23 January 2010

Feeling Discouraged.

Sorry, but yes, I get there sometimes. I've been reading your blog.

I'm glad for you that you have 16 children, all homeschooled, and all perfectly neat and tidy in the pictures (matching outfits, too. How did you afford that? And then, what threats did you have to use on your teen male to get him all dressed up like that?). I admit that I'm glad mostly because then I could at least point to someone else who has it all together and say, well... it isn't the "lots of kids" or the "homeschooling" that makes us dysfunctional and odd... it's just us. That's oddly comforting, because if the problem is us, all we have to do is pray reallllly hard while clicking our special red shoes and reading the correct Bible verse, and we will *change* and become different sorts of people. Nice ones, even.

I must admit to you at the present moment that I'm continually tweaking the schedule here at the Mrs. C house. I'm so tiiiired of trying to homeschool through the little ones screaming that I'm very, very tempted to just throw a book at some older children and log that down as "literature time." Then I can spend my morning with the little kids and Mr. Potato Head. It's pretty challenging to homeschool while dealing with the toddlers wanting to get out of the downstairs area. Trouble is, there is NOWHERE ELSE to put them that they won't cause a lot of trouble and cleanup... and be more of a distraction than just letting them howl downstairs in the middle of their roomful of toys because God forbid I left them for a bit and am visible through the doorway (!). Woodjie tends to throw toys and scream very loudly even under the best of circumstances, so I can't "just" have him in the same room while I'm homeschooling. Other parents can do a lot of "just" this or that things that I can't... such as "just" take a shower while this or that is going on, or "just" do the laundry WITH the little kids and don't use prime "alone time" for that activity.

You would just have to see the special needs Woodjie has and visualize the horrendous layout of our home to know what I mean (it's a nice enough house, but a HORRENDOUS layout considering our situation... but how were we to know that 12 years ago when we purchased the place!??)

There is an air intake vent here that must not be blocked, doors opening onto stairways that can't be cordoned off, electrical outlets that have been painted over so many times that one can't put safety covers over them (it MUST be blocked with heavy furniture because it's an older house and nothing is grounded). Then we have poles downstairs, which are useful for holding up the house and all, but sure put a crimp in the ol' decorating and arranging of furniture. Computer must go where the telephone jack is located. And we have to put the TRAMPOLINE somewhere (Yes! We are white trash! But the trampoline goes with the picnic bench we are storing! In the family room! Besides which, the basement is too full of metal leatherworking SKEWERS and needles, Christmas trees, boxed curriculum and bags of children's clothes stacked five feet high. I kid you not, and no, I'm not posting a pic.)

Woodburning stove? Some previous owner decided to plop that puppy right in the middle of the family room. It wasn't a big problem when Patrick and G were little and we bought the house, but now we have gates snaking about downstairs.... big metal monstrosities that look terrible but keep tiny kids from getting into the electronics. Someday these kids are going to escape the gate and then... then... the two really *good* hours of homeschooling I get done each day will be out the window.

Yes, I play with the little kids. Yes, they have toys. They just don't get constant attention and they dislike that part. I'm trying to do the picture schedule... first "playtime" (so Mom can homeschool/clean the kitchen), then "arts and crafts" (you sit there with a crayon at the kitchen table, or some playdoh), then more "playtime" so Mom can clean the mess, then "lunch" and for Woodjie, "bus time."

I'm beginning to think that I should "just" homeschool when Woodjie gets on the bus. He leaves at 1 p.m. and Patrick comes home around 3:15. That would be two hours and fifteen minutes. It's hard, though, if the homeschooled boys have had a break BEFORE school stuff gets serious, to pull them away from what they want to do. I like to have rewards for AFTER school. Then there's the "Mom needs to eat an actual meal SOMETIME during the day" factor, and honestly? I'm downright crabby by 1:00 and want to get away from people.

Then I go back and think I might just be crabby because I'm not eating properly. Sure, I don't have time for meals, but that doesn't stop me from grabbing and eating an entire bag of cookies, three candy bars and five cups of coffee here and there. So don't worry that I'm starving here in my 3x pants. I keep getting these stomachaches, too, but of course that can't be from poor eating habits. It must be stress.

I hate screaming in my house!! If only, if only, if ONLY I could teach Woodjie to SPEAK, there wouldn't be so much yelling because the little girl will follow his lead. We could do some things like... oh... I don't know... ask for stuff we want and have a discussion about "sure, I'll give it to you in five more minutes" or "no, because (reason)" or my fave: "YES! HERE IT IS! I'M GLAD YOU ASKED AND USED YOUR WORDS INSTEAD OF HOWLING AND POINTING and making me do a dance all over the room, grabbing things and going, 'This? No... um... This? No? How about this?' and handing you random objects you don't want. Good job, buddy!"

I'm all for the neurodiversity thing, but I'm so not for the kid being miserable, wanting stuff and not being able to tell me what it is, and my not being able to talk back to him in a way that he can understand. Good grief, that stinks. I'm so tired of it!

