I’m so scattered right now and it’s a new feeling for me. There are days when I think I have it all together and other days that make me question whether I’ll survive the next five years.
Josiah, my 7 year old is convinced he’s on the verge of being a teenager — so he acts like it. My almost 3-year-old, Samuel, has ZERO fear (except barking dogs and reptiles) and will jump off of, out of, on to, or through just about anything. Even if that means cuts, bruises, or stitches. And then there’s Tobias. He is 4 months old and trying hard to play catch-up with his brothers. All the while making sure I’m nearby to nurse him or rock him whenever he wants. Because that’s what 4 month olds do. They want mommy all the time. Guess what? Almost 3 year olds want mommy all the time too. Even though he denies it, 7 year olds need mommy around too.
I start my day between 5 and 7:30 a.m. and I finally pass out at the end of the day between 9 and 10 p.m. I’m exhausted by the end of the day because I’ve been running myself ragged, but when I look around it doesn’t look like I’ve done anything.
I nurse Tobias every two hours, which means I change him every two hours. He sleeps for two hours and is awake for two hours. In between that cycle is Samuel getting in the fridge, playing in the bathroom, using the potty, pretending he has to potty so he can play in the bathtub, crying because Power Rangers has to rewind before he can watch it (yep, old school), whining because he wants a peanut butter and jelly at 8 a.m., begging to go outside even though it’s 40 degrees outside, and of course climbing on anything to get into everything.
While that’s going on Josiah is trying to do school work, but he’s distracted by the fact that I’m chasing Samuel around the house with Tobias crying from his bedroom or bouncing around in my Moby Wrap. Josiah has to try and work on school while Samuel runs by trying to grab his papers and steal his papers. Samuel is screaming, Tobias is crying, and I’m trying not to do either one.
At the end of most days I’m exhausted and I’m frustrated. Frustrated with the kids because their behavior didn’t fit into my plans. Frustrated with myself because I should be able to handle all of this. Frustrated that I’m too exhausted to do everything I should be doing. I wanted three children right? (Actually four, but God knew better). I wanted to homeschool right?
I should have this figured out. But I don’t.
Why are there five loads of clean laundry piled in the living room? I’ve started folding it at least twice a day for the past week. Why did I wash the same load of laundry 3 days in a row? Did I mention that Christmas is in two weeks and I’m not done DIYing all of my gifts?
We’ve lost our focus. Somewhere along the way I got busy with focusing on the what and not the who. I’ve gotten so focused on the house being messy and the laundry not being done that I forgot why the house was messy and why I have a ton of laundry to do.
God has blessed with a great husband and three awesome kids. Not only am I blessed with a great family, but I have the opportunity to stay at home with my kids and homeschool. The kids need clothes, food, and a clean place to live. That’s what I want to provide for them because it’s important.
The housework is important. The dishes are important. And yes, even the laundry is important. But the kids are more important. Setting a good example for my kids and making positive memories is important. I’ve learned that the laundry will be there tomorrow (and the day after that and the day after that), but that time with my kids is very precious and always changing. They are different today than they were a few months ago and they’ll be different from today in just a short time.
Right now I will focus on connecting with my kids. I will ignore the pile of clean laundry and focus on reading A Christmas Carol with Josiah. I will try hard not to feel apprehensive about the messy living room if it means playing a game with the kids. Once I focus on loving my family, then slowly but surely things will get easier and I’ll be able to get things done around the house efficiently…eventually.