Parenting ain't for the weak of heart. My Dad says this often.
On Saturday, Jenn and I finally met with this parenting expert/social worker who I had been trying to book an appointment with for weeks. The session went well, but we left after two hours with spinning heads.
I haven't mentioned the challenges that we are having on the blog yet. They aren't major issues, but they're enough to make things stressful and difficult for both of us. The major issue that we are having revolves around the evenings, when Jenn comes home from work. All day long, the girls ask about Mama and when she is coming home. They can't wait to see her. But, when she walks through the door, between 6-6:30pm, they go wild. Their excitement to see Mama turns into complete craziness. They don't listen to a word she says. They run laps around the house, screaming. They become extremely silly and gang up on her laughing and talking in their own language. It's sad and disappointing to listen to and watch. Their love and excitement to see her comes out completely wrong.
The plan used to be that Jenn would play with them for a bit before bedtime, while I would have a break from the kids to clean up the kitchen and prep our dinner. Lately, I've had to step in and help with the girls because they become completely unmanageable for Jenn. I don't get the same wild behaviour from them, but I'm also with them all day long.
Jenn and I recognized that we were both not doing a good enough job of staying true to our word. We were giving too many warnings and sometimes wouldn't follow through on them. We weren't always doing a good enough job of creating reasonable consequences. The girls knew/know this and don't put a lot of stock into what we say, Jenn in particular.
Jenn's brief time with them each weekday had become unenjoyable. As with anything, when you're in it, it is tough to figure out what to do. We had gotten ourselves into survival mode. A friend of mine read Jennifer Kolari's book, Connected Parenting, and found it to be really helpful in dealing with some challenges with her son. She then went to see one of Jennifer's therapists (she has 5 in Toronto, who she has trained and meets with each month). With a couple sessions and a TON of practice, things have improved immensely with their son. A few weeks ago, I sent in a request for an appointment because I figured it couldn't hurt. We were finally able to arrange an appointment in addition to babysitting for Saturday afternoon.
We ended up spending two hours with the therapist. We received a ton of information. We definitely feel confident and hopeful that we can make some changes that are going to things better for everyone. We are still deciding which techniques we would like to apply, and don't want to do it all at once. Once we make decisions on that front, I'll definitely write more. A twin parent said to me once, when the girls were just babies, it never becomes easier, it just becomes more manageable. That's our hope!