I used to be a teacher. I actually had parents of my students tell me that I was set when I had kids.
I knew how to discipline yet be loving. I tackled not only teaching, but fostering 20 students' well being and personal growth.
I could lesson plan and teach. I could even make the lessons fun and interactive! I could help kids settle arguments. I could give a warning look from across a room and ignite an immediate response (with the occasional eye-roll).
Here's the catch, though. I could do all of that with 10 year olds. I taught 4th grade, not preschool (but, holy hell - hats off to you preschool teachers. I mean, seriously. You guys should eat cake every single day because the fact that you made it through the day deserves some sort of celebration).
Now, I'm not saying I was the perfect teacher, far from it. But, I definitely managed to maintain a level or organization and my students seemed happy and successful. Why can't I do this successfully with my own two children?! I'm completely lost. Drowning, if you will. Max has really thrown me for a loop. I thought he was handling the whole sibling transition beautifully until lately. He still loves Bennett, but the kid will cross the room with the sole purpose of whacking me in the face. He just seems angry sometimes.
And, no wonder. When I took a long hard look at myself as a parent and our daily routines I began to wonder how I let everything get this out of control. The house is in shambles 90% of the time. The poor kids almost never gets my undivided attention. Why did I give up teaching to stay home? Certainly it wasn't to do a piss poor job with my own children.
Now, yes, I know that I'm in a very challenging time in my parenting career (Dear God, please tell me it gets easier) what with the no sleep and the two clingy children under the age of three. I feel like my entire day is diapers and making meals and snacks and cleaning up messes and wiping faces and "don't touch/eat/throw/kick thats". It's really exhausting. I have every excuse in the book to have a messy, chaotic house and little time to spend with my kids just having fun. There's SURVIVING to be done. Fun? What's that? If we LIVED I'm happy.
But, that's not working for us anymore. Max especially simply needs more from me and our home environment. So, I went back to my teaching roots and started with the basics. I'll do a series of posts on some of the changes I've made and let you know how they're going. Maybe some of you can benefit from my triumphs or mistakes through this process.
So... this week I started making some changes around here. I'll fill you in on those changes as this series continues. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, do any of you have any words of wisdom to share? Or perhaps you're right there with me and can commiserate? Either way, I'd love to hear from you!