I watch all of the TV programmes about larger families and I'm astounded at how well behaved they are, how much the children help out with the housework as well as the older ones mucking in and helping out with the younger ones. Yes yes I know, they probably only show the good bits and we don't get to see the bits they edited out where five out of nineteen children are having a tantrum and little Johnny hits the baby over the head with a rattle. Plus their houses are tidy, I have five children and my house is a wreck.
As mentioned earlier though we've caused this. Before anyone plays the old 'well you shouldn't have had five children then' card I just wanted to say, I wanted them and I love them all that does not mean that each day they drive me to insanity with their misbehaviour and blatant disregard for everything that I do for them and how spoilt they are.
My OH has taken to not saying No to anything, which leaves me to pick up the pieces when it comes to Mum actually saying No to something. The other day he let the 2 girls sleep in the same room, I can't be doing with the hassle of a late night, the girls making a noise and inevitably it ends with them arguing over something and actually Thing 3 doesn't want Thing 2 in her room any more, so I would have said No straight away. What happened? They did sleep in the same room and Mummy was the one that had to go in when it was late and tell them enough was enough.
Thing 2 was walking around with a can of Coke yesterday which I had said No to but she went to Dad and he said Yes, this then causes tension between us as parents and the Things are running the house without a care in the world.
Other things that happened over the weekend is their thinking that every time we go to the shops we have to eat out and they moan incessantly about it whilst we go around the shops. Thing 2 has also decided she wants a new dress for her birthday, a reasonable request, except on Saturday she decided to strop her way around the Superdry shop because I wouldn't buy her a dress from there. All with a price tag of £40-50 plus you can understand why she will not be getting a Superdry dress, when I was younger I was grateful for what I got. Now they seem to think it's ok to moan about what they don't have or don't get.
Anyway, the upshot of my whole blog post is this. The OH seems to have taken it that he needs to be a friend first and parent second. There is very little parenting when it comes to discipline and he prefers to take the say Yes always approach yet it comes back and bites us in the butt when it comes to me saying No and it's produced whingy, moany children with a lack of respect on the cost of things and not behaving or helping out in order to earn these things.
I have taken the parenting approach and think they should do a lot more around the house than they currently do, which is nothing. I am up for disciplining them when needed and to try and stop the late nights and whingy, moany attitude from being allowed what they want because standing your ground and saying No is not what you wanted to do at the time. The upshot of that is that they hate me, I am the bad guy and Daddy is the go to guy if they want a Yes answer. Or if the OH really doesn't want to say No he says 'Go ask your Mum'. However, the lack of discipline shows that I'm not doing a very good job of parenting at all so far.
I want to be their friend, I want to be there for when they need me and when they need to confide in me. I don't want to alienate them from me completely by being the bad guy all of the time but it's hard work when you are fighting against something that you've done yourself and it's your fault that they are the way they are.
It needs to change but I can't change it on my own. I need a wingman, someone who is willing to parent first and be a friend to them always but not if it jeopardises the parenting side of things to the extent that it has. We need to unite as a team and get back the five almost well behaved children we always longed for. I'm making them out to sound really bad, and sometimes it's not, however we need to regain control, we need to take the bad guy approach to get them to be good guys. They need to help out around the house more and be kind to each other in order to have a happy Mummy and Daddy who appreciate the time they spend with the kiddies when they do.
I'm hoping I have a wingman who agrees before I buy shares in Valerie Patisserie before the holidays are out!
Please comment with any tips, or if you are in the same boat. I would love to hear how you are tackling any problems.