This weekend, my husband took the time to teach Katie how to swing herself on the playset. He is a great dad, he is, but it was more for selfish reasons that he pressed it. We are both so tired of pushing the kids! Is that awful? If it is, oh well. It gets old. The constant, “Mommy, push me!”; “Mommy, push me first.”; “Mamamama – weeee.”
I can only stand out there, pushing until their heart is content, for so long. And then I get irritated, I can admit it. I want to go in, do more with my day than “push them higher”. It is not like this is a once a day trip to a park. This is in our backyard and is a constant source of their daily play.
My husband and I high fived and chalked Katie’s ability to swing herself up as a parenting success. Crediting his parenting genius, we reveled in the newfound joy of having one less kiddo to push.
It did not last long.
Sarah, having lost interest for the moment on the swings, was in the sandbox, eating dirt. A time out, a pop on the hiney, and a plea from her mother later, and it was time to remove her, deal with tantrum and go back to feeling like a parenting failure. This is not, after all, the first encounter we have had with this issue. We even got rid of the sandbox for a year because of it. But it persists, promising to be the bane of my existence.
And then Megan would not nap. Begging for the 7568th time, the question: Why don’t kids sleep when they are tired? Especially when they have done it their whole lives, same time, every day? A screaming fit later, and she settles. I am exhausted, stressed out, and ready for a nap myself. And I feel like a bad mother for forcing her to nap when she didn’t want to. Even though I knew she needed one.
It is interesting to me how a day in the life of raising kids can supply so many emotions, parenting successes, and parenting failures. No wonder parents are so tired by the end of the night! And, at least so far, it is never ending!
Thank God! ;)