Oh the messes- changing expectations?

The schoolyear always starts off with a bang for me. I have a training week that fills every second and then a short retreat follows.  The week and the retreat are not stressful really, it's just that they demand my presence. My mind, my energy, my awareness is very work centered.  It is always a tad shocking to my system to start the school year like that.

From a work perspective, I actually like it.  I get to know a handful of student really well, I feel like things are started even though many of my programs have not.  All in all it is a good summer/fall switch.  However, because it is such a sudden focus from home to work I am a bit disoriented as a parent.  Which is why last week when I had two days being at home with the girls (without Sean) they didn't go very well.    There was a fair amount of frustration, tears, some yelling, lots of apologies, a ton of reminding my children I loved them and that I wasn't perfect etc.

We did happen to go to the library during one of those two days.  Since Miriam is at the stage where she just tears books off of the shelf (and I hate it) I have taken to just grabbing books from the "recommended reads" shelf.  I happened to grab, If Buddha Were a Parent.   I am not in love with it.  There are so so may reasons I don't dig it.  In general though I don't like it because it is a hybrid of attachment parenting and Westernized Buddhism (don't get me started on this).  Neither of which I buy.  But in my perusing this book is had a key helpful thing for me that one of the fundamental problems I was having with my time with the kids is expectation. That for me (and for many of us) my frustration is a result of having some kind of expectations not met.

I expect the house to be clean-ish.
     They trash it in minutes and then I am pissed.

I expect them to not make noises that hurt my ears.
   I have sensitive ears, kids are loud. I am pissed.

I expect them- to treat me how people at work treat me-  which means in general with respect and if there is tension it will be passive aggressive :)

I didn't read that much so I don't know if it covers this, but seriously some expectations are fair. I would like to go on a walk, to not go crazy, to eat, to have naps, to not be screamed at, yelled, at treated rudely or disrespectfully...you know some basics!

So this week I have again had 2 days with them. I set some simple goals for myself- have them only do one project at a time, go on a morning walk, play grocery store etc.  In general things have gone much much smoother.  Seriously the worst of it was when I watched TV while folding laundry and they trashed the place!  (seriously with the messes!)

So that is what is going on with me; that's what I am thinking about and wrestling with.  But all in all, I am way over the part of the Miriam's age that just trashes things.  I love her stage right now in general- but she is also a total zombie when it comes to drawers, cabinets, piles of folded clothes, - pretty much anything that is organized must be released from it's prison of organization into the  freedom of chaos.

Such is life.


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