Jennifer Pearce

Hi there! My name is Jennifer and I am one of the newest members to MomTalk and JustKiddin'. I am a 40-year-old mother who works outside the home. I live with my husband of eleven years and our two young daughters. After being a stay-at-home-mother for six years, I re-entered the workforce when my husband was briefly unemployed. When he returned to work, I chose to keep working due to economics and the age of my daughters at the time. I now work as the advertising manager of a community newspaper and appreciate how working has gotten me much more involved in my community. However, I often miss the opportunity to spend more time with my daughters, or to volunteer more time with their school and activities. My older daughter is a 10-year-old fourth grader, and my younger daughter is a 6-year-old kindergartener. Their many activities and my husband’s complicated work schedule make scheduling our number one family challenge. He works a rotating shift in a retail store that includes many nights and weekends. We struggle to preserve our time together as a family and make the most of it, while still finding time to accomplish our individual goals and pursue our favorite interests. My interests include reading, writing and photography. I love taking family photos and completed a Project 365 in 2010, taking a photo a day for the year. It was a wonderful experience to document our life for a year and appreciate all the little pieces of it. I am currently working to put the 365 pictures into a scrapbook…if I can just find the time. I look forward to sharing our journey with you here on JustKiddin'!

kristen-paulsen

At the Expense of Being Fair

In an effort to be “fair” I recently allowed my daughter and her cousin to take a turn in the rented zoo stroller. I mean, why not?!  These “tweens” wanted a free ride, too.

I bring this up because I’m often caught questioning the logic of being fair when my tween is acting like a toddler, especially because she has younger siblings. Recently, or perhaps it’s been there for a while, but my 6 and 10 year old have had a stronger hate/love relationship and are more often physically at each other. So, we called a family meeting to devise the family rules and drew up a contract. Everyone had an opportunity to speak and freely express themselves. We heard complaints, suggestions and an underline plea for fairness.

I struggle with wanting to be fair, but also expecting the older children to “get it” and cooperate and set the example. I struggle with my “tween” trying to be the enforcer and being oblivious to any part she may had played. I’m sure this is normal, but nonetheless frustrating. Our family meeting went well and all was going fine until siblings starting thinking they could “catch” the other and warn and discipline each other.

So, in all fairness, we will be re-evaluating and determining a new system so that Mom and Dad can be the parents and instill, enforce and create fairness. I hope it’s not too late. Sometimes I wish there was a manual for each child and that I wouldn’t have to learn by trial and error. I fear that we will come to an age where it is too late to make changes and correct my parenting shortcomings.

Sometimes I wonder why we as parents go to such extremes to make everything fair. Perhaps we shouldn’t. Life isn’t fair and I really don’t want to set them up for a false illusion of fairness. I want them to be grateful. I want them to be honest and to stick up for what is right. I want them to accept and still be happy for others even when it does not lean in their favor.

How do you view fairness within the family and with multiple children?

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