In my current class we are learning about family dynamics and healthy relationships. It has made me take a long look at my own family dynamics and relationships. Notice, I did not say healthy relationships.
Our family dynamic is not unusual. We are a blended family. My S.O. is unusual in that he was only 9 years older than #1 and took on the responsibility of knowing that if we were going to be together it was a package deal: me and my 5 kids. And he completely not only took on the responsibility but ran with it. The OG5 embraced this young, silly, loving man and even though it has been trying, it seems to work great for us.
That being said: there are some definite issues within our family.
Issue #1: Boundaries. My children know no boundaries nor does S.O. They think it’s normal to use the bathroom with the door open. I long to use the bathroom in peace and quiet. It’s a running joke that if S.O. has called you he is probably on the bathroom. At least he’s using his time constructively. Also, there is no topic off limits. I wish there were. I do not need to know that 3 out of 5 boys manscape better than me. Yet, I do.
Issue #2: Leftovers. I waste more money on throwing out moldy leftovers than the Senate does on $800 hammers. Seriously, if the food did not kill you the first time you ate it, why is it taboo the second time? I tried having leftover night. It did not work and mysteriously the kids would all have somewhere to be on leftover night. I have given up that leftovers will ever be eaten in this house and have decided to just cook enough food for the night. It’s a work in progress and if anyone wants 2 pounds of spaghetti please let me know.
Issue #3: Laundry. You all know I despise laundry. What you didn’t know is that in a household of 9 you have to try to have set laundry days. We tried this. #1 even made up a schedule and everyone had their own hamper. Here is how that went: Sunday night 8 p.m., #3, #4, and #5 all want to wash their clothes at once because they just realized that going to school in pajamas on Monday is not an option. Also, S.O. has work clothes that he just realized has chemical all over and requires two washings each and a bleach cycle to clean out said washer. Yep, we are that organized. I tried enforcing the rule of the laundry schedule but boys are gross and don’t care if their undies are crusty and their shirts have stains. Parenting fail here.
Issue #4: Private time. This kind of falls under boundaries but slightly different. My S.O. and I have maybe 5 minutes out of the day when we can have a conversation not interrupted by children or arguing. We have resorted to stretching a 5 minute recap of our day into 2 hours of interruptions and squabbling. I love that the kids all want to talk and share with us but seriously they don’t have to follow me to the kitchen when I am trying to escape to recap how they told their history teacher off color jokes and got extra credit. I already heard about. From the history teacher.
Issue #5: And this is the biggest one, Communication. We are all talkers in my family. When we say, long story short, what we mean is “I hope you have 20 minutes for me to revel you with just the introduction to the story, including schematics.” I cannot tell you how many times I have said to pretty much everyone in my family, I asked for the time, not how to make a watch. It’s a serious issue. And I am just as much to blame. I like to share details, it’s part of why I write. I share way too many details because I want my audience to experience it like it did.
So, these are the pressing issues in my family right now. And I have to say that I will take all of these issues gladly. It’s what makes our family ours. And don’t get me started on replacing the toilet paper rolls!
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