Monday, August 12, 2013

A Different Approach

I absolutely hate when people ask me how old my children are and I say 2 and 3 and they swoon and say, "Oh! Enjoy every minute!" 
I want to look at those people and smack them alongside of the head. 
1. Don't boss me.
2. You must be mistaken and need a reality check. Not every minute of raising children is enjoyable.
3. That is a lot of pressure to put on someone.

Now, I am not dense and I get that these people are telling me that time goes by too fast and some day my little babies will be all grown up and I will yearn for them to be babies again. But you know what I am going to do then? I am going to come back and read this blog. I am going to remind myself that there are some moments in parenting that are not enjoyable...

Waking up a million times in the night because Neddy has a booger in her nose and wants me to wipe it but doesn't want me to wipe it but wants me to wipe it...

Trying to go to the bathroom by myself. Locking the door and listening to the kids trying to use their toy tools to take the door off the hinges. Panicking when the noise stops and then finding the kids in the backyard playing in their underwear and screaming "I'm nakey!"  

The fighting! The constant fighting! Physically dragging each other to the floor by the hair, wrestling, and biting because the other one has a toy that you might want to play with in an hour but didn't realize you even wanted it until she picked it up. 

You are telling me to enjoy these moments? I can't. I won't! I already put too much pressure on myself trying to work full time and incorporate every amazing Pinterest idea into my classroom while inspiring kids to be lifelong learners, compete with the stay at home - homeschoolers, and keep the barely visible spark alive between my husband and me.

I'm sorry but I have decided to take a different approach. I am not going to enjoy every minute, but I do try to look at those high stress moments differently. Advice to myself: take a deep breath, and remember: a stranger would think this situation was hilarious.

Example: Neddy wanted her 13th mini-pancake for breakfast. As I was microwaving, Kate decided to go wash up in the bathroom. From the kitchen I hear blood-curdling scream so I run to the bathroom to find Kate crying and wet. Neddy is trying to escape and she slips in the enormous puddle on the floor. Apparently Kate was standing on the toilet to reach the sink and wash her hands (ignoring the pink stool we purchased for handwashing). Neddy decided to open the toilet while Kate was standing on it and Kate's feet fell into the toilet. She was upset because "FEET DON'T GO INTO THE TOILET!" Neddy knew she was in trouble so she tried to run but slipped in the toilet water on the floor and hit her head. BAM! Everyone is crying, there is a toilet water everywhere, and the dog is eating the pancakes! This is not enjoyable. How does one even predict a situation like this?
Breathe. If a stranger watched this unfold before her eyes, she would be laughing her ass off right now.

I learned this strategy when I heard the new neighbor describe to me the scene of me trying to mow the lawn while corralling both kids. As you can imagine, this was a high-stress situation. (PS: I didn't enjoy it.) He was supposed to be sleeping because he works third shift but couldn't stop watching as I stopped the lawnmower again and again because Neddy was throwing things into the road and eating dirt, Kate was poking Gilbert with a stick, and then they found themselves in a drop-down-drag-out fight because someone wanted to go up the stairs to the slide while the other one wanted to come down. As he described the situation, I saw it in a new light and was able to laugh at how ridiculous we must have looked.

So, my friends, I will not enjoy every moment. But I promise to try to laugh like a stranger through the stressful ones so I can continue to love my babies with all my heart.