We attended a fabulous reunion this past weekend for my dad’s side of the family (Hi O’Nans!).
While we were there I overheard one of my brothers asking the girls about whether they like living in the bus. Their answer? A prompt “No.”
I kind of winced inside when I heard it, even though I knew it was coming: Emmaline had just recently commented, “I wish we USED to live in the bus and then we moved into a house instead of the other way around.”
There is a part of me that feels like our children should not have to bear the inconveniences that come along with the sacrifices we are making to achieve this goal. I don’t want them to feel resentful toward us for putting them through this rough transitional period or to look back on this time and not feel as though it was worthwhile.
Truthfully, the past three weeks have been really hard. Probably harder than I imagined they would be when we were psyching ourselves up for this whole journey.
-Everyday chores like making beds and doing dishes are more difficult and time consuming. In addition, until we get a fence built, there isn’t a place to let the kids roam without constant supervision.
–We were without running water for two days this week while Noah re-piped the water lines with PVC instead of hoses to finally stop the incessant leaks (we bought gallon jugs of fresh water and I showered and bathed the kids at my parents’ house. Noah showered at work.)
-There is an issue with the solar panel that isn’t allowing it to fully charge the batteries, so we still have to be super cautious with our energy consumption. This means only one light on at a time at night (in addition we use tap lights similar to these for small tasks) and no computer or letting our phones charge all night, etc. (Noah thinks he has this problem figured out now, hopefully.)
I am not trying to list the things we have to whine about – it’s not like we were forced into this. We made this choice intentionally… but our kids didn’t. So, to hear them be frank about the fact that they’re not thrilled with the current situation kind of stung.
We sat down with them the following day and had a talk.
-We told them that right now, Mommy and Daddy don’t really like living in the bus either. It’s not a lot of fun, and it’s a lot of hard work.
-We told them that there is a reason for it though and that working hard now and doing things that aren’t exactly easy will make having a house of our own even MORE EXCITING.
-We asked for their help doing the hard things and in keeping up good attitudes.
It seemed to help them to hear that the grown-ups are going through some of the same issues that they are.
There have been several times over the past few weeks where Noah and I have looked at each other and asked “Is this worth it? Are we making the right choice?” I think, until things get more settled, that this is something we will continue to evaluate.
Meanwhile, we are just going to keep on going until we get there.
How do you involve your kids in difficult or unpopular decisions?