I approached 2018 with cautious optimism. In my head I had plotted out how I hoped this new year would unfold. My marriage would somehow get easier. My husband and I would start communicating better. He might actually be interested in what I had to say. He might work less, be around more, help me with the house and kids, and make a vested effort to bridge the gap with his step-sons. As for my children, they’d be more patient with each other, yell less, bicker only on occasion, share better, offer to do some chores without being asked, and be more tolerant of each other. And as for me, I would become a better mom. I would be more patient, yell less, try not to curse as readily as I currently do, lose some weight, make time for myself, and start to put me first. What I had hoped for was quite frankly – a miracle…. a big fat unattainable miracle. Instead 2018 began just as 2017 ended. When he is home (and not working) my husband is on the couch glued to the TV with his phone in hand. There was no magical moment in which birds sang, the sun grew warm and a grand epiphany was realized – you know the one in which the man’s eyes are opened to all that his wife does and he feels blessed and lucky that this woman is his. Yep none of that. My kids have been struck down for the last month with a wicked case of entitlement which has been complicated by bouts of quite frankly – asshole-itis. Yup I said just that. Between the fighting, bickering, parenting one another, talking back, whining, and greed, I feel as if I am raising heathens instead of human beings. Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids very much and innately they are good, kind, and caring children. Yet lately it is if they are possessed by a group of hostile hooligans which are running a muck. No amount of discipline is able to reign in their crazy train. So as you can imagine my patience has not only worn thin, it’s worn out. Can you imagine – 15 days into the new year and I am using curse words like commas, yelling like a lunatic, and feeling more flustered than I have ever felt before. And forget me time, and weight loss, and putting myself first. That is just not happening. So I am left asking myself…. How do I elicit change when I can’t even change myself? After all, isn’t the quote something to the effect of “Be the change you want to see?” Lord knows I have tried to change but inevitably I fall right back into my old patterns. This begs the questions: “Is it even possible to change myself if everyone I am surrounded by is unable to change themselves?” Am I destined for feel this way forever? What is it that has to give in order for my family to take notice?