After a slow and insidious build over the last month, this morning I stopped coping, my head started spinning and I started to yell.
It’s ages since I shouted at the kids and for weeks I’ve resisted, instead using all the positive parenting tools in the book. But I have been feeling increasingly as though I am getting nowhere with them. Finally it all got too much, I cracked the shits, did a bit of screaming and actually got their attention.
Do you ever have those moments where parenting is just too hard and you are totally sick of it?
And what has been the growing problem? It’s all been over the kid’s refusal to take their school responsibilities seriously. There’s a long and tedious list of tasks they’ve not done or done poorly and without any effort. My philosophy with schoolwork is that I’ll be informed about what they’re supposed to be doing at home and offer lots of support, but I won’t do any of it myself. I’d rather they hand in an absolutely rubbish assignment of their own doing rather than a bit of my handiwork.
But it’s frustrating, watching them be so half-hearted. This morning once I calmed down, we walked to school and discussed the serious nature of responsibility and I asked for their reasoning and thoughts on how we could make improvements.
Mr M&P declared that he prefers not to do schoolwork, because it is simply too boring.
Miss F decided that she’d cooperate much better if instead of earning stars (for our star chart), she just earned money. For instance, 20 cents for putting on her school uniform each morning.
In the spirit of respect I listened attentively and thanked them for their contributions. I explained calmly to Mr M&P that sometimes life is boring and he should get
fucking used to it and develop a better attitude. Then to Miss F, I calmly explained that she didn’t have a hope it hell getting paid to getting dressed really is just an expected fact of life.
Sigh. Parenting. It’s hard yakka, isn’t it?
In the spirit of trying to make things easier, here’s our latest slow cooker favourite.
Slow cooker lamb chop casserole
1 tbsp olive oil
1kg lamb chops – I use forequarter or loin chops (chump chops need to have the fatty tail removed). For a bone free version, cube a 1kg mini lamb roast
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, thickly sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp plain flour
1½ cups vegetable stock
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
800g diced tomatoes
1 tsp sumac (don’t leave this out – it’s the essential ingredient)
1 fresh bayleaf (or 2 dried)
1 large turnip, peeled, diced
2 large carrots, peeled, sliced
1 cup peas
Heat the oil in a large stovetop to oven dish. Brown the chops on either side for 3 minutes or so. Remove and place into your cooker.
Reheat the pan and add the onions and celery, stirring often until softened (about 5 minutes). Add in the garlic for a minute until fragrant, then sprinkle over the flour. Cook it out, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. After a minute it will start to smell sweeter and you can slowly add in the warm stock, Worcestshire sauce and tomatoes. Stir well, season with pepper. Add the sumac and the bay leaf. Tip this into the slow cooker, then toss in the vegies (except the peas). Mix well.
Cover and set to low for 6 hours. (Or on high for 3 hours should work too, although I’ve not tested this method).
Remove, check that the meat is cooked and the vegies are tender. Mix in the peas, re-cover and leave to sit for 15 minutes more.
Serve with bread or over pasta or mash.
Serves 2 adults and 4 kids.