Throughout our journey, we quickly discovered my expectations were a lot higher for children than these children previously had. Here we go with the “When I was growing up” story… I had responsibilities from the ripe age of birth it seems. I was a latch key kid and each day I was to come home from school, do my homework, do my chores before my mother got home. I didn’t have an issue doing homework, I liked school, but I did not like chores. However, back in that day, your options were, do as you or told or get your tail tore up! And there was no question in your mind whether or not my mother would follow through with the threats. So, as a young child, I knew how to do laundry, including ironing, dishes, bag trash, vacuum, dust and of course any other chore you could think of. Growing up, I didn’t appreciate the fact I knew how to do these things but as an adult, I am thankful my mother and father taught me responsibility… and consequences.
The Nacho Kids, in my opinion, had been spoon-fed previously, so I was shocked at some of the things they did not know how to do… or things they did and did not have consequences for. Unfortunately, my shock turned into anger and I would get mad when they did not close the potato chip bag back (because they didn’t know how) or when they would not pick up after themselves much less help with chores around the house. My anger turned into hollering… like my mother’s when I was a child. I had to work on breaking that pattern and it does not come naturally to stay calm when I’m mad. So here we are, I come in trying to teach the kids to clean up after themselves, close food containers back, help with chores, etc. And then when they don’t I would get mad and raise my voice… yell at times. Not that the children never had anyone raise their voice at them (part of the extended family yells constantly), but I was “new”. In my mind, I am thinking I’m helping them learn to be responsible so they can grow up and be successful adults, clean adults, etc. In their minds, I’m a slave driver that has made their life miserable by making them do chores and by trying to make them have repercussions for their actions or lack of… I am the EVIL STEP-MOTHER! How dare this woman come in here and tell us what to do and make us have chores and do stuff ourselves when we are used to someone pampering us… Needless to say, the resentment built and built… that is, until Nacho Kids was implemented. Of course, this is an ongoing learning process and we like everyone else are doing the trial and error…
So, here is where the Nacho Kids theory makes sense… These are not your kids. You should treat them as you would a friend’s kids or any other child left in your care. The term “babysitter “ isn’t quite appropriate, so we will avoid that term. Would you get mad and holler if your child’s friend came over and left his dirty clothes in the bathroom??? Of course, you wouldn’t. (If you did, I doubt the kid would come back.) Would it be disheartening for Nacho Kids to grow up and not be able to get a job because they don’t shower or because they just don’t want to, YES! But it is disheartening to see any person grow up to lack ambition, motivation, dreams, etc. Is it my responsibility to make sure Nacho Kids grow up to be independent, NO! Is it my responsibility to make sure Nacho Kids know how to cook, NO! Is it my responsibility to tell my husband (Nacho Kids Bio-dad) things that need to change because it drives me crazy, yes!! Is it Nacho Kids Bio-dad’s responsibility to make them stop doing these things and to ensure you and your home are treated with respect, YES! Is it my and Nacho Kids Bio-dad’s responsibility to raise these children, NO! It is Nacho Kids Bio-dad’s responsibility to raise his kids when they are with him and Nacho Kids Bio-Mom when they are with her. Can you help Nacho Kids Bio-dad with the added housework that comes with them being there, of course, if you want to, or you can talk to him about them learning to do it. It’s much better for requests, criticisms, and discipline to come from the Nacho Kids Bio-Dad… why?… ‘Cause they are Nacho Kids!
– Nacho Mom