My kids take me through a myriad of emotions almost daily. From laughter to frustration to heart warming love to just plain ‘How the heck am I ever going to get through this day?” But every moment is awesome. Even when I am on the verge of crawling into a lions den. Wearing BBQ sauce.
The other day, I was on a mission to actually accomplish something. Anything. At all. Like just something. My children, however, had different ideas. They do not see mommy’s time as valuable you see. They see it as theirs. Most of the time I am OK with that. But then I get behind and have to catch up. Which means they get less mommy time. Which makes them want more.
You know how the Merry Go Round of children’s attention goes, right?
The other day I had several posts I needed to get through for my Campaign Lead position with Collective Bias. I also had at least 2 recipes to make and 3 to 4 other posts I needed to get up on the blog. In addition, I had at least 2 loads of laundry to fold, a bathroom that needed attention thus it unleash a brand new species into the world and I really, really wanted a long, leisurely shower.
My children wanted to go out for breakfast, go to Target to check out the Dollar Spot so they could get prizes for the Princess School they were running and then wanted to ‘just have lunch’at Chucke E Cheese. None of these things were going to happen. I made that clear and, upon that, my fate was sealed.
As I sat down to attempt to work, the ‘Mommy, I need…’, ‘Mommy, she made me….”, ‘Mommy, can you <do this> <dress this> <tie this> <help me>’s started with rapid fire. First my oldest, then my youngest then my middle. And then they switched position and kept it coming. I was getting nothing done.
I used every cell of imagination that I had left and nothing was working. Not everyone wanted to play Princess School – unless mommy came in and was a student – and no one wanted to color/ paint/ do sidewalk chalk/ write me a story. It was too cold to play outside and I was at my wits end.
I contemplated lifting their tablet grounding that was still in place since the night I lovingly refer to as ‘the night of complete motherhood disaster’ where it took me 2 hours to get my kids to stop playing ‘musical beds’ and actually go to bed. But I had to stand strong. I offered one of the 3000 movies we own but no one could agree to what they wanted.
So I was back to square one. Three kids, one mom, two dogs that lack babysitting skills and a mountain of work that had to be done.
And I was at a complete loss.
I sat staring at my three kids from my seat at my computer calculating how many hours in the day I had to complete everything I needed to do, considering the circumstances of not getting it done and exploring my vast database of busy play I could have my children doing and physically gave up.
They are my kids and I love them and work can be done when they are asleep or at school. So I put down my pen, turned off my computer and curled up on the couch with them, books around us, to listen to my 7 year old read, my 6 year old try to read a whole book on her own and to read to my 4 year old. The time passed and we were all warm and happy.
But something miraculous happened too. As we read one by one, they pealed off of me to go do other things. Eventually I had the couch to myself and three happy, I got to spend quality time with mommy, playing kids that were no longer needing me for everything.
I turned my computer back on and worked with the happy play, laughter and chatter in the background. By the time they needed me again, I was getting to a stopping point and had plenty of time again to give to them.
As we sat talking together at the table, I realized I had learned a valuable lesson. All they wanted was me. And truth be told, all I needed in the over stressed state of mind I was in was time with my kids. Taking that little time to resecure our connection was vital to the next few hours of happiness.
I still have a lot to do all day every day. I never feel like I am ever caught up. But I always feel like I have an hour of totally uninterrupted time to give my kids. And we are all better off for it!