Okay, it was bound to happen. I knew the risk with having a large family and so many strong willed kids, things were going to eventually blow up in my face. I am just lucky I made it to week three before it happened. This is part of the risk to not be on a television show where we get to edit what happens and somehow force the happy ending.
My number one enemy to my tribal family leadership quest was not the fact I have five teenagers or the fact that one just left the house for college earlier in the week and people are still sad about it. Or is it the fact that I have an over active toddler that almost always makes it impossible to hear what is going on in our meetings. Nor is it the fact that I am not that great with teenagers, which I am sure doesn’t help matters. Nor is it my lack of domestic skills. Nor my kids’ natural and very real resistance to want to do anything Mom thinks up or that takes them away from their friends. Nope. All these are very good reasons that might make this pursuit blow up in my face but this week that wasn’t it. It was time.
I think the lack of time is public enemy number one to family togetherness. I have been fighting it for years. I try really hard to limit the outside activities so that we can have a more relaxed lifestyle. Each of my children can only do two sports a year which they think is ridiculous and anything else they want to add to their plate I have one rule—you walk to it.
Despite my resistance to sign them up for every little activity and my downright refusal to be Taxi Mom, I still engage in ongoing battle to capture some time I can have with my children. This time my kids were with their dad over the weekend. When they got back, I got exactly one half an hour before they had to be at church fireside. I rolled up my sleeves. We were going to do that meeting.
The kids protested. We couldn’t do it the next day it being a birthday and the focus had to be on split the child and our love her between me and her father. The next night activities took my kids all over the place. Getting up earlier not much of an option since we already get up at 5:45 am and none of us, including myself, want to get up a second earlier. So that left twenty minutes to name our tribe.
After having to make executive decision against deer dropping, we, the tribal leaders, my husband and myself, overruled rats, which the kids were sure anxious to want to become. Does something smell like they don’t want to do this? So the final vote was between: sparrows, wolves, penguin, trout, and jellyfish. Yes, you guessed it, jellyfish won. Now my husband and I are going to do some research and find out if there are any team-like qualities to jellyfish. If not, I will have to overrule and bride them with ice cream to be something more symbolic of what I want them to become. You’d be amazed how a good bribe can change teens around. (Secret: teenagers always want something.)
So what I have I learned from all this? Time is the enemy. I would say that I am kidding but I really not. No, what I learned if you try to cram a meeting in with teenagers who want to be somewhere else it doesn’t work very well. Maybe I should have kept them up later tonight and done the meeting without the little ones and say no to their tradition of going on a Sunday evening walk with their friends. I am sure they would have been happy about that.
I also know that I need to do some more work on helping my kids catch the vision of this. So far it has been a hard sell, but you know what they say, anything worthwhile doesn’t come easy. And if you can’t get your kids to do things willingly at least you can force them to do it while you they are still living with you. J I am just hoping that my efforts to making my family more supportive of each other is one of those things that they will thank me for and not go spend their hard earned dollar talking to a therapist about how their mom damaged them later in their life. Either way for now I am the crazy mom who has kids who want to be jellyfish!