.
My girls have learned that I don't usually follow through with a punishment as I either forget or they have done the above 2 other things and I have folded caved and shut down. Not good.
These behaviours my girls have learned are based on MY issues!! yah I can admit I have issues :) but I am learning and progressing and wanting to be the best person and momma that I ever could be.
So here I am with a 17, almost 13, 11 1/2, and 9 1/2 year old daughters who's learned behaviours have to change and as I have started, over the past year of being a full time single full time working momma, to put my foot down and find my backbone, they have pushed back.
I am exhausted :)
With finding my backbone and other circumstances this year my girls have fought back ... some more than others... and while my first instinct is to fold cave and shut down I am forcing myself to stay standing...not always easy...not always successful... but I am aware and I am trying. I have great support from my friends and family, a little cheering section in the finding my backbone process you could say.
Now as I say all this I want to make it clear that I have amazing girls. They are not "bad" girls...they are not scathed and damaged beyond repair :) they just don't listen to me :) ... and again some less than others.
Last Friday I had had an enough moment...I am having these more and more which is a great sign that the backbone is getting more comfortable. My make-up and hairbrush had been taken out of my bathroom without my permission and "lost" for several days....my boots taken...ALL of my white camisoles taken...dishes left in my room... and WAY WAY WAY too many "no" "I dunno" "not me" .. I felt like I was living in the Sunday comic Family Circus for a bit ... along with some mean statements about me being the worse mother in the world (cuz making your children get to school on time is worse than anything don't you know). I lost it.. I screamed "I QUIT"... I heard a few "oh mother don't be so dramatic"....and one very timid "what does that even mean?" comments and I decided right there and then that I was quitting ...going on strike... for the weekend. I emphatically told the girls I didn't care if they went to school or not, whether they wore clean clothes or brushed their hair or had a lunch or not, I didn't care if they failed their test that day, I didn't care if they ate out of dirty dishes or if the house was a mes... I just didn't care. Emergency services would still be provided but I would not be a taxi driver, lunch/dinner maker, laundress, housekeeper, personal assistant for the rest of the weekend. I was OFF duty.
I had NO idea how that would play out! I finished getting ready for the morning and went and sat down and waited for the princesses to be ready for me to take them to school...school driving is an essential service :) ... all of a sudden the girls got quiet... one even put her face right into mine and stroked my hair and said "momma I soooooo love you"... I didn't respond too much although I wanted to fold right there and then... the rest of the weekend went ok but there were definitely a lot of "what do you mean your on strike?!" moments! I just tried my best cuz really...how does a momma go on strike really? being a momma changes your DNA... you breath and live BEING a momma.. it's not something you think about it it's something you just are. I LOVE being a momma.. I love my girls with my whole heart and I know that with the counselling we are going through and the support of my family and friends we are going to make it through all this better then ever.
So was going on strike successful?... I think it was for me as it was another step in finding and keeping my backbone and letting the girls know I mean business... by Sunday afternoon I just have to report that my house was literally one of the biggest messes it had EVER been...so there is a bit of a cost but before we headed out to a family Christmas Party Monday night I made them all clean and help me put it back together and at the same time put up all our Christmas decorations....and that is another blog post in itself :)