Do you ever have days where you are totally busy all day long but at the end of the day, it seems like you've accomplished pretty much nothing? I just had a whole week that felt pretty un-fulfilling in the realm of accomplishments. That used to be the norm when the kids were all really little. But in the last year or so, I've been able to organize my time pretty well - with three kids in school and the twins pleased as punch to play on their own and have a little TV time for "quiet time" in the afternoon while I sit at the computer and get things done, I've had an hour or two each day to accomplish a few things off my "to do" list. Plus I've had built-in time all by myself - miracle of miracles - to do the grocery shopping and errands while the twins were at preschool. I guess I've gotten a bit spoiled.
With everyone out of school, that nice orderly schedule has gone on the window and while we're all doing great things and having fun and learning, I feel like my own personal list of things to do is getting longer and longer because I never get around to doing hardly anything on it! And if I do get around to doing something on my list, I only get 1/2 of it done before I get interrupted. So I've got to figure out a little "me" time somehow in the midst of the great stuff that we have going on around here this summer.
I'm trying to just let go of some of the stuff on my list and accept that I need to go at a slower pace on other things. Enjoying this time when I have the kids all to myself is my first priority. So I'm trying not to be too frustrated when days go by without getting to my "list" - and without quite squeezing in time for laundry or returning phone calls. I'm trying to keep this little poem in mind - it was cross-stitched in a frame at a home where I frequently babysat and I memorized it as a teenager:
Cleaning and scrubbing (or emails and phone calls)
Can wait 'til tomorrow
For babies grow up
We've learned to our sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs
Dust, go to sleep
I'm rocking my baby (or doing fun stuff with my kids)
And babies don't keep
These kids are growing up right before my eyes! They are such fun and amazing people. They drive me crazy still, sometimes. And they all have things that they really need to work on - whining (Isaac), getting things done (Ashton), getting overly emotional (Eliza), defiance (Silas), pouting (Oliver).... And I have tons of things I really need to work on as their mom (patience, being "in the moment" more with them rather than thinking about the next thing I need to do, really listening to them more...). But now that I'm past some of the things about motherhood that really bogged me down (diaper changes, feeding and nap schedules, lots of crying and sleep deprivation), motherhood is more enjoyable than it's ever been for me right now. I get to spend my days with such fun, interesting little people and I so enjoy having real conversations with them and teaching them things and reading with them and learning from them. And I know I've got to cherish this period where my kids still think I'm cool and want to be with me and want to tell me things and do things with me all day long!
But I'll be a better, nicer mom and I'll be able to better enjoy time with the kids if I don't have so many things I need to do hanging around in my mind if I do get to accomplish a few of my own things here and there. So this week I think I'm re-instituting "quiet time" for at least an hour most afternoons where the kids can read or play quietly in their rooms without me. And I'm going to face up to getting up earlier so I can get some things done in the morning.