I left my teaching job three years ago this last June. I’ve missed it, but with good reason, I stayed home with my children and decided to run an in home daycare business. This provided enough income to make ends meet and for me to be home with my own children.
I’m attempting to find the right level of me in the mix of all of this. How to do what I have to do for work, being a mom, and having time for myself without any of those things overpowering the other. My desire to be an awesome mom is frankly unrealistic and my expectations too high. As my youngest child, Maggie, approaches the ripe age of four I am experiencing highs and lows. The highs are in realizing she’s becoming a little lady. I got my ears pierced at four. She’s sharp, spunky and energetic. Our son, Alden, is seven and he’s almost as tall as me in his 48″ and my 60″ that’s not hard for a kid to do. I learned to ride my bike at seven… he already knows how. The lows are realizing that I’m done nursing babies and snuggling them late at night giving them something they need to survive. I miss that loss of sleep for snuggles. Now our kids are sticky, sweaty and boney and I can’t wait for them to stop climbing in the bed. I realize that I should slow down and appreciate that, because just like late nights with babies I couldn’t wait for it to end…. well now I miss it. Although they are no longer nursing, I need to respect the fact that what I’m doing now is their survival. It’s the structure to everything yet to come.
The needs of my children are changing. The needs are changing before I can change my ability to humour them. Today, for example, I got a call from a church member and I quickly had to go and I said, “I hate to be rude but I must go. I have five children with me right now.” My kids were fighting over a lego. When someone says to me… “I’ve got three kids all day” while they search for mommy support. I hope I don’t roll my eyes outwardly as I do in my head. I mean if I only have three kids… that’s seriously an easy day for me. I know it seems ridiculous fighting over a lego, but they are in a phase where they are mean to each other to only want to play together five minutes later. The other three older daycare girls are testing me in their ability to stretch out how serious the word “No” is coming from me. The youngest daycare girl is learning to stand her ground and being verbal towards the other children. So this is the time I must figure all of this out, before I lose control. It comes in waves when they develop like this. I manage though and I get things quickly under control.
I have found myself a bit overwhelmed the last few days back on the job and I know it’s not just the job. I’m getting frustrated because I don’t want to quit running and stop the treadmill even though Maggie wants me to change the tv show to something she would prefer. Alden wants me to remake his bedroom- now – today in this moment. I overslept this morning and I had ten minutes to run downstairs feed and let out the dogs, clean up what the puppy destroyed, check on the cat, start the coffee.. and yet Alden wanted me to look at his new lego creation. I declined… I felt bad but I had too many things to do. Today, while prepping lunch for the five, Maggie interrupted wanting me to try out her new lip gloss. I declined and continued on and she just sighed in frustration. That’s when it hit me… did it really matter if I was 30 seconds off for lunch? Did I really not have enough time to wait… stop …. and let her apply lip gloss? If this is true, I have gone too far and I am doing too much. I have defeated the entire purpose of resigning from my teaching job. If I simply find it impossible to stop for legos or lip gloss we have a bigger problem. Obviously, not all day is like this or I wouldn’t have time to write. I have to wonder if they are so starved for attention in these moments that they want to interrupt me when I am obviously extremely busy. Many times I enlist their help to speed things along and hope they don’t ask me to do anything additionally. I wish I could watch from afar to see what’s really happening. Just to be a fly on on the wall watching me in the motions of getting things done. I enjoy watching other parents struggle and find that one thing that changes the course of their child’s behavior. The learning curve is fun, but not while you are in it. I wish, in this moment, I could find the thing that would change the direction of my two kids or better yet myself.