Family of Four/Six

I’m over thinking I’m not cut out to be Rory’s mom, I think. My new thing is that I’m not cut out to be the mother of four. Although…

Rob was out of town for the last two nights. I think he’s been away a few times since Rory arrived, but this is the first time since school started in earnest, and in a full-on, all-out week–the week with nightly swim lessons. It’s a biannual occurrence that makes me simultaneously grateful that we live somewhere where there are such fabulous programs and deeply, deeply stressed that we live somewhere where I have to talk children to such programs.

But we brought off these two days with, again, for me, a relative degree of grace and charm. We were not late anywhere. No tantrums were thrown, by me or by those for whom the tantrums are more age-appropriate. I did not lose it and toss everyone shrieking into the car, as I did with soccer just a few short days ago. The soccer incident reminds me that nothing is perfect, but I’ve changed, I really have. I used to be late everywhere, and it was not the kids’ fault, it was mine. I never left for anywhere before we were supposed to be there, never allowed any time for anything to go wrong, never wanted to stop anything anyone was enjoying just so we could get to the next thing–but I wanted to GO to the next thing, which we might also enjoy!

I’ve changed. For one thing, I’ve conceded: if we all need to be somewhere in a given period of time–let’s divide the day mentally into chunks of morning, lunch, early afternoon, late afternoon, and dinner-time. If we all need to be somewhere during one of those times, I need to admit that I will be doing nothing but getting us there. Not unloading the dishwasher really quick, or getting off a few work emails. I will be packing, loading, herding, shoe-ing, feeding and wiping. And nothing else.
Plus, if getting there isn’t fun, then being there might not be worth it. Tomorrow, the final swim is at 9:30. Lily has ballet at noon. There is also a school picnic for the three little ones on the playground from 11-1:30. Once, I would have pushed Rob to the picnic, probably brought Lily for forty minutes and dragged her away, leaving him with the other kids, maybe even gone back…nah. Not worth it. She wouldn’t have fun and I’d have even less. Ballet is is, and only ballet. As for the others, they can go home. It’s good to be home. It’s EASY to be home.

And that’s another way I’ve changed. We’re home a lot more now. Everything else tends to feel like too much, and I’ve given up on too much. Preserving my sanity for another day. That’s what it’s all about.

4 Responses to “Family of Four/Six”

  1. as a mom with the same set of kids (lol) and the same “don’t cut it” material…i PROMISE you it gets earlier. we were pretty overwhelmed with 4 at first. now it really doesn’t seem like a bigger deal than 3….what’s one more? lol

    no seriously…it will get easier. we have at least 2 months on you and that is a HUGE amount of time for transistions.

  2. oops…i meant to write, “i promise it gets easier” , not earlier. sigh.

  3. JK says:

    Heh….3 made me feel like I couldn’t do it. You win. It took four to bring you down. 🙂 xoxo.

  4. Ninotchka says:

    “Preserving my sanity for another day. That’s what it’s all about.”

    A hearty “AMEN!” to that.

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