|So which should I go with when I get me to a nunnery? The traditional Carmelite habit or the modern tunic?|
A long time has passed since my last post, about two weeks. There's been plenty to write about...another birthday, the ups and downs of parenting teens with special needs, autumn's arrival in New England, the wonderful picnic we attended with other adoptive families last weekend, etc. I have dutifully taken pictures and thought about my posts but somehow, the muse hasn't been with me. Why, you ask? Well, I'm in a funk...or beset by demons...or both.
Between increased homework responsibilities, my role as in-home therapist and mediator of all disputes (someone's always got their panties in a twist around here about something), school/home special education liaison, and my schedule as chauffeur for soccer season, medical appointments, social engagements and more, I'm busy.
I've also started accepting more freelance interpreting work to ease our financial situation. (Five kids can really eat and always need new clothes; then there's the approach of the holidays...and college.) My brain is pretty well fried after a full day of interpreting and yet the fam still needs dinner when I get home...but it's not only the cooking that makes it tough.
There's the daily stress and conflict of living with 5 teens who are obviously much smarter that the adults in the house. Lately we've been dealing with significant testing of family rules and limits by one of our kids, medication changes and behavioral challenges with another, and the onset of puberty with a vengeance that is really causing emotional upset with yet another. There's been more yelling and door slamming than usual even for us. Sometimes, it feels like we live in the middle of a hormonal hurricane.
For good or ill, I am often the lightening rod in these storms; I hate conflict and wish I could avoid these battles...but parenting requires intervention and I'm usually the dispenser of justice around here. When wrongs need to be righted, some applicant or another will appear at my side, asking to be heard in the Court of Mom (COM). (You know, I'm not making this up...just the other day, I overheard Kate warning one of her sibs that she was going to petition the COM if they didn't stop disturbing her while she was doing her homework. Exact words, no lie...) One can also be summoned into the COM for lying, breaking house rules, abusing privileges, etc. Not surprisingly, the summoned party is rarely happy to be found in front of the court. In fact, the summoned party is often surly, defensive, and at times downright verbally abusive to the bench.
I don't like feeling like the bad guy; I don't like being told that my kid hates me. I don't like being sworn at. It hurts.
I feel stretched to the limit and beyond. I'm quick to anger, short of patience, in need of respite. There's none in sight.
Sometimes I want to run away and join a nice, quiet convent (hence the pic at the beginning of this post)...so far, I've settled for going for a loooong walk instead.
I also feel like I've lost a bit of my soul (or is it just my self?) somewhere along the way...but that's probably another story.
I'm so tired.