Merely Surviving

Last night I went to a parenting class.  It’s a free six week course, and they’re offering childcare.  Apparently, I’ll go anywhere and do anything for free childcare.  While I want to save the parenting classes for another post, I was struck by what one of my friends said in class.  She felt disconnected and just surviving.  She was lost.  And that broke my heart.

Then I realized how disconnected I felt from my boys.  I know I’m in a different place.  I’ve got Tornado A tearing out huge chunks of my time because he has to as the infant.  But I look at what I did today.  At first I was pretty unhappy.  We worked on workbooks and played I Spy.  What the Hell?  That’s all the fun I had with the boys?  That’s all I did to interact with them other than to nag them to clean up, to eat, and to get dressed.

But then I started really going through my memory.  Tornado S helped me make blueberry muffins as Tornado A swung in his swing.  Tornado E helped me bathe Tornado A when Tornado A spit up all over.  I read several books to the boys.  I cuddled with Tornado S as I fed Tornado A.  Tornado E and I discussed his dreams.  I watched them build in the sand.  And of course, I nagged them, dumped into a bathe, convinced them to eat dinner, and did a few chores to keep the house somewhat clean.

That’s not all I want to do.  We haven’t done a craft in weeks.  Or a science experiment.  I can’t remember the last time we played cars or a board game.  Again, I get that Tornado A comes first and that sometimes I have to do things to survive, like turning on the TV again because I need them not to try to kill each other again while I feed the baby.  I just know that if I don’t have fun with the boys I’ll just be stuck on surviving, and I can’t just go day by day like that.  I need to be connected.

So I thought maybe I should try to make getting things done more fun, like making breakfast with Tornado S and bathing Tornado A with Tornado E.  Maybe I shouldn’t be rushing to get things done all the time.  Maybe I should be enjoying the adventure of it all.  That and we really need to get back to a morning routine so that I’m not shouting like a crazy woman to get everyone dressed and out the door so we’re not late again.

7 Responses to “Merely Surviving”

  1. Ink Says:

    “Apparently, I’ll go anywhere and do anything for free childcare.” LMAO.

    Frankly, though, it already sounds like you did so much! I Spy? Blueberry Muffins? Reading Books? Playing in Sand? You rock!

    And we LIVE in perpetually late state. I’ve just accepted it. 🙂

  2. Fie Upon This Quiet Life Says:

    You’re a great mom! I have had the TV on all day just to get through the day. And I only have two kids. Give yourself pat on the back. There are far more detached moms out there — me, for instance.

  3. Maureen@IslandRoar Says:

    You are so smart. I am amazed you can even think about this stuff with all you have going on. Aidan will become more incorporated into the kid routine and time will slowly bend less in his direction. You are such an incredible mom!!
    How great to have a parenting class with child care!!

  4. letmestartbysaying Says:

    Hi there….new subscriber here!
    I think just the fact that this is a concern of yours puts you at an advantage. Looking at all the little things you DO do in between ‘survivor mode’, it sounds like you do enough for your kids to grow up knowing there mom is present.
    At times, I have felt like I was just treading water throughout my days, just making the time pass until they were all in bed and I could not be mom for a bit. And it made me feel mean, until I realized that I do make the eye contact, search for the exact Ben 10 coloring page online, flip them over my head ‘just one more time’ for the 100th time. We’re doing ok, I think.

  5. Steel Magnolia Says:

    Think of what it feels like to be your boys. They feel your love and concern for them, even when you’re in a tizzy. That’s my constant hope anyway. Plus, you are so present in your mind just because you are aware and conscious. And I’m not even sure I know more than a handful of people who have taken a parenting class! Good for you!

  6. TheNDM Says:

    A new baby in the house necessarily pushes the older children to “the next level”. Not that childhood is like a computer game or anything – I mean the next level of independence and growinguphoodness (I like to make up words, see?). As Aidan grows, you will forge new connections with the grownuphoodnessed Evan and Sean. You’ll see. Hang on in there and don’t beat yourself up in the meantime… x

  7. zeemaid Says:

    I agree with all the commenters… you do alot with the kids already and so what they may be watching more tv right now but it’s a stage. Once Aidan gets more adjusted to the routines of the household it will all get better. Not once have my kids said to me… remember when mommy was pregnant with O and then remember afterwards.. she never did anything with us…. Not once! They live very much in the moment and when they are older… they will look back and remember what a great mom they had!

    Still I get what you are saying because some days I feel like I’m just “killing time” here and that’s a sad thought.

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