If I had some big chunk of money that was all mine and D couldn't stinkin' well veto my purchase, I would hire a special-needs consultant to help me design and build a house where we can all live in peace and harmony. I'm really having some trouble figuring out what goes where and when to do everything I need to do.

I know some things need to change. There are folks in my home on a regular basis (another story!) and whatnot, and they don't see a "problem." Is it just me? Am I too sensitive to the fact that my kids yell? I want a quiet and peaceful home with no clutter that is clean and organized. I am very, very, VERY blessed. I am just either very sensitive about the children crying and the faults of my organization system, or I am needing to change A LOT of things and not knowing where to start.

God's grace meets me where I am, but I think it's the latter.

12 comments:

  1. Okay I just had to laugh at the idea of throwing a book at the kids and calling it literature! Girl that is FUNNY!!!!!

    Wish I had a solution for you but I dont. You have your hands so full its amazing you get done what you do. So many times I wish I could just travel the country and help women clean and organize their homes. But I cant.

    I know its not easy. You have my heartfelt sympathy!

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  2. I don't cope well in a noisy environment either. Dearest always turns the t.v on. It makes me irritable, especially over kid noise. I'm doing better with older kids. And I'd design the house differently if I had it to do again. Lots of *away* areas. You are amazing. I really don't know how you do all you do with what goes on at your place. ♥♥hugs♥♥

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  3. I guess my idea of tranquilizers and leashes probably won't fly. I'm presently doing some serious work on the "clean and organized" home part...coming up with a system for 1 person is hard enough, so you have my sympathy.

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  4. Sounds like you need a little girlfriend time! Take my word for it, the families with the perfect family portraits are in the minority. However, they do make the rest of us look bad, don't they?

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  5. I don't like noise either, and contrary to most of the photos of my home, it does get dirty and cluttered, and NOISY.

    You need to accept what you can change, accept what you cannot... and just go with the flow. I am sure there is a clever saying about that, but I can't remember it!

    I am sure things will get better with Woodjie eventually, and kids do grow up and stop screaming! and stop needing guards around everything... be patient.

    {{{HUGS}}}

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  6. our little boy sounds a lot like yours in that he follows me around the house screaming bloody murder until i pick him up...then everything's hunky doory. he's gotten so creative that he's not safe in his bed anymore as he jumps up and down and likes to hit his mouth on the ledge, tearing the tissue that holds his lips to his gums.

    you're not alone in your struggles of juggling kids and getting things done. the rest of us just don't post pictures or videos with our imperfections...

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  7. ((hugs)) I understand and I know it's frustrating. I'll let you know when I find the solutions, I need them too. (What, I can dream, can't I?)

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  8. Mrs. D, I wish I had a gob of money to contract you out for a bit, too! I have a feeling you could organize this place for success if I had a um, budget for remodeling. :)

    Ganeida, I pictured the hum of WOODWORKING tools at your place and not the tv at all! Who knew?

    Allison, I *do* do the leash thing when I'm out for a long time at places where kids could run far (parks, etc.) I would really like to get to where the house is still reasonably clean without the gate system, though!!

    Karen, I started thinking that I could do things sooooo much better than the lady with the brats screaming in the checkout aisle next to me. Pride goeth before a fall... but I'm hoping God will get 'round to picking me up SOMETIME and brushing me off. Dare to dream.

    Chris, that is the magic of blogs. I picture your house always perfect, with new art on the walls every week. :)

    Mrs. K, I know how bloody that can be as my two older children busted their frenulums by running with sippy cups. Owww.

    Rose, I'm afraid the solution is usually just "wait until they grow," but just sometimes, our kids follow a different schedule and it's hard to know how to parent them properly with dignity AND safety AND being mindful that others have property AND Mom just needs to go potty with the door shut sometimes.

    Sigh.

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  9. (((Mrs. C))) I totally feel your pain. I am right there with you. OK, I don't have the layout problems. I just have space problems, but I really understand about the screaming.

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  10. I hate noise too, and don't know how to not hate it.

    Once upon a time I read a very helpful book called Confessions of an Organized Homemaker that changed my view of how to organize things in a sensible way. You might see if they have it at the library.

    http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Organized-Homemaker-Secrets-Uncluttering/dp/1558703616/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264381321&sr=8-1

    We have in our house some rooms with a ridiculous number of outlets. Especially in the rooms where the kids are unsupervised at times, I cover the outlets entirely with a blank outlet cover, which you can get for like 29 cents. Might that be a solution for you?

    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1vZ1xhf/R-100356837/h_d2/ProductDisplay?langId=-1&storeId=10051&catalogId=10053'

    Anyway. Other than that, I got nothin'.

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  11. I'm a total wimp. I start to lose it with only two relatively well-behaved girls.

    Lord, I ask for patience, peace and wisdom for Mrs. C. Help her through this and if there's anything she can do to help this situation, make that clear and give her the grace she needs to make it happen. Amen.

    Hang in there. I wish I had more to offer.

    ~Luke

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  12. Yes me too! I so identify with your post and I dont even homeschool or have special needs kids,,,just super energetic/strongwilled ones (and I love thme!) Who are these perfect mothers anyway?

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