Two weeks ago Thursday, Pat and I threw in the towel.
We flat out gave up when it came to trying to get our children to behave kindly toward each other.
In fact, I think we really lost it.
We decided, on that day, that television was no longer an option for the kids to watch on school nights.
Using the computer for entertainment wasn't allowed any more either.
In fact, we would have no outside media influences while the school week was in process.
I don't think the kids thought we really meant it.
Stephen even asked at one point "Are we really going to do that no tv thing?"
Until school is out.
I questioned my sanity, and the sanity of my husband, more than once.
However, it only took a day or two to see some of the positive effects that stem from turning off all forms of media.
After a slight increase in fighting, the kids really started talking to each other again.
They have started working together, playing together and creating together.
Even when we remind them they need to change their tone of voice now, it's typically received with a less angry and beligerent attitude that they will respond to their sibling.
It is amazing how much "extra time" we have in the evenings now.
In fact, there was so much more time that needed to be filled, that we reinstituted the summer chores that worked so effectively.
Each child (except Sam) chose 3 chores besides their pet chore, bedroom and putting their laundry away.
They get paid per chore...based on Dave Ramsey's real world philosophy.
And they get paid every week.
I just flat out told them that there was no way that I could do it all right now...my body is exhausted trying to help this new baby grow a new and healthy body.
(Our house has looked like a bomb exploded in it until a sweet sister in my ward came and helped me most of the day Monday.)
They really got it.
And they really have stepped up to the plate.
The house still looks presentable, even though there are problem areas.
And I finally have enough energy to function in my duties again.
Granted, it's only been 36 hours, but I know it will work...as long as I can remain consistent.
And I can.
I'm actually pretty good at being consistent (at least for a while...).
And, I've actually cooked dinner for more than one night, and that doesn't just mean the main dish.
I've actually pulled out the veggies and thought about balancing the meal nutritionally.
It's hard to realize just how hard things have been until you are standing on the other side of the struggles.
And while I'm only 17 weeks into the full pregnancy...it's been rougher than I thought.
I'm on the upswing now...and hoping it lasts well into the 7th month.
Like I said, things they are a changin'.
It's about time.