Make the Home Sing

I’ll be very honest, it’s getting more and more difficult to make the home sing and keep a positive attitude. Lately, I sense the stress of the transition has deeply impacted Dietrich. Our battles begin first thing in the morning. “I wanna do what I wanna do!” He proclaims. He fights me on school, church, chores, food, and bedtime. We’re engaged in an ongoing power struggle, to the point some mornings I dread him waking up and coming to talk to me. My energy is drained by lunch, but rewarding his bad behavior with more time on the Wii seems counterproductive, so we both suffer: I listen to more complaining, he goes longer without the things he wants. On the other hand, when he is being sweet, Dietrich is truly the kindest, most loving kid I’ve ever known and we have so much fun together. Some days, he gets to his schoolwork without a single complaint. I can hear how much he’s learning as he answers the questions or repeats information back to me. He likes helping me. He adores his little sister, even though lately all the shared space seems to be frustrating him. I know I have struggled to give both of them the attention they need during this time and to give them more choices when possible. Choices seem limited when you are in another person’s house with only a fraction of your belongings.

Some days, I wonder if giving in and letting Dietrich “do what he wants to do” all day would be so bad. He would spend most of the time in front of a screen and he would want me to play with him some of that time. He would certainly complain less. Madilynn likes me to be next to her when she plays, but when I try to play with her, she lets me know I’m not doing it right. I want more joy-filled days, days with activity and smiles, joy and laughter. This transition seems to have taken some of the light out of my Sonshine. As the mom, I am supposed to teach my children. This isn’t limited to school lessons or even Bible lessons. This includes managing emotions. Possibly, in my own exhaustion and weariness with this transition, I’ve neglected that area in some ways. I’ll be working to make my home sing, even as we change houses, by tuning into those emotional needs to set the right pitch for perfect harmony in our family’s song.

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