I seem to manage constant chaos pretty well... but sometimes (okay, a bit more than I'd like to admit) I go into screaming banshee mode. I'm pretty sure that I look similar to this...
or maybe this...
In that moment, I go from calm mumma to angry mumma. I forget that the boys are just little. Easily distracted. It usually happens when I'm asking someone for the 4th or 5th time to clean up the cars or put their shoes on. Then I snap and start yelling and the jobs get done quick smart.
This is not the way I like to run my home.
I immediately feel defeated. I wonder to myself why I have to yell to get them to listen to me. It's almost always followed now by an apology for yelling and an explanation for why I did yell. As a parent you are constantly learning new things and realising mistakes you are making. This is what makes us better parents. I just hope that as I realise these things I haven't damaged the boys or I'll be a broke mumma with therapy when they are older.
A week ago I started a technology ban. The boys are no longer allowed to watch TV or play the iPad/3DS from Monday to Thursday. It was a big change for them. There was some whinging and a few tears when I would say no but they no longer ask and they have been playing together much nicer. Watching a movie the other day was a treat which was funny. They were so excited. Also I love hearing them outside playing together! Pitty about all the dirt that gets dragged through the house now but I'll take that over bickering kids. It's really made a big difference to their attitudes and helpfulness.
A few days ago I implemented some Happy House Rules. They live on the fridge. After I'd printed off a couple of copies we sat down and had a talk about the new rules and what they meant for everyone in the home. I explained that if they chose not to follow the rules, that was their choice. However if we want to have a happy house we ALL need to make some changes.
The rules are pretty basic things, but things we all occasionally need reminding to do.
I am pleased to say it's working. The first couple of days I'd pull them up by saying "I think you're forgetting one of our house rules" and they would go have a look and tell me which number and we'd chat about it. It seems to be getting through to them and it's good having it visual so it's a nice reminder. I also have to follow the rules.
So this morning was our first real breakthrough day. The boys all got up and Chase made all the kids breakfast, they all got dressed, the bigger 2 helping the little 2 while I showered. They helped make their school lunch and all got their shoes on. Then Chase stacked the dishwasher and Jaidan wiped the tables. Ashton was given the job of picking up any toys he could see on the floor. We left the house, on time, without me having to yell once (or think about yelling), and with half the amount of housework to do when I got home. Amazing!
I hope this continues because my stress levels today are zero and I'd like to keep them as low as possible.