I was fortunate to go away with just my son this past weekend. It is very rare that I get an opportunity to get away with one of my children for longer than a few hours at a time yet alone an entire weekend and twice in a 6 month period. Back in April was the first time when my oldest daughter’s dance team had an amazing opportunity to travel to Disney World and perform as well as take an exclusive workshop with cast members. For the first time, I packed up myself and just one of my kids to take a trip together.
Just me and ONE child!
Let me say that again….Just me and ONE child!
I forgot what it was like to have just one little person attached to you. It is so peaceful. No one is competing for your attention. There was no fighting. There was no one saying something wasn’t fair. I wasn’t being pulled in so many directions at once. I was enjoying my child.
I find it very hard to say the words “enjoying my child(ren)” on a regular basis. It has been something I have struggled with for some time. It has been something that has made me feel like I am failing them. When you are the one person that more than one little person depends upon, you often find yourself being pulled in so many directions. And when you are pulled in so many directions it is so hard to find the enjoyment in this crazy world called parenthood.
I mean think about it, what is there to enjoy about being the disciplinarian or being talked to with an attitude? What pleasure do you get from having to repeat yourself 100x’s to get someone to pick up their belongings, throw their trash away, or flush the toilet? Where is the enjoyment of running like a mad person to get everything together-dinner, lunches, laundry? No one likes to be the person who does so much with so little in return. This is the side of parenting that is not fun and you can never fully prepare yourself for.
But then there is the side of parenting you experienced what seemed to be so long ago. The side that is always there but as your kids get older seems to be rare. The side when you enjoy your kids. You enjoy their snuggles. You enjoy their little voices saying “Mommy/Daddy you’re the best!”. The side where you make everything right in their little world and they are so grateful. The side where you can do no wrong in their eyes. The side where one hug just seems to take the weight of the world off your shoulders for a brief moment.
I am in the midst of parenthood where the “enjoying my children” feeling is very hard to find some days. I KNOW it’s there. On the tough days, I just wish there were more of those moments. I think the only way to have them is to make sure I am present and I am looking for them when it gets to the point of feeling so beaten down by the daily demands of parenting. There are no books or articles that can really prepare you for this flipside of parenting. I think the one thing that can help us all is sharing the days of “not enjoying” our kids and how we got through them.
It has been a crazy few weeks in this house and trying to catch my breath has not been easy. Trying to fit everything in, be where you need to be, working commitments, kids’ activities, household necessities…you know every day life just doesn’t all seem to fit within a 24 hr. period. Then add 3 distinctly different kids into the mix and you have the perfect combination for the perfect storm.
How do you weather the storm?
I don’t think any of us know the answer. But I know many of us know how important it is to get through the storm.
I feel I am in the eye of the storm and until I get a handle on it, I will not get past it.
As a new month begins, a new outlook and new hope to get through this recurring storm within our home.
Each day needs to be a fresh start.
Each day needs to have a focus.
Each day needs to have less yelling and more calmness.
Each day needs to have a positive.
Each day needs the attention.
Each day needs me to be present.
Each day needs forgiveness.
We all need an each day to weather any storm.
What are some things you think about when you drift off to sleep?
I struggle to fall asleep with a positive thought as my final thought of the day. I think that is really sad. I know there is good in every day but sometimes it gets lost in all the things that went wrong.
So as I get ready to drift off for the day I am trying to come up with a positive. And I think I found more than one~
I got all 3 kids to pull the weeds from the play set area.
I made a complete meal and everyone liked it.
All the laundry is put away.
I packed away one out of three kids’ summer clothes.
I read a chapter in a book (a book!!!!)!
I found a new lunch option for the picky eater.
I’m sure there is more I’m overlooking. But I’m glad these came to mind and took my mind off of the many things I wish I could have changed for the day.
Can you find your positives?
Right now we are having some adjustments to bedtimes. Up until now, I was VERY fortunate to have all 3 of my kids go up to bed at the same time. I slowly began toward mid-spring last school year extend my oldest’s by 30 minutes. However she still went up to her room at the same time as the other two but was able to be on her iPad for 30 minutes. So it really wasn’t that much change for me. I still had my time. But now I am faced once again with adjusting bedtimes and this time I don’t think I will be so fortunate.
It is a 3 shift process and a process that leaves me on edge because as a single parent, I am D-O-N-E before they are ready for bed! I simply long for me time which includes my brainless shows, a glass of wine (or 2), my iPad, and a cozy blanket. Up until now it was all working so well. EVERYONE was retired to their beds by 8pm~ again I know how fortunate I was. But now, it isn’t until 9:00-9:30 pm when I have my much-needed me time. Is it bad that I am longing for the days when they all went to bed at the same time?!??
I do take advantage of this time. They don’t want to go to bed so they will spill every last detail of their day to me when I take them up to bed. So this is definitely the plus side. But they are definitely benefiting from this. They gain extra time and I seem to be losing my time because by the time they are all snuggled in, I look at the clock and pretty much am ready for bed myself. I keep reminding myself that these days are limited and I need to take advantage of every minute. Before I know it, this too will pass and I will be faced with yet another great debate.
If there was ever a time I needed to be clone, my kids’ Open House Night was definitely one of them! But some how I made it to all 3 classes and only missed most of Gracie’s teacher’s talk. But in my defense, my other 2 children had her and so I know what is expected and that Gracie is fortunate to have her. I really just wanted to get there to get a hug and catch up! But it was pretty funny when I came in REALLY late and the looks I got.
So what did I get out of my evening out? Besides peace from over-tired children, I finally felt a connection to this school year. You spend your time the first few days of school filling out all this paperwork for EACH child and get a very one-sided view of the year from your child. As much as I dread listening to the beginning parts of the evening because, as our principal refers to parents who have been with the school for a while, I am a “veteran parent”, I look forward to getting to see where my child spends most of the day now. Let’s face it during the school year your child’s teacher is the one person who spends the most time with them. Why wouldn’t you want that connection made?
Now I am left to read more information about the upcoming school year and try to wrap my brain around all the new terminology and all that my children will (hopefully) learn in 180 days. I have to be honest, I’m not sure how I made it out of kindergarten!
Now that my connection is made, I feel very ready to tackle this school year. And I think I may need a tutor to survive 3 grade levels of work!
It is SHARK WEEK on the Discovery Channel and my children have become obsessed! They have been glued to the TV and actually getting along! Who knew all it would take was a shark?
I have heard more about this 38 ft great white that is named Submarine and how it terrorized people who fell out of a boat and were trying to be rescued. My kids could sit for hours and talk about this shark. the only one who seems to see how frightening this is, besides myself, is Gracie. I think we are the only sane ones in the house right now.
They have talked about Zombie Sharks. I later found out it is when scientists hypnotize sharks. They can name the “mean” sharks and where sharks migrate too.
I am surprised there hasn’t been any nightmares. I am surprised that they still want to swim in the ocean. I am surprised at how quiet they can be during certain shows.
This obsession is working to my advantage…I am slowly checking off things on that HUGE To Do List without interruption. But this obsession is not helping my fear of dark water and the thought of when a wave crashes there could be a shark in it. YES this is what I think about when I am in the ocean! Unless I am swimming in crystal blue water.
With the girls both having an activity in the morning this week, I am getting so special time with my son. This is very rare. I rarely have just one of my children unless it is a school day. So to say I am going to enjoy this opportunity is an understatement.
So I asked him what he wanted to do with the next 4 mornings without the girls and he immediately said he wanted Dunkin’ Donuts every morning, a trip to Dick’s to look at football stuff, and school shopping. I almost fell over on the last one but I will take it.
What is your favorite thing to do with each of your children?