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Thursday, August 05, 2010

Balancing Act

I am in the process of moving house and have moved in with my parents for the time long long month.
It's not my parents and I that have a difference of opinion, well that is not entirely true...
The main thing that I notice is that my siblings and my parents (to a lesser exent) get super irritated at my children. Mostly when they are acting like, well, children.
Kids are loud. My kids are incredibly loud. There are 3 of them all under 5. The 5 year old is talking non-stop, the 2 year old is making animal sounds, and the baby...well, he cries. :)
I just get this pressure to make them conform and I am just not that type of person. I want my kids to be kids. They are little. They shouldn't have to sit and eat all their dinner or stop running around or being absolutely quiet until 10am.
I feel incredible pressure that I am not doing it right, and I sometimes wonder about when we were in tribal setting how the village that raised the child didn't have these crazy expectations placed on the children.
I bet it was way less stressful.
Now don't get me wrong, I completely appreciate that my parents have opened their house to a family of 5 for 5 weeks...and yes, it is hard on everyone, and yes people have to make sacrifices for family...I get all of that. I just really feel like a huge outsider even when in my family of origin, and I never thought that I would feel that way. Not in a million years.
Yes, I am more laid back than my siblings. Yes, I let things slide. Yes, I am lazy at times. But I like the way that I am raising my kids, and I like that they don't have many expectations....does this mean that I am setting them up for failure?
Who knew moving back home would zap my self confidence?


Kelly said...

That is a tough situation. We had to live with my parents when we moved back from Australia, and even though Judith was just 3 months old, it was tough. And every time we have gone to visit, it has been really stressful too. My dad can't handle any noise or fighting, and will yell at the kids to stop, and my mom is a control freak, who seems to honestly believe that she is perfect and no one has the right to question her, ever. My parents still see me as a child, so they feel as though they have the ultimate authority over the kids, it's really frustrating. If I try and say anything about what they do (like giving them nothing but sugar all day, then trying to put them to bed without brushing their teeth) they are so offended. They act like I am incompetent, even though my kids are obviously happy and healthy and I take care of them just fine all on my own out west...

Kelly said...

Oh yes, and I also meant to say that I totally agree about letting kids be kids, not trying to make them fit into a mold and behave a certain, unnatural way simply for my convenience. It doesn't really make sense. I feel like I restrict them too much as it is in the name of "safety".

Melanie said...

I have similar issues with my sister. She is with my kids for a total of about 2 hours per week (always with both parents present). I'm stunned at how tired and worn out she gets with them. I assume that she'd be fresh and ready to handle kid noises for just a couple hours. I've come to realize that she is just not used to it and genuinely can't handle that level of noise for more than 15 minutes. Not that that changes my behaviour. I will not make my kids be quiet so that a grown woman can sleep on the couch during a family dinner ;)

Kelsey Fiona said...

It's soooo hard moving back in with parents, I've done it enough times to know now, that I will never again.
I'd say just remember how your siblings act now and when they have their own kids down the road reminds them of how they treated yours! They just don't know what it's like, and how hard it is to try and control someone when we all have this thing called free will.

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