For those of you who are new to this site, or who drop in occasionally, you may not know that in my real life, I play a tax manager. I post tax information that I find interesting, or that I have to dig up and research on at www.intaxicating.wordpress.com, soon to be at www.intaxicating.ca once I find the password and username that I misplaced.
So what that means is that this time of year – actually beginning in August -is super-hectic. Beginning December 1st, my walk hurried into a jog, and now in mid-January I am already in full sprint. I’m not sure ho long this pace can keep up with 2 1/2 months to go…
I had an idea how this day was going to shape up, when the first song I heard on my iPad was “Under Pressure” by Queen. I spent most of the day pushing ahead tasks and projects where there was room to move them, while trying to get other projects completed ahead of schedule, while putting out fires that happened throughout the day. Nothing new for me, and to be honest, since I really like doing this a lot, it makes for a fun time. I’m just reminded as I get more and more tired that I need to get to the gym as that got me through 2 previous tax seasons.
I also realized today that taking care of my kids on Saturday, while awesome, really set me back a bit, when on Sunday I took the boys tobogganing for a couple of hours in -25 degree celcius (with windchill) weather and boy did that fresh air mess with us all.
Both kids were exhausted at night and I was a disaster on Monday. I actually went right to sleep at 8pm after all the kids were asleep and slept right through until 7am the next morning. I would say that was the most uninterrupted sleep I have had in 6 years.
It was also today when I realized how much I appreciate my wife, and that she does what I did on Saturday each and every day. Sure we have a nanny to help her out but she still works, feeds us, pays the bills, programs the entire family and keeps the house running smoothly… Zowie. I feel like such a wuss now.
I often ask her opinion on how to manage a situation because while she has not managed people per se, she manages the household, the kids, the nanny, and in her former life as a high-school teacher, she managed to stay sane.
I think the task of managing kids is very similar to managing adults as in both cases you are looking to make sure both groups do what is right for themselves and for the rest of the team / family, while at the same time you want to make sure there is no conflict and you have to work together to get the job done.
For both kids and adults, working towards a goal is key. IT’s easier to track progress that way and having a prize at the end of the maze makes the race more worthwhile.
In reading “Honey, I wrecked the kids” by Alyson Schafer, I am learning new less physical ways to interact with the kids and get them to do what my wife and I expect from them. I am finding success. Instead of asking Linus to remove his plate from the table night in and night out, Alyson suggests that since kids know their responsibilities, a simple one word reminder should suffice, so this morning when Linus got up and walked away from the table, I said; “Linus. Plate.” He turned around, walked back to the table and removed his plate.
Another tool is the re-direct. Linus was making a spitting noise that I cannot stand and instead of asking him to stop and give him all that attention for the wrong reasons, I merely asked him different questions until he forgot what he was doing and started chatting with me.
Good one Alyson!
The last technique that I am finding to be a great help (I’m halfway through the book) is the introducing of consequences.
You don’t have to clean your room if you don’t want to put I will not read a book to anyone is a messy room, worked wonders the other day. As does the line, you can stay downstairs and play if you want. You will miss snack before bed and if that is your choice, that is okay with me.
Can’t wait to get through the book… One night parenting, next night taxation, following night parenting…
As an aside, I’m looking for a beginner yoga class in the Toronto area that begins after our kids are in bed, so around 8pm. Anyone?