Sometimes as a stay-at-home, home school mom it seems a bit frivolous to complain about being around my children just a bit too much.
Yet that is where I really found myself last week.
I was a bit tired of them and they were tired of me.
All of this “togetherness” that we purposely create and that we believe to be good for our family during this particular time was driving all of us a bit crazy. The onslaught of 100+ degree did not help the matter. Sending the children out to the backyard to play in the direct sun at 4pm simply to get them out of my hair was more of a punishment than a solution. Hiring a babysitter to come over during the day seemed a bit too extravagant. Running away from home (or at least to Target) was a thought, but I figured they would just find me.
How does one survive summer while attempting to deal with being together so much?
Plan to be apart
At the moment, we do not have many plans for our family to be separated this summer. We have a camp and a mini-camp coming up soon where the three of us will all be doing different things. Other than that, we are together for the most part. Because of these lack of plans, I make sure we all have time to ourselves during the day. No one talks to each other. No one fights. No one asks me a question (My favorite question from yesterday just happened to be : “If you are a kid and pretend to be a bad guy, can you still love Jesus?”) . Quiet time each afternoon at our house is essential.
Summer plans can make afternoon quiet time a bit tricky, at least for us. Afternoons are great for swimming and summer play dates. If this is the case, we might have a bit of room time in the morning. Does that not sound delicious?
Run Away from Home (But do come back)
Getting out of the house without kids is okay. In fact, it helps one become a better mom/wife/human being. Taking time to be alone is a really good energy booster for moms. Set up a night where you leave once your spouse gets home from work. Meet up with friends or simply sit in a quiet bookstore with a cozy drink and a gossip magazine that you intend to read but not purchase.
(Not that I would ever do that…)
Find a Friend
As I mentioned, last week was a bit rough in the mothering department around here. I felt a bit burned-out, cranky and tired. Want to know what helped? Being around other moms who likely were feeling a bit burned-out, cranky and tired. No, we did not sit and gripe about such issues. Rather I had three different lovely interactions/play dates with moms with whom I could have a real conversation that did not involve discussing the latest episode of WildKrats. Sure my children were still around. However, they were having a real conversation with people of their size and age that did not involve the importance of making one’s bed or keeping one’s elbows off the table.
It was a win/win for everyone.
Know that this too will pass
Those long days eventually end. Bedtime eventually rolls around. Children eventually fall asleep. Sure that whole process could have been a battle. You could be very weary at day’s end. Yet those bad days/weeks/months do eventually come to an end.
Today, I had a bit of a reprieve. The children who were grumpy and rude and loud and demanding to be fed three times a day (sheesh!)just yesterday were sweet and polite and gracious today. They did not beg for every electronic device to be turned on in the house to keep them entertained. They answered quickly and politely. They played quietly upstairs for quite the while before lunch, allowing me to prepare a meal for someone while also talking to my grandmother on the phone.
It was in that moment, as I sat chopping red and green bell peppers, that I was reminded that with the bad comes the good (and with the good comes the bad). That those feelings of too much togetherness are also generously peppered with feelings of cohesiveness as all my family members reside peacefully (and nosily and messily) under one roof.
Isn’t it great how that happens?
Around this time, the two little ones came downstairs happily, chatting about all the fun they had been having together.
Playing barber shop. (*)
How do you handled too-much togetherness in the summer?
*Turns out “barber shop” was only with stuffed animals. That game was quickly given the no-go.