**Update** While typing this, Jacob asked to go lay in his bed- he has been sleeping for over an hour, I think I will take a deep breath a associate some of this with being tired from all the activity over the past few days.**
Raising three kids that are 4, 3 and 2 (almost) is a difficult job. I think raising one child any age is difficult, but why does it always feel like I am paddling upstream in the rock mountain rivers? Where are those moments that I look in the mirror and say to myself, 'It's all worth it?"
It seems that we can never have a day when there isn't someone throwing a tantrum. For months, even years, Isabelle has been 2 hand fulls for me. As of late, she has calmed down, as far as being a drama mama. As I feel hopeful about her new calm state, it never fails that someone else steps into that roll of making life difficult. Just once I would love to report that we have calm waters and joyful hearts and attitudes. For the past few weeks, Andrew has been testing the limits with me, and just as I think he is done and we are moving into a good place, Jacob decides to try out the rocky waters. I'm not sure where it's coming from and believe me I have been on my knees and face today trying to figure it out. Jacob is usually the one who will obey and set a good example. He is usually the one to care about other people and be a great helper to me and others, but whoa today he has morphed into a different person.
I am wondering if it has something to do with the kids he has been hanging out with. He has made choices that I would never have thought he would in the past. He is speaking with a tone and word choice that hasn't been heard. We have sat down, talked, and prayed together about this behavior and today, I had to spank. I hate doing this. I know that he knows better and that we have addressed the issues before. I don't understand WHY he chooses to make the choices he does. I don't know why he doesn't speak up and tell his friends that we don't do this or that because he knows it's wrong. He knows there is a consequence for wrong choices, but that doesn't seem to change anything. I am so tired of having the same conversations with him time and time again.
Am I being too hard on him? Am I expecting too much from an almost 5 year old? I don't think so. I expect him to listen, obey, and treat others kindly and respectfully. That's really all I want. Should I forbid him from playing with the only boys in our neighborhood until he can prove himself? Til I can trust him to make the right choices? Do I continue to say the same things and get the same results and continue the same discipline pattern? These are not life and death choices he is making, but I believe they are character shaping choices and my roles as his mom is teach him the way he should go. I know Jacob won't be perfect, I know he will continue to make stupid choices. How do I balance this? I only have so much time to influence his choices, and my greatest prayer is that he will come to a situation that is wrong and know and choose the right choice to make. When we talk about his choices and behaviors, I try to get a reason, although I know he probably doesn't understand. I always get the same response... "I miss my daddy and want him to come home. " I know he does miss his dad, he idolizes him, but I think he says it only becuase he is in trouble.
I expect crazy choices to be made by Izzy and Andrew and maybe the problem is that I don't expect it from Jake so I come down harder on him than I do the others. I love them all so much, I work really hard day after day to instill positive character traits and when I can't see the results or see the opposite I feel completely defeated. For those of you have been down this road, or anyone else who has some wisdom, please help me. I don't want to alienate the kids, I don't want them to learn to hide their mistakes for fear of discipline, but I do want them to be wise.
I probably sound like a crazy over controlling mom. I take this role/job very seriously. And I take it personally when it seems that I am not being successful. Wouldn't it be bad if I didn't care? I think anyone in the corporate world feels badly when they get bad feedback from their boss. Well, the kids are my boss, and I feel like I am getting bad reviews.