There are some days that I would rather just let everyone do what they want to without getting after them to complete their schoolwork, chores, etc and to clean up after themselves. It seems like it would be a lot easier. But would it really be easier? Cleaning up after eight and soon to be nine kids would take me all day. I wouldn't be able to move in this house.
So I continue to be the parent and to count it all joy when I fall into various trials of children playing a game when they should be doing schoolwork and baby crying at the times when I'm the most busy. When my child says, "I'm tired." when I ask him to do his chores and I'm sick on the couch and honestly can't get up to do it. What do I do? I'm afraid that I don't always respond appropriately. In fact in this instance, yesterday I didn't, but I didn't let it get completely out of hand either. I chose to send him to bed early (this was my rational line of thinking), and told him that if I have any more trouble with this, it will be even earlier. Maybe he was honestly tired, because this a.m. he came down and said it was good for him to go to bed earlier because he felt like he was almost ready to get up when the alarm went off.
Legit or not, he still needs to realize that there are days when we don't feel like doing our chores, his was simply to empty the dryer and bring the next load up from the basement and start a new load of wash - 5 minutes max. Some days we just feel tired, but the important thing is to keep moving. Some days we just shouldn't do stuff cuz' we're sick and there are eight other people in the house and maybe they can cover for us this once.
What I have to remember throughout these teen years is that I am the parent, working on transitioning to being their friend. But for now, I must be the parent. Laughter is o.k when I'm the parent. Having fun building stuff with them is o.k. when I'm the parent. Talking about stuff and how terrible it is to be short is o.k. when I'm the parent. But I'm sorry, you can't just blow me off when I ask you to do your chores, you can't say, "But I'm too tired." or "I'd really rather play a game than do my schoolwork." Guess I'm not just the parent but also the teacher as well.
Also as the parent, I need to remember that they are children, still young in the learning process. I will fail them if I don't choose to teach them, whether or not they desire learning is up to them. Teaching them is my job, so I commit to teaching them how to do their chores properly and respect one another's property, and treat one another in a God-honoring way. We are memorizing Romans 12:9-18 and I hope it's sinking in.
I trust and pray that as I walk this journey that I will draw closer and closer in line with what God desires me to be, and that the times when I do start to miss the mark, I will allow Him to draw me back in line with His will and apologize to the one I wronged.
Have a wonderful Son-filled day,