I've a question for you all, particularly those of you with kids over the age of 6: How often do you lose your temper with your kids? I mean, how frequently do you totally lose your shit(!) -- especially over something that's probably completely inconsequential in the long run? Do you store up and simmer over all the little things until that one thing more makes you snap?
We've been having a difficult week or so with the older boys -- I chalk it up to too many people in too small a house, with Dh home, and the mid-summer crazies. They're antsy to get back to school and see all their friends and it's making them a little, uh... challenging. I'm finding it hard to cope, being used to Dh at work, the boys at school, and the house being much quieter during the day. It's making me a little challenging, too.
There is no oasis of calm at my house these days, unless 11:30pm (when everyone else is in bed asleep -- coincidence?) counts. I often joke about work being my "Happy Place" because it's quieter than my house -- honestly? That's no joke. That's the unvarnished truth. I need a certain amount of people-free quiet time to act like "people" myself. There has been a fair amount of "snapping" here lately, and I've been trying to get the kids out roaming the 'hood free-range -- this has been a summer full of "go play at the park and don't come back for an hour" and "here's $0.50 -- go buy some penny candy/Freezie/etc at the corner store."
The kids have learned a lot this summer about the fine art of negotiating: "Just $0.25 and we can get a little more candy and eat it at the park!" They've also become very confident in their street sense and more comfortable in their neighbourhood -- there are a few shops nearby they can go to, the park a stone's throw from the house and the library around the corner.
If there is an upside to the frustration of everyone being home this summer, it's in the expanded freedom enjoyed by the older boys. This is the summer of their independence.
Now excuse me while I go bellow at them politely ask Boy#1 and Boy#2 to put away their clothes.