By my very nature, I am an energy conserver (to the extreme!). By their very natures, all four of my children (and my husband) are energy expenders (to the extreme!). When energy is being drained, or when anything feels out of control, my first instinct is to contract my world, smaller and smaller, until energy or control returns. My children are like corn popping on a stove. They hurtle against all boundaries. When it is my job to maintain boundaries, routines, productivity, and behavior for six people (four of whom are popping corn), the amount of energy I am required to expend is extraordinary.
When laundry, dishes, dirt, character, and popping children feel out of control at home, the last thing I want to do is expand the boundaries of the world I’m responsible for keeping under control—the behavior, the interactions, the safety, the productivity. It’s a beautiful day, but I have no desire to even step outside.
How does one let go of being a control freak in such situations, but still be productive? Still have relatively well-behaved children? Still monitor interactions with others? Still keep children safe? Still participate and serve in community?
When laid-back but effective nurturing/guiding/inspiring is not in one’s nature, it takes twice as much energy to be calm and consistent (and keep track of and follow through with all consequences). Honestly, implementing consequences is the most colossal energy-sucker of all.
And when four children are popping in opposite directions, how do I parent one without the other three running amok (other than contract their boundaries to a great degree)? I now have a serious case of ADD and can no longer do even one task effectively. I certainly can’t socialize and parent at the same time. I can’t even make dinner and parent at the same time.
Can anyone relate? Are you an energy-conserving introvert? Do you have multiple high-energy, high-volume, action-seeking, boundary-pushing children? How do you cope without squashing them into a tiny little manageable world?