In my years of teaching, managing computer labs, babysitting, and working with jr. high delinquints, I've picked up really useful discipline strategies. I'd even go so far as to say that you could put me in front of a class of chimpanzees and I could teach them a trick or two. BUT. I can't handle my own 3 kids.
I don't know what it is, but sometimes I am actually afraid of them. Afraid of setting them off into tantrums and whining that seem to last for days. Afraid that they will hate me forever. Afraid that I will really mess up in raising them and they will end up in years of therapy (and send me the bills). I guess I must be afraid because I actually don't have any clue what I'm doing.
There are women who have their entire days, weeks, months, summers, years, etc. planned out. They know what they are going to be doing at 9:15 and where they will be going at 3:45. They know when Johnny naps and when Johnny wakes up. They know that Suzy will go to bed at 7 and sleep a full 12 hours.
Then there are women like me who know that Maggie will wake up grumpy after 7 hours of sleep. Coleman will refuse to get dressed, and run away down the street naked. Will will try to fix his own breakfast, spilling a gallon of milk on the carpeted dining room floor. Then while you're busy cleaning up that mess Maggie will cry and beg and plead to go to the park and when you say "Not now honey, maybe after lunch." she will scream at you, "You always say that! I want to go now! I'm going in 1 minute." And when you say "No honey we have to clean up this mess," she will scream, "FINE! then I'm not going to be Maggie anymore." You will scratch your head because that didn't even make sense. And then the neighbor will call to tell you that they were driving down the road and saw a naked Coleman sitting on top of your SUV.
I would love to be a planned person rather than the frazzled mom who is just trying to keep it together (which is one of the reasons I'm so excited about my preschool--it will give the planner and teacher in me the organization I crave). But how do I get there in my day to day life? How do I get Maggie to fall asleep at a decent hour and stay asleep for 11 hours? How do you plan activities for your kids that don't leave you exhausted?
How do you keep it together during these summer kid-filled days?