This doesn’t work for my kids. If this was dad’s sign, it would work. My older boys know better, but my two little girls? Ay. They still manage to peer in from behind the door to ask me questions.
Sometimes as a mom it feels like there are no boundaries for personal space. I must have an invisible sign the reads, “Mom is available anytime, all the time.”
This includes following me into the toilet (for my girls) to conference with me, and when I am trying to nap, waking me up with non-urgent questions like, “Mom? Mom? Can I play with this toy?”
“Can’t you see that I am trying to nap?”
“Oh, sorry, mom.”
Twenty minutes later, when I am in wonderfully pleasant sleep…
“Mom? (With a tap to my arm or trying to peel an eye open) Is it okay if we watch some tv?”
I end up saying yes in my disoriented state, looking up to a child hovering over my body that resembles my worst nightmare at that very moment.
“Please stop waking me up to ask me questions, kids. I am sleeping!”
So my youngest skips out the door and announces to all, “Guys, don’t talk to mom while she is sleeping!”
I wish this could be a more obvious thing for my kids. Nobody should ever have conversations with anyone who is asleep. Please. It doesn’t even make any sense to write out that sentence.
Anyway, I find that as a mom, I need to elicit the help of Edric to get the kids to respect me. Normally, they obey and listen, and honor me. However, there are times when their tone requires tweaking, or they don’t come down right away when I am calling for them to sit at the table.
If my kids were all in the six year old and below category this sort of delayed response would merit a spanking on the behind. But with my older kids, they understand obedience and respect and there are occasions when they are simply distracted and don’t jump up attentively at the sound of my voice. So I have withdrawn privileges to discipline them. However, Edric’s laying down the laws of our home helps a lot, too.
So he backs me up, which is really nice, and has mini seminars with all the kids about how they are to respect me — namely in the area of tone of voice and responsiveness, and well, he can now add not disturbing mom when she needs her private time and space in her room. I am going to mention that one later!