Better Off Without You!

My three children are currently two, eleven, and almost thirteen. I don't know what was in the water this week but it seemed like everyone's moods were heightened and not in a good way.

By the end of the week things were starting to fall apart. My eldest was dissatisfied and upset about every bump in the road and when I corrected her for jumping in front of the camera when I was trying to get a video of her little brother, things went downhill fast.

She got up mad and stormed off. I called her back but she wouldn't come. Next, she then fought me over doing her chore and when she told me not to "yell at her" when I was using a stern voice, well, I started to yell!

I was ticked about her response to correction. I was frustrated by her lack of incentive on her chore, and now she was asking me "not to yell" when I wasn't yelling (even though I felt like it). 

I yelled a little and then brought up how frustrated I was with her response to "Don't jump in front of the camera to get attention" and she retorted very quickly with:

"You never pay attention to me! You only pay attention to him!" and she went to her room to cry. I immediately followed and tried, to my distraught child, to explain that I love her dearly, that I am paying attention but I want her to interact with me in her way not in a toddler way. 

I then went back to the kitchen, where I had been making my coffee when the conversation exploded, and made her a cup of coffee too. I took her to the front porch and sat and talked. I explained things. I acknowledged that I understood talking was hard for her (which is my primary way to connect) and that there hadn't been a lot of time for activities (her primary way to connect) but that I was trying. It was a sweet and good time.

The very next day my eleven-year-old decided to play the exact same card after she'd been reprimanded for being unkind with a "Since he was born..."

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I stopped her in her tracks. "Stop right there" I said. "I'm not going to listen to that and it's not true." This was very different than my eldest's struggle to know how to get positive attention. This was selfishly motivated where she thought playing her sister's "card" would get her somewhere.

First, I said her Dad to go talk to her because I was upset, and then I gave her a talking to myself once I was calm and she was too.

"We are NEVER better off without each other! Every single one of us God made a part of this family and we give to each other and care for one another because we love each other. We were made a family and NONE OF US would be better off without someone."

Emotion caught in my throat.
I thought about how my family is kind of patchworked together and I thought how incredibly true that statement is:

"We all belong because God made us a family. None of us are better off without every single one of us." That is true of my family and that is true of yours! There's ups and downs. Good days and bad. Yelling, whispers, tears, hugs, talks, and laughter. Our families are different and beautiful, difficult and the most incredible blessings. We were meant to be family.

Much love,


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