I’m a pick-your-battles kind of mom.
Sure, the house is usually a mess, and it’s always very loud, but my kids (typically) have good manners. I may have to make a round of chicken nuggets at dinner, but they (mostly) do their homework on time. They know what is important to us (respect, dependability, and honesty, to name a few), and they carry through on those things.
I simply don’t have the time or energy to fight every single battle with these kids. I can either pick and choose my fights and enjoy their childhood, or I can play drill sergeant and nitpick every last detail to try and create “perfect” children. The latter does not sound the least bit appealing, so I have to let some things go.
Obviously, it might sometimes be nice to have impeccably behaved children, who ate everything placed on a plate in front of them and never left a trace through the house. In fact, some days, that sounds heavenly. But, after thinking about it, I realized how very dull our day-to-day lives would be if this was the case at our house. Our kids are who they are because we allow them to be themselves. Sure, they find themselves in trouble sometimes (more often than not, some days!) for mouthing off or having an attitude, or for making a ridiculous mess and then walking away, but all in all, they need to have some freedom to express themselves. If that means that the house will be untidy sometimes, fine.
When you’re a parent, you make many sacrifices. It just comes with the territory. My kids know the importance of respecting everybody, period. They say “please” and “thank you” without being prompted. My daughter understands, and the boys are starting to learn, that when you say you’ll do something, you do it. I will gladly sacrifice a spotless, quiet house and foodie kids in exchange for those things.
I’m sure that as they get older, the battles I choose will change. There will probably be more things to fight. I feel confident, though, that I will still be selective in which issues I battle. I want to enjoy the kids while they are kids, and I feel like this is a good step towards doing that.