Today is my first day as a part-time stay at home mom. Joel is back at work today and we now have all 3 kids with us permanently. This weekend was good and rough all at the same time. I think it is easier to categorize minutes or hours as either good or bad as opposed to days. We are attempting to get to know each kid individually which can be challenging when there are 3 kids vying for attention. It is so much easier to do when there are 2 parents.
As for being a part-time stay at home mom, I both love it and am frustrated it by it at the same time. I love seeing my kids all day, when they wake up and go to bed and all in between! The hilarious things they do has no end and continues to make me smile. They are beginning to use the same wording that we have been using to them such as “I can make my own choices”. It is so nice to hear those things even when they don’t know that you are listening.
However, these kids also have a lot to work through and setting limits today has been tiring. 3 blow outs (storming to rooms) which is not very much for 1 whole day and they weren’t even all by the same child! We have also had countless tantruming in the form of pouting and yelling at me. I have just responded by being patient and responding like they don’t expect me to, which brings sassy joy to my life. For example, C was upset by where she had to sit at the lunch table, but the table was set and lunch was ready. I told C that she could change where she sat for dinner but I expected her to come and sit at the table for prayers. She refused and hid behind me, instead of yelling and moving her (which for a PTSD kid is a bad idea), I simply praised her the moment she moved closer to me for “asking for help with prayers” and telling her she could sit there for prayers and thanks for being so thoughtful of her siblings and scooting closer to the table. Instead of asking her to hold her hand out (which she would have refused) I put my hand on her head, and praised her when she didn’t move away, and prayed so everyone else could eat. Eventually (15 minutes later and MUCH drama later) she was sitting in her seat and smiling and eating food. Needless to say that she was surprised by my response. C has been the child to push the limits and yell the most today, trying to set her own limits and control me (and everyone that knew me laughed at the idea that ANYONE, let alone a 5 year old, could possibly control me). Eventually so got so upset with me being unable for her to control that she yelled at me and stormed off. I gave her about 5 minutes in her room and then knocked on the door and asked if I could rub her back. That was all I said to her for the first 2-3 minutes. Then we talked a bit and went back to doing what we were doing with the limit I had set previously. I did this with all 3 storm-offs today.
We also have a no playing house or school rule in our home due to arguments and the kids playing out their trauma with each other. They don’t like the rule at all, but they don’t have to. I hope we will be able to play house and school again. Today I was asked if they could play “babies”. I said they could play with the babies by themselves just not together. S asked if they could play babies separately but be “friends” I have to admit I laughed out loud at that one and told S that was a very smart suggestion, but that it was just trying to get around the rule, so no and then reminded her that she was busy playing her favorite video game anyway.
Also, we watched TV this morning and turned it off by 10:15. It was off until S asked appropriately to play her favorite video game at 2:45. I was pretty proud of that. That’s all for now.