We all feel deep failure as parents. Probably more often than we feel the successes. Yesterday was a failure day. We had a great morning at the farm. Everyone mostly worked together and I didn't even raise my voice often. Rory had a tough day because she'd not gotten adequate sleep due to helping a friend later the previous night. After we got home, everyone acted like the world was ending. Snack was rough, demands were high, jealousy reared its ugly head. I had to rush to get Mack off to soccer, but Rory needed to yell and receive reassurance. Feli was leaving with a friend, but felt responsible for Rory's feelings. I assured her that Rory's issues were within her and were not about Feli at all.
Once I had Mack at soccer, Rory texted me and had calmed down. I was able to reassure her again, and better that yelling to me was fine. When she (rarely) needs this catharsis, I am happy to receive the fire. I was able to put her mind at ease and help her understand. Rory wants more freedom to be with friends. But her friends are either old enough to have jobs and make money, or their parents give them money. Leigh and I will work with her to figure out how she can do more.
When I got home, the storm was calmed. Feli and Rory had even talked and made up by the time Leigh and I had the littles in bed. I put out the fires. I was exhausted, though. I needed my own repose. Leigh happily got us cheap cardboard pizza and we relaxed together.
Today was a much better day over all, though. I had the pleasure of watching my children happily put themselves to the side in favor of a group of special needs adults who come help at the farm on Fridays. They gave up leading their favorite horses and engaged in conversation with our helpers. They were selfless. I was so proud, I had tears in my eyes. They even got to have a riding lesson today after months of not. They, and I, had a good farm day. After the farm, we went to violin and percussion lessons. Mack, Kae, and Ruby were obnoxious there. Constant reminders of appropriate behaviors for all three. And, the consistent arguing from Kae and Mack. Between themselves and directed at me too.
Getting home is always chaotic. Today was no different. All the stuff from the farm and music has to be put away, but no one wants to do the job. Dishes need doing. Showers need accomplished. Dinner is calling. And, Leigh wanted to talk about the kids and their new chores. They now have to wash or load the dishes from the sink, deal with trash, vacuum nightly, or pick up Ruby poop in addition to their other chores. Leigh felt an incentive would be appropriate. While I agree, I don't see extrinsic motivators helping them be more autonomous with chores. I think I will still have to remind them. I agreed to give it a month so each child had each additional chore. If this doesn't work, we will have to come back to the drawing board to try something else.