I have to admit that as much as I love my kids, how easily I would die for them, how I would completely fall apart if anything were to ever happen to them, I do sometimes wonder if I will ever survive this Motherhood thing. I swear that nobody can make you so angry, confused, and frustrated, then turn around 10 seconds later and completely melt your heart like your own children!
Having three boys so close together (Monkey #1 turned four about six weeks after I had #3), and with VERY different personalities, can wear on you. I find myself thinking more often than I’d like to admit how wrong I was about the whole birth order thing too. I used to think it was all a bunch of hooey – until I had Monkey #2. The last one only confirmed it. And of course, all this means that conflict is just a way of life in our house. I have never understood how different people’s perspectives can be until now.
I can remember times when my brother and I would argue and fight, and my mom absolutely hated it! I used to wonder why that, of all things, would get her goat more than anything else. I know now. And most times it happens with my boys – and I hear myself repeating my mother’s words – I want to apologize to my mom for all we did! My poor husband has no concept, as he is an only child, and is at a complete loss. Even now, my siblings and I will be mad at each other one minute, then be willing to kick someone’s butt for upsetting one of the others.
We recently watched the ESPN 30-for-30 special on the Manning family, and something really stuck out to me. They made a point of how much their three boys fought and argued, picked on each other, and whined. Archie talked about how much he hated seeing them fight. Olivia said there were days she felt more like a referee (um, has someone been bugging my house?) than a mom. And I found myself thinking that if those kids grew up to become not only productive members of society, but hugely successful in their industry, then there’s hope for my kids!
Sibling rivalry is so disheartening to me because I want my boys to be best friends, not rivals. I want them to stand up for each other, to encourage one another, to be each others’ biggest fans! I know someday they will, but there are days that I tell my husband, “One of us is not going to make it until they’re out of the house. I’m not sure who, but one of us!” Then I will see the older two hamming it up just to make their baby brother laugh – one of those super deep baby belly laughs – and I think maybe there is hope after all!
I totally feel like a referee between the boys all day long, and it’s exhausting! I’m glad I am not the only one! 🙂
That’s how I feel about my two, especially this last week. They are 7 and 5. The hardest part is that I’m an only child and so is my husband. We have no idea what is normal sibling rivalry and what is over the top and needs to be shut down. It’s a learning curve for sure! The bickering and nagging each other constantly – yes, I feel like a referee in the house.
I had a friend who is a therapist tell me once that you should let them work it out unless someone’s seriously getting hurt. I have a hard time with that one. Especially when it’s in the middle of my living room, and their baby brother is watching and learning.
But then again, I make myself CRAZY on those days when I’m constantly telling them to stop. And then I end up yelling. So yeah, THAT’s obviously a great example, lol.
I’m the middle of three and was set on not having an odd number of kids just so we wouldn’t have a “middle” kid. We stopped at 2, and there is still plenty of refereeing on my part!
Oh yeah, I was a middle kid until halfway through my teens. I sometimes feel bad for my middle child. But totally not enough to have another, lol!