Family dynamics: mmmm. Volatile, crazy, unpredictable. I have a family of 6: 4 kids, 2 parents. We’re outnumbered 2 to 1. It makes for lively discussions, passionate pleadings and a lot of arguments. When you have 6 people, all with VERY strong opinions(I wonder where THAT came from??), you get accustomed to arguing, disagreements and all out fights at times. Do I like it? No. Do I think we could do better? yes. But I can’t paint you a rosy picture of our family life and pretend we have it all together because we don’t.
Currently we have 3 teenagers. We are a mere 18 months away from having all 4 teens! (Oh goodness, can that really be true?). I remember when we had our last~ a girl. The 3rd girl in a row after our first being a boy. My husband told me, “I’m moving out when all 3 of them are teenagers”. We joked about it then, but now that reality has sunk in he’s finding just how tempting that notion is. He grew up in a family of 3 boys~ there were no female hormones to speak of. He had NO IDEA what he was getting into. Honestly, the stuff that upsets him with hormonal outbursts: crying, slamming doors, screaming…..well, it just doesn’t phase me. I grew up with 2 sisters. All of us and my mom competing for one bathroom. Oh ya, fun times. So, here we are. He is 5 hours away with the oldest two(the most stubborn if you ask me) and I am here with the younger two. Both of us are dealing with teenage girl hormones: crying about seemingly insignificant things, screaming about the unfairness of life, weeping about friends, flirting with boys….Oh , these are the days we were hoping would pass by without too much anxiety and what we’re finding is that the grey hairs are popping out in abundance.
It’s hard and our situation has made it harder. But through it all , we’ve had to maintain that one important relationship: our marriage. We cry, we scream , we plead….but not in the hormonal way. We cry out to God to help us make right decisions, to guide us as we train up and nurture our children. It is a humbling experience and we’re no experts. We’ve had a lot of failures and there will be more~ we’re so sure of that. Clinging to each other, to God, to faith , hope and love~ we have to have each others’ backs. Not that our kids turn us against each other on purpose, but they do seek out a sympathetic ear and often one of us is ready to cave. Vulnerability is our weak spot.
Tonight, we had an episode~ they’re frequent these weeks. And I had to back track and get tough with a kid over the miles, over the phone, via text…not a great way to parent but it’s all I have. And the hammer came down~ Dad and I are united. Some things that our kids want are not what they need. Some things they think they should be allowed to do might be okay under “normal” circumstances but they’re not working now. So, as hard as it was and is to do, I had to say “no” and reap the backlash of ”it’s not fair” and “but, why..”
At the end of this day and the beginning of a new week my priority is this to my husband: I know it’s tough for you but I’ve got your back and I love you.
31 Days of Loving your Family: Find the other 15 post links here.