Marine wife. It took me years to come to that conclusion. I came from a family where fighting was the norm, where the drama and the desire to `be right` and win an arguement over things which just did not matter was much more important than being happy, or a household that ran smoothly with thought for others and their needs.
I do not want to raise children who do not stand up for what is right, but the drama of the household and the petty arguments and feuds do not make a happy time for anyone. There are some things worth fighting for. The spot your brother has on the sofa is not one of them. Nor is your sister`s favorite cup for the sake of it.
I was guilt tripping them, I let them see my tears and my upset....but I simply could see no other way to get them to finally understand that their behaviour was making me sad, was making them sad, was making the house an unpleasant place for everyone. They finally understood. Now dd will not fight ds if he gets a favoured spot to sit before she does, and she went and made her own comfy place, ds respects his sisters belongings...most of the time...They know I will not tolerate bickering now, and if they do fight I do not hesitate to tell them how it makes ME feel and get them to think of how they are making the other people in the house feel by their behaviour. They are old enough to be considerate.
I feel for you, it is not nice to be stuck in a house with two fighting children, who just cannot get on and to be honest just be quiet and nice for a few moments so the harassed mother can at least collect her thoughts.
Heaven help me, adding a third to this mix. I shudder just thinking about it.
I really wish you peace, MarineWife!