I love my kids. I love his kids. But holy crap they are chaotic! Just the sheer volume – 7 kids all together, plus 4 (loud) parakeets, a few cats, and a needy dog – whew. Yes, it is as crazy as it sounds.
And in general, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I could do without the he said/she said, name calling, and indoors tag games, but I’m trying to mellow myself out and just let them be kids.
The hardest part, I think, is that the way that I raised my boys is different than the way that Dave raised his kids. We value different things as parents, and that’s ok. Rules are different in our home than they are in the other parent’s homes, and even though I disagree with that, it’s ok, too.
My goal as a parent is not to raise “good kids”, but to raise healthy, well adjusted, functioning, kind, loving adults. I want them to do for themselves, think for themselves. I won’t be there to hold their hands when they have to do dishes in their future homes. I don’t intend to vacuum their living rooms when the floors get messy. They will have to cook their own meals, clean their own clothes, shop for their own groceries.
These are things that I can teach when they are young so they don’t turn into a 30 year old still living at home because he can’t balance a checkbook. Grocery stores are teaching moments – how to compare prices, how to use coupons, what to look for in vegetables. But I digress.
These little joys can be trying at times, but they are learning. I just need to learn to lower my expectations until they do learn. They are kids, after all.