How to balance parenting and health

Tonight was to be TKD night.  My legs no longer scream when I do more than breathe.  We were to go to class and then head down to my parent’s house.   I ran over to the school to drop off Baby Bear’s treats for her class to celebrate her birthday.  Since it was so close to the end of the school day I decided to give Little Bear and Baby Bear a ride home – at treat since we are part of a carpool.  We no sooner got in the car than they started in on each other.  While I am starting to understand that siblings will be siblings and fuss at each other, they were just being plain mean.  There is some deep-seated jealousy between them and it is rearing it’s very ugly head more and more resulting in subtle but cruel bullying towards each other.    By the time we got home (a grand total drive time of about 4 minutes) I was in tears – I was honestly feeling like a parental failure.  After some discussion Bear and I decided that there needed to be some very strong repercussions for their behavior.  So the decision was made to not go to TKD and the overnight trip to their grandparents’ house was cancelled.  This left me in a quandary, though.  What is more important – my need to exercise or my responsibility as a parent?  I honestly don’t think there is a “right” answer to the question.  At this time I gave up my workout (I am going to be active tomorrow, so I know I am not totally losing out).  But I felt I was in a no win situation.   Ultimately the young cubs understood that their behavior was not going to be tolerated.  I am really not sure, though, which was the worst thing in their eyes – having their grandparents’ told why they were not coming down tonight, or watching me type the e-mail to Mr M explaining why we were not going to be at TKD.  Whichever it was, an impression was made.  We had a long family talk this evening.  We discussed how we should communicate with each other as family members.  Each of us had the chance to respectfully tell thoughts and feelings.  We parents listened to the cubs explain what they thought some of the problems are.   All of us were uncomfortable at some point during the conversation.  But by the end of it, I think we at least started to learn a bit more about each other.  I also think (and hope and pray) that the cubs understood that respect is not to be reserved for just parents out of obligation, but out of love, for us as well as each other.

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