Dealing with the mafia
Summer is absolutely my favorite time of the year. I am in love with all that it means-heatwaves, water, beautiful New Mexico sunsets, flowers, lemonade. Summer also means the kids are out of school and I have a bunch of them. They come home from college. They pour out of the elementary, Jr. high and high school doors, some with tears, some with plans, some with relief.
Somehow, they have come to believe that summer also requires them to revive this mini organized crime faction. It is much like the mafia would be, if it existed. They don’t have hit men, they have operational distraction experts. This guy’s job is to create such drama that the parental figures are distracted long enough to allow the others to complete their dastardly deeds. They don’t have a drug cartel, they have a sugar cartel. They don’t have a God father, they have a big sister. They don’t have bookies, and attorneys to launder their money, they have fabrications professionals and they are good at their jobs.
Some of you already know, but for those of you who don’t , I have a total of 6 kids living at home, 2 more who are part-timers, one in the army, and one who has made me a grandmother. My husband also has 5 more kids and grand kids to boot, so we are blessed with a lot of children.. A lot of kids who have mastered certain skills that create some hairy situations for the zoo keepers, I mean care takers here.
Lets be honest here. this takes some planning on my part. Of course I am a stay at home mom. I am not getting out of here with out a lot of strategy. At first I wasn’t very good at it and this crime syndicate easily over took me and there were times you could find me un-bathed, watching Little House marathons, eating cereal out of the box and murmuring the word “why” over and over. But after some experience I have created a tactical response protocol that works well. Here is what I have learned.
1) They don’t call me the chore Nazi for nothing. I have a large chart to ruin all their days with. I start them out on it each day, just to set the tone. They learn Skills, gain self esteem and contribute to where they live. I don’t pay for people to clean up after themselves. I do however, have lots of pay chores, if you want them.
2) I created a Motto: Either we are having a good time- or I am having a good time. I can live with either you choose.
3) I run my kitchen.
4)( this is my husbands) If you talk Sh#@, then you can shovel Sh#@. We have goats, horses, cows, chickens and ducks. there is plenty of manure.
5) We pray, with our heads bowed and our eyes closed-Every day.
6) Privileges are earned. With Privileges there are responsibilities.
7) You work for what you want. If my 10 year old can save up for a 200.00 video game- it sets the bar kinda high, don’t ya think?
8) We laugh. ALLOT!
9) If You mess it up, you clean it up.
10) Be respectful, responsible and fun to be around.
11) Read every day.
12) Say yes Ma’am, no Ma’am, yes Sir, no Sir, please, thank you, your welcome and I’m sorry.
13) You are not allowed to drive me crazy.
14) Quiet time means just that. 8 PM it’s time for you to go to your bed, wind down and read. That’s my time with my husband. Selfish? Maybe. But If I don’t nurture my marriage, my family will fall apart anyway.
15) Listen. I’m not repeating myself.
16) Play HARD!
17) Be nice.
18) Take good care of yourself.
19) We go to church.
20) We give. We Share. We help.
Here are my top personal parenting rules.
1) Take care of yourself . You cant take care of the whole world if you are running on empty. Get enough sleep. Eat right.
2) Take care of your marriage.
3) **** Take extra care of your relationship with God.
4) Listen. Carefully
5) Take the Midol.
6) Don’t make decisions when you are mad.
7) Don’t judge them more harshly than you want others to judge you. Always Forgive.
8) Pray for them.
9) Be available. Teach them what you know. Learn with them. Play with them.
10) Respect your husbands wishes- they are his kids too.
11) Apologize when you are wrong.
12) Be honest and straight with your kids.
13) It’s OK for them to see you cry.
14) When its too much, take a break. Call someone.
15) Accept that they are different. Love them anyway.
16) Don’t be stupid. Get out there and find out who their friends are, who their friends parents are, who they know and what they are doing.
17) Stop them if you have to.
18) Don’t be lazy. You can’t parent from the chair.
19) Let them laugh at you. Don’t take life so seriously.
20)Always take the time to deal with your own stuff. They will survive if you have to have a break.
21) SOMETIMES- blow off the rules and eat icecream at midnight.
Disclaimer: I hope to be really good at this stuff someday…. I would imagine by the time I get done raising kids…. I will have practiced enough to be able to raise kids 🙂