In some ways this was a busy, hectic day, but not completely. The big difference was that this week I did a lot of planning ahead, which made some of the typically hardest parts easier.
For a while Jayesh and I have let the kids sit with whichever parent they wanted in sacrament meeting, as long as they are sitting with that parent when Sacrament meeting starts. Typically Jayesh is late, so the kids then sit with him on his weeks, but he is early on the weeks I have them, so they go sit with him again. The last few weeks the kids have been pretty squirrely, and not being reverent.
So, this week I talked to them ahead of time and told them that I wanted to try and experiment and have them sit with me, and to decide that ahead of time. We got new colored pencils and crayons, as well as some activity books and new coloring pads ready. We said a prayer before we left. While they were cranky about sitting with me, because I don't let them get up except to go potty once during the meeting, they settled down just fine. They all were reverent the whole time, and Kathleen and Sarah both put their sacrament cups in the tray, instead of holding on to them through Primary.
When we got home we also had a family meeting to talk about the house rules, and come up with some ways to help the kids remember to clean up after themselves. We settled the longstanding dispute about who gets to sit on the end of the table by deciding that Josh gets to on odd days, and Sarah gets to on even days. (Kathleen never wants to sit on the end anyway.)
We also talked about how the kids were feeling like I was yelling a lot, and that it comes from them not listening and responding when I ask them to do things politely. We decided that I wouldn't yell, and if they don't respond when they are asked politely, that we will go straight to timeouts or loss of privileges. They got to ask all of their questions, and have so far been doing pretty good reminding each other to pay attention.
The rest of the evening was very peaceful. The kids all got their 30 minutes of computer time, and got off the computer when the timer went off. They took their baths and cleaned up their rooms when we asked them. They even helped put away all their folded clothes without any whining. I was really proud of them. They were all in bed by 7:30 pm, and asleep within about 10 minutes. These are the kinds of days that make it feel worthwhile to be a mom!