Dyer Family Happenings

A.K.A. Mommy needs a place to write!

Faith, love and lowering expectations — July 11, 2015

Faith, love and lowering expectations

Every morning the boys and I say a prayer out loud together:

“Heavenly Father thank you for this beautiful day for learning and for love. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

That’s it. My hope is that the boys will realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them. That there are other hands that make things happen and that we need to not just BE thankful for those hands but we need to TELL those hands we are thankful for them. In toddler world I have no clue if it resonates but we are gonna keep saying it every day.

There have been giant leaps in our household- Leo swimming without a vest or floaties, Max using 2 word sentences more and more, Leo can (in his own almost legible way) write his name without hand over hand help or a drawn guide, Max is growing (I’m pretty sure his feet grew two sizes over night), Leo is mastering sight words (reading here we come!!!!) and Max is conquering his fear of swimming pools.

At the same time we have had some ugly stuff- Leo overhead throwing a chair at school, Max having a full blown screaming/ stiff body meltdown because he needed to finish a task before he got his blanket back, not eating, throwing, hitting, screaming, pinching, ugly words.

My guess is that all parents have these issues with their toddlers. Always pushing boundaries, my hope is that they don’t have them to the extreme we have them here, I don’t wish that on anyone.

I joke(but I’m really serious) that I could do physical labor all day everyday and I’d be tired but Id pull through it, but the emotional drain of dealing with behaviors from my kids wipes me out. It drains every bit of strength, every bit of positivity, every bit of patience I have. And I really need to work on that.

The good days make me excited for the possibility of new growth and learning and the horrific moments knock me down. I feel like I start to expect too much from my kids and then I am let down when they aren’t up to my expectations and that is so wrong on my part. Yes, I need to have expectations of them, and yes they should be just outside of their reach and comfort zone, but I should not be placing 7 year old expectations on my 4 year old and I feel like that’s what I do when he fails. And when he fails he is crushed and his world ends. You can see it across his face. He is just like his mommy with wearing his emotions out in the open so everyone knows.

In these moments I am learning to back off, to lower my expectations to attainable things and to love my children. More importantly to make sure I TELL them I love them. They need to hear those words out of my mouth more. They need to know that I love them, even after awful behavior, they need to hear that I love them even when they act out in ways that embarrass me and break me down, and hurt my heart. They need to know that I will love them as I teach them these things are not okay, that they will happen but that we can find a better way to tackle the situation. That it doesn’t matter what happens my love for them is for always.

And I don’t TELL them this enough. Because I’m embarrassed. Because my heart hurts. Because I am emotionally drained. Because …. because nothing.

1Peter 4:8 “Above all, love each other deeply,1 because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

“Heavenly Father thank you for this beautiful day for learning and for love. In Jesus’ name, Amen”

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Offers of help, Mommy worry and phrases that invoke anger — February 12, 2015

Offers of help, Mommy worry and phrases that invoke anger

(I want to start this whole blog post by stating this has nothing to do with one person or situation, it is my feelings in general and I am thankful for the hands that surround our family)

“You seem so stressed out”
“You need to let your control issues go and let people help”
“You and Joel need more one on one time”
“You need to have a weekend away without your children”

These phrases make me mad. (Logically they shouldn’t, they are coming from a place of love) But they do. We have people, both family and friends that are like family that help us with the boys when we need. But I try not to ask often. I know these people love not only our children but us and for that I am so grateful. But it’s hard. And these people that toss these phrases out don’t understand that they just scramble my brain up.

Leo is now talking, and that makes it easier for me to leave him at school for 3 hours. Now he can tell someone if something is wrong, if he needs something to drink, go to the bathroom, whatever. A year ago he couldn’t, and I had terrible anxiety taking him to school, or leaving him at church in the kids area, or with our family and friends that volunteered to help. He would get so frustrated by his lack of words and the tantrums and screaming would follow. And the judgment from people about his tantrums broke my heart. I know what it feels like to not be able to comfort my beautiful child and I didn’t want anyone else to feel that way. And now there are similar things happening with Max. So my uncomfortable dealings have shifted to him.

My OCD is very helpful in planning and scheduling, but also a P.I.T.A. when I see that it’s already in both of my children. I never set a schedule for the boys, we fell into a daily one. Lately it’s been set by having to be at school at a certain time everyday Monday-Friday. Top that off with there always having to be a fork by Leos plate at meal times- even if he doesn’t use it (trust me it makes no sense that he eats macaroni and cheese with his fingers but refuses to touch eggs without a fork), that he has to completely finish a book before we can change tasks. That Max has to dump everything out of a something and put every piece back (when asked to) at a snails pace. That Max wants to dress himself and there are days I have to wrestle him to put his clothes on because it would be noon before we made it out of the door otherwise.
That he can’t read a book without at least holding his “glasses”.

The thought of leave the boys overnight with someone, or even having someone come here gives me anxiety. I’m not comfortable with it. And I am okay with that. I’ll get there.

There is an issue with discipline. With Leo its cohesiveness. It has to be the same from place to place and person to person, and when there is someone that isn’t around to see how we do things I worry that it won’t go right. And with Max he has decided to be 2. In all of its all boy, full body tantrum throwing, object throwing glory. It is ugly, and figuring out how to get through to him is a definite challenge.

I am sure as the boys get older I will get better with my feelings with these things. But something I need people to remember before they make statements about what we should be doing, or how stressed I look, is that I am still very sensitive to EVERYTHING involving my children. Their triumphs, set backs, learning, hard learning, discipline, all of it. I don’t know if it’s just being a Mom or if it has to do with having children that need extra time put in to them, I just know it’s me. I love having things offered, but if I don’t accept, it’s not because of control, or being stubborn, it’s because this is my job.

I get time off for good behavior. I get to go to Target and wander, I get to go for jogs and walks, I get to head out with friends. Joel gets his time too when he needs it. Do I get stressed, yes. Is it real stress? Sometimes. Is it me in a hamster wheel. More often than not. And I have an amazing husband to help reel me in when I get that way.

So for the time being we are us. And we ask for help when we need, and we have those that have been walking step by step with us through all of this and understand where I am at. And I can’t thank you all enough. And to everyone that offers hands, there will come a day when I accept and I can’t thank you enough for always wanting to help.