After my eyes dried and my mind cleared, thanks to a brief phone call from The Meg to sort things out in my head, I knew it was time to reclaim my home! These kids had no clue what they just did to their sweet freedom! I was done being the good one! I was done parenting alone (that was a meeting for the husband) and being the good-guy! Screw that! I don’t care if they ever liked me again! I’m not your friend sister! It’s time for a family meeting!
Both kids came to sit down with me. We have been here before. We all got in our “family meeting places” but this time would be different. This time I was coming from a different place then anytime before. I wasn’t going to parent them with my feelings anymore. Those days are over for them. They had triggered me to the point of no return. I was beyond warnings.
The Talk Of All Talks
First, I had to say that I am sorry that I cussed and lost my temper. I told them that wasn’t okay. Being frustrated and angry is a human thing and it happens to everyone but I handled it wrong. I shouldn’t have cussed like that at them. “You both are too special to me”, I told them, “and I let my emotions over take my mouth and I’m so sorry for that.”
Then I pulled out the new chore charts and we went over their chore list. I explained very clearly what would happen if the chores weren’t done daily. Everyday I would take away something until you’re sleeping on your floor…your choice! We are a family and that makes us a team, I told them! We need to work to together and do our part to keep this house running smoothly. I need some help and I am teaching you how to handle some life things on your own at the time. The only reason I give you an allowance is out of the kindness of my heart and wanting to teach you about saving and spending money that you earn, I don’t owe you money. You have to do chores because we all live together. That’s life!
Also, I explained the duties of a parent and that I, as their parent have gone above and beyond that because I love them so much and because we are blessed in this way that we are able too! However, all the “things”, the trips, the outings, and freebies, these are extra are by no means my duty to them as their parent. All I have to do is give them ANY roof over their heads, school, and take them to a doctor once a year.
My daughter said, “What about food?” I replied, “You go to school, I pay taxed, you eat! I chose to give to more than that because I have the means too but I don’t have. We don’t have keep you in safe neighborhoods and nice homes with good schools but we do. And your dad and I don’t have to buy the good, healthy food that we do. We don’t even have to take you to the best doctors but we do. All I have to do is the minimum.” They looked at me totally shocked!
You have It Really Good So Be Thankful
“Look guys, I told them, “Lots of parents try really hard and can’t do what we are able to do for you both and some parents just don’t care to even try. All I want is for you both to understand that there are kids right now who would love to be in your place, with too much food, too many toys, with a mom and dad to tell them when to go to bed.” “You both are totally spoiled and that’s my fault! So we need to back up and get a reality check big time!”
I could see in my sons eyes that he was mad. I just called him spoiled! I’m sure is was mad and I know just why! He is a sweet and caring kid but he is lazy. He hates that word. I hated as a kid and I hate it even more now. I looked over at him and asked, what chores he had done while I was in the shower earlier? He said, “I cleaned the the living-room. “As we sat in the living-room, I could see a large blanket thrown across the couch and half on the floor. There were two cups on the coffee table and a handful of candy wrappers on the end-table. This living-room was not clean to me.
I asked him why he didn’t put the blanket away? He answered back super annoyed, “It’s big and I don’t know how to fold something big.” In my head…I thought….”Oh good night! What have I created here! I said back to him, “This is my fault and exactly what I’m talking about. I do everything for you. So much in fact that you’re 13 and can’t fold a simple blanket or you don’t care. Either way, I’m not doing this anymore and you can be mad at me if you want!”
From this point on you will know how to fold because all your laundry is ALL yours. I’ll help you but if you don’t have clean, folded clothes, that’s on you. Your bed is a mess and sheets need washed…you take care of it! I am always here to help and answer questions but I’m not doing your work anymore. You’re gonna learn today!
Ending With Love and reassurance
I closed the meeting with Gigi and Tristan, told them that I loved them so much and explained to them that I am only doing what’s best for them to grow up to be good people that can make good, sound decision on their own one day.
I can’t go to their house make their meals for them, pay their bills and clean their homes…they have to learn responsibilities and how to problem solve. They need to know that hard work won’t kill them, it good for you! Also we need to understand how very blessed we are. We have so very much to be thankful for. Even on our worse day we have something to be thankful for and I need to be a better example of how to do that. Life really has been good to us so we need to give back and take good care of the life we have.
Knowing Your Place
As the kids went off to their rooms, I asked for Tristan to stay behind. I wanted to make sure that we were on the same page. The last two years have been really hard for him and for me. Together we have been each others back bone. Tristan has had to grow up fast and hasn’t had a dad around, which made him the man of house. Tristan did a great job of that too! He took great care of me when I was sick with so many crazy things last year in the Minnesota cold! Tristan helped out with house that was far to big for our family! He was always awesome with his sister and did so much more for her than a brother should of had to! I couldn’t of done it without him!
Now his Dad is home…sometimes. This makes it confusing when Tristan needs to step up or back off with “the man of the house” duties. That’s not right to him at all! This is 100% Jason issue now that we have moved and that conversation is coming! But for Tristan is needs to be a young man that know his place. Its so unclear right now for him. I can’t imagine how frustrating that is!
When I asked Tristan back, we had a good talk. I made sure he knew just how proud I am of him for the last year and the person he is becoming. Without a doubt he can and will step up when needed. I am so blessed! However, school and his personal/family responsibilities are what needs to be his focus.. He doesn’t need to care for his sisters needs, that my job. He doesn’t need to do his dads job either. We talked a lot about that. It was sad and I related totally to every word he said. This only made made it more clear to me how important it was to get Jason and I on the same page!
First Day To Get Right & The Future
That next day I woke up the kids and we started our first day with our new normal routines in mind. It went well for the first day. I have to say doing something like this over Christmas break was a crappy idea on my part but it was good too. They know I’m not playing around and all those great Christmas gifts they can say bye-bye too! But the bad part is we are home all day and not in any type of a schedule right now.
Since this conversation some other development have happened which will be touched on in chapter 4. One being where’s the kids dad and my husband? Is he going to be a part of any of this? I can’t keep living like this if not… and I think it’s time to get some real counseling. I’ve done this before in my teen years and some thing when trying to heal some stuff that was happening in my husbands family but it’s been along time and it’s over due for me.
This new home, our new normal, the new me thing… is all healthy. I have been working out, eating good and am doing really great in this area but my mind needs attention too. I want a healthy mind, body and soul, with a healthy family too. This is my hope this year.