All was quiet today at my home.

It happens like that after a blow-up.

I have spent the entire day thinking about my children, what is going on, how I can best help them, etc. etc.

(Not like that is a constant theme running through my head…)

The greatest conflict – where my children are concerned anyway – is my youngest son and my daughter, the youngest, only girl.  The contempt they have for one another is palatable.  After dwelling on it all day, I think the dynamics between them are such for a several reasons.

A) At nearly three years apart – my daughter is ten and my son will be 13 in January – they are the closest in age.

B) There is the boy/girl factor at play but also they are the most different from one another than all my children.

C) I saved the best for last – they are experiencing an intensity to their father’s drinking that my older boys did not know.  When my older kids were this young, my husband’s drinking and accompanying behavior wasn’t yet “this bad.”  We travelled, hiked, went to the movies…did things as a family.

My husband and I could actually drive down the street together – IN THE SAME CAR!!

But now the drinking and his behavior as esculated and this is what my younger children are experiencing in their formative years. Of course they were along for the “fun times” but as babies/toddlers/little kids, they don’t remember much of it.

So how can I help them?

What can any of us as mothers do?

Well, it’s the proverbial “put your own oxygen mask on first” analogy.

I’ve made the decision 2017 is going to be all about me!

As in healing me and finding my way to the life I want to create for myself and my kids.  I am going to put fixing or saving my kids’ relationships on the back burner for 2017.  It’s scary and nerve-racking to think of doing that – what if next year is “too late?”  What if they never heal their relatioships?

That’s the risk I have to take because trying to “fix” them while I am broken myself isn’t really working.

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