I got to thinking about Mom2Oddson's post about her Christmas meltdown and how her family took the cue and stepped up to help her out. And I think it's an important lesson for all of us. We moms are programmed to serve, to put our needs aside for our families, to ask for nothing, to give, give, give until there's nothing left to give. Not the healthiest of behaviors. Sends the message to our kids that we are not human, I think! I've had some things go on around here in the past week that just really, REALLY irritated me. I let my kids know it, too. Funny thing, easy child got upset that I was upset (probably because she's not usually the source of my frustration) and started to actually chew me out for making her feel that way. At first, I felt defensive about this. But quickly that turned to annoyance and I told her it was just too bad if she didn't like that I was feeling a certain way towards her. I have every right to my feelings. If she didn't want to see me upset, then she needed to THINK about her actions next time and consider the IMPACT they might have on someone else. It's been my biggest complaint this past week with all three of my kids: impulsively acting with no regard to the consequences. I know that's very much a kid thing, not to mention a difficult child thing. But I really feel it's my job to teach them that this behavior just cannot fly. It pretty much came to a head Thursday night when difficult child 1 antagonized difficult child 2 to no end, which resulted in an angry outburst that created a one-foot hole in my front hallway wall. difficult child 1 accepted NO responsibility for his part in the drama, at first. I told him that 1/2 the blame was his for pushing his brother to extremes and 1/2 was his brother's fault for losing his temper and allowing difficult child 1 to affect him that way. This led to a whole conversation about their chronic choices to not clean up after themselves, to wait to be asked to do chore X, Y or Z, and pretty much only worrying about what was directly in front of their noses (and sometimes not even that far past themselves). I explained in excruciating detail how those choices affect ME and quite frankly, I am DONE with that. So I explained that they were expected to DO more without being asked and without complaining because otherwise they risk losing my help altogether and then they could really see just how much is done for them. I said I want them taking more PRIDE in their home because they aren't the only ones living here. It all basically boils down to dishes, trash and laundry. It ain't rocket science. Yesterday I left difficult child 1 home alone with a list of chores to get done while I was out running errands with the other two kids. He got all of it done and without any moaning or groaning! The past few days when I ask a kid to do something, or make an observation that some chore needs to be done, it is now getting done. We'll see if after winter break the attentiveness continues. They won't be able to do as much because of school, and that's fine, but more of their spare time will definitely need to be devoted to helping out more.