F is for Freedom

For the month of April, I’m blogging about Adjusting to Life with Baby Number 5Click here to see all the posts in this series.

braveheart freedomThis morning I realized that my older kids have way too much freedom. More accurately, they’re letting the time they spend unsupervised go to their heads, and they very clearly don’t understand the difference between freedom and license.

You see, my sweet infant goes to bed most nights around 2AM. Once she’s asleep, she sleeps pretty well – usually around 6 hours. Since I’m exhausted, I sleep with her. That means most mornings I don’t get up until 8ish. The boys get up around 6ish.  They were doing fine with this at first, but over the last week or so, the wheels have been coming off.

Today when I got up the ENTIRE house had been completely ransacked. There wasn’t any flooring visible anywhere. Apparently, they were having some kind of war and they used all the clean laundry as bombs. And when they ran out of laundry they started using markers. And I guess the markers got boring or something because then they started using markers without tops on. So, not only was the floor missing, but there were streaks of color on the walls and lamp shades and everywhere.

I’ll give them a few points for creativity, but mostly I was just furious.

And to top it all off, the cries of battle woke up the toddler, who usually sleeps in pretty late.

I firmly believe that my job as a parent is not to teach my kids how to follow rules. (Although that’s certainly a stepping stone on the path.) I think my ultimate goal is to teach my children virtue and help them know who they are so they know how to act even when no one is watching or telling them what to do. I want them to understand the difference between freedom and license.

Based on the rebel uprising that took place this morning, I guess I’ve got my work cut out for me.

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