Everyone has at some point or another challenged the authority over them. We all want to know that the boundary is real and the consequence is dependable. My boys decided the few days Brian was out of town would be the perfect opportunity to challenge Mom’s authority. I could see it in their eyes: “Is she for real? Or is this all bluster? Dads not home…let’s find out.” To which I wanted to scream, “I can guarantee you I am real and the boundaries I set are real and the consequences regarding them are real.” Screaming gets me no where. I do have to admit however that I am amazed at their astute observation that when one parent is out of town the family dynamic has shifted to their advantage. Mom’s outnumbered.
Really though, they aren’t conniving. They are smart little people who can read me like a book and know when I’m a bit off my routine. And they’re boys. They need to know that I’m not going to change – their structure isn’t going to change- just because Dad is gone on a business trip. All the rules were tested and most of them broken.
Never have I been more aware of my humanity. My non-negotiable need for sleep. My need for peace and quiet. My need for food. My need to not pee my pants while I impatiently wait for a toddler to first finish his business in the bathroom. 10 years ago I had a favorite sign in my apartment: “Coffee Sleep When You’re Dead” of course, this was when my greatest worries were whether I would work late or if I could finish my paper on time. Sleep felt optional because when it boiled down to it I could crash anytime I wanted. I made my own hours.
Now my hours are made for me and I need all the sleep I can get to handle the stress of motherhood. Sleep deprived moms don’t make good decisions.