Posted by Contributor, Lisa Robertson
I’ve been home sick all this week with a cold that has left me out of commission and quite frankly, totally loopy. I haven’t been able to work (being loopy and a writer don’t mix); I haven even been able to answer emails until today. I’ve sat and slept on the sofa in our family room since late Monday.
Within ear shot over these last couple of days have been my boys—ages 8, 5 and 3—playing in our playroom. I’ve listened to them negotiate toys and which video games to play and which movies to watch. I’ve heard them strike up alliances and my oldest step up to the plate to be the words of wisdom while I sit and suffer, feeling as though my sinuses may break through the front of my face at any moment.
It true what they say about moms not getting a day off. Over the course of the last 48 hours or so, there have been countless times when a healthier me would have bounded into the playroom and demanded order, doled out timeouts or taken it upon myself to negotiate who should get to play with the Batman castle and who is stuck with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. There has been crying…more of it than I would like to admit. There has also been a bit of hitting and even some yelling. It happens. In short, there have been times that perhaps would have made the kids from Lord of the Flies feel uncomfortable.
As mothers, it’s easy to smother our kids. In fact, it’s often easier to be a buffer when it comes to the situations that come up between siblings than to hear them whine, complain and work it out. But if the last 48 hours have taught me anything besides what I’ve learned while catching up on my DVR, I’ve learned that I really don’t give my kids enough credit when it comes to getting along. As a mom, it’s ok for me to step back and give my kids the room they need to grow and fight their own battles, create their own unique roles in their trio, and learn how to negotiate what’s important. I think by taking a step back, my boys will be a stronger unit in the end, and perhaps this mama may get well enough to enjoy the last weekend before school starts.