and I'm not talking about the state of my living room at the moment, my teenagers' closet, or the dark depths beneath my sons' beds. I'm talking about the relationships, the discipline, and knowing when to speak and when to be quiet.
Right now, parenting has been pretty messy around here. Not all the time. There are moments of peace and pleasant conversation, as well. But, I've got teenage girls, active elementary-aged boys, emotional preschoolers, and a newborn. Between wrestling boys, tantrums from toddlers, and teenage disagreements ... our home is more often loud than peaceful.
We've still been taking a break from schoolwork so I can recover from the delivery and focus on establishing nursing with our baby. We also have to find a new rhythm for household chores after a baby arrives. Getting laundry washed, folded, and put away between the newborn's waking moments can be difficult enough w/o adding in math lessons. But, this also means my kids are wandering around with not enough to do. The TV has been on too much, the teens have been on the computer too much, and there is too much fighting going on.
Not all of the arguing is between the kids, either. Some of it is between the Mom and the kids. There is a fine line between what a Mom can share on her blog and what would really embarrass or dishonor her children. So, that's probably all I should say on the subject, except that I still need to work on controlling my tongue. I accept that I am part of the problem.
Being a wise, loving, and godly mother is harder than it looked when I was younger. It's even harder the older your children get. For one thing, the rules keep changing. You have to learn how to relate to them over and over again. You have to learn where to let go, and where to hold on tight. You have to pray harder. You have to learn to bite your tongue.
I once thought the hardest part was having 4 kids under the age of 8. That was hard physically, but having 8 kids under the age of 16 is hard in a different way. It's hard to balance the needs of different aged children. It's hard to deal with the interpersonal issues they have. It's hard to stay emotionally uninvolved when their emotions are out of control. It's hard to answer their tough questions. It's emotionally and mentally difficult for many different reasons.
Lately I've had several things I wanted to blog about, only to realize that doing so wouldn't be respectful of my children. Instead, I can only confess that right now, life is a little messy around here. Emotions are running high, words fly around, and I get tired. I need prayer for wisdom, self-control, patience, and gentleness.
Not to mention that there are toy dishes on my living room floor, and I have several loads of clean laundry to fold again. Yes ... life is definitely messy.
Persevering in faith,