As we sit here trying to write while our 2 year old screeches ‘Mine, mine, mine!!!’ over and over again, it’s harder than you can imagine writing about kids and parenting without having thoughts of abuse or cardboard boxes with small air-holes. Lately, the job of daily writing has been doubly hard due to the added nuisance of having 2 young boys wedged firmly up our asses at all times. And, since they were both recently ill, their sleep schedules are all messed up so we can’t even be assuaged by the promise of peace at a certain time of the day. In a corporation, what are the principles to do when your products are interfering with the healthy functioning of the entity?
Lee says: Speaking only from my experience, I find that when the kids take over the majority of my thoughts, my stress level and hackles go up. I am Mama Bear and whether the culprits are illness, school or other people, I am ready for a fight. I tend to have difficulty sleeping anyway and this stressor just exacerbates an already chronic condition.
Recently, we have had to deal with 16 year old angst and arguing and the boys tag teamed us with a stomach virus. Elbow deep in puke and poop, dealing with an adolescent’s case of the ‘fuck its’ was too much for both of us after 5 days and we needed to regroup. I find that Paul tends to get grouchy and I tend to get contemplative with bouts of momentary explosions. So as parents, what is the best way of dealing with this? What do you do when being parents becomes all-encompassing and that marriage or relationship takes a back seat to the kids?
This is where I flex my education. In Marriage and Family therapy, there is a theory that talks about the roles we play and specifically the hierarchy of said roles. In this theory, the relationship of husband and wife is the primary relationship, or whatever combo you have whether boyfriend/girlfriend, hubby/hubby, or wife/wife, co-parents is under that and then the children fall under that. It is ordered by importance and the line, or boundaries, between each role tier is vital.
In simple English, the adult relationship is first. You can’t be good parents if you let the primary relationship fail. You can’t be good parents if you let your kids take over your lives, discount or dismiss the importance of or violate the boundaries and sanctity of the relationship. Even in single parent families, parents forget that they are men and women first then parents. Disregarding the primary entity of the corporation (ie. Marriage, relationship, Man, Woman), is the first step to floundering as parents.
Parents teach their children healthy ways-of-being not from parenting but from modeling. If a parent maintains healthy relationships, so will their kids. If a parent is a happy adult, their children will probably follow suit. If a parent commands respect and maintains healthy boundaries while pursuing their own happiness in relationship, the children will do the same. Parents who choose to invest all their energy in their children, to the detriment of their own lives, will ultimately breed kids who have a skewed concept of healthy boundaries, the role of parents, and relationships in general. These children tend to have entitlement issues.
So you’re wondering how we handled the 16 year old and our boys, the walking hemorrhoids. Simple, we had a date on Thursday, decided our daughter better step up to the plate and had her start taking care of the little ones. We figure if something goes terribly wrong, problem solved.
Paul says: In next week’s post, we discuss proper product shipping methods. How many holes do you poke in the box? Is bubble wrap better than packing peanuts? Will FedEx give them snacks?