Motherhood: A Balancing Act

mom_hectic_morning_webThis gig is hard, man! The back to school routine of getting them up, washed, dressed, fed and out the door with their homework and lunches — sometimes we are right down to the wire. Okay, most times. Yesterday Little Guy had to buy lunch because he didn’t have time to make his own. Yeah, that’s another thing adding, rather than taking away stress to my morning. He wants to make his own lunch. Why it kills me to let go of control in this one little facet of school prep, I will never understand.

Then the other half of the school day. Getting them to do homework. Wheedling. Cajoling. Bribing. She insists on setting her own schedule. He can’t understand why I won’t let him read a comic book during reading time. The teachers want my signature on everything from school lunch menus to nightly homework assignments — just to prove that I’ve seen it. OMG! I’ve seen it, already! Don’t care. Stop giving ME homework. I put in my thirteen years.kids-fighting

It’s a wonder I don’t start drinking the minute we get home about 3:30, instead of waiting until the kids have gone to bed. Hey, chill out. I’m a one-glass-of-wine kind of girl. That’s all I need to find my happy place. Well, that and a good book. Or a good Netflix binge. Just some valuable, non-mom ‘me’ time to counteract the fighting, the arguing (I swear my oldest has a career in law ahead of her), the broken windows (tools, brooms… if it isn’t actually his, Little Guy will eventually break it). I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wanting to run away every once in a while.

And because we need it, because we’ve earned it, sometimes we’re given that teeny little glimpse of mommy perfection. Just enough to keep us from completely losing our shit. I started to write ‘going bonkers’ and realized that just doesn’t say enough. Call a spade a spade, am I right?

After fighting with LG for days to read his just-right books, I offer him a deal. I’ll cut his reading time down to twenty minutes if he agrees to read the book he got out of the school library. The timer went off at twenty minutes and he asked (I kid you not!) to keep reading. And at 40 minutes he announced he’d finished the book. Cover to cover. That is my amazing second grader! I felt like the quarterback doing his dance after a fifty-yard touchdown. happy-dance

The night everyone raves over dinner, asks for seconds, cleans their own plate and doesn’t ask what’s for dessert. Walking in to find that Big Sis is voluntarily cleaning her bedroom. Not just shoving it under the bed but making piles to donate, recycle and toss. The love notes I find in the shower, when they’ve used up my supply of Aqua Notes I keep in there for when inspiration strikes. Random hugs, even when I’m not wearing a really fuzzy pair of pajamas. God, I live for those moments.

I’ll go in tonight, after they’re asleep. Slide the DS out from under its hiding place under his pillow, and the Kindle out from under hers. I will watch them at their most vulnerable. Eleven and seven and still clinging to a cherished stuffed animal as they snore softly and drool all over their pillows. I’ll take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Before the crazy starts all over again the next morning. Eh, it may be a different crazy. After all, it’s a different day. And the good moments will be different too. A check and balance system that keeps me on my toes. Because some day I’ll be the grandma, and they’ll be coming to me for parenting advice. Oh yeah, you better believe I’m gonna drag out every embarrassing memory from their childhood I can possibly think of. That’s balance for ya!cutesleeper

Throwback Thursday & How I Earned My Gray Hairs

Moms, tell me you can relate. Some days your kids drive you so batty that you send them to bed early just to stop the insanity! And then later on that night, you sneak in and watch them sleep — because you need that little reminder of how sweet they can be… even if it’s only when they’re sleeping.

Don't ask... half his blanket was shoved up his pj top. I just don't get him, sometimes. ;)

Don’t ask… he had a stuffed animal shoved up his pajama top. I just don’t get him, sometimes. 😉

That’s me, this evening. The final straw with Little Guy was when he loaded a pencil into his Nerf gun and attempted to shoot his sister with it. Sorry, pal, you’re done! But before I head off to pour a glass of much-deserved wine, I thought I’d post a few Throwback Thursday pics to remind myself of happier/funnier times.

Devil horns... cute coincidence or baby villain in training?

Devil horns… cute coincidence or baby villain in training?

Okay, I can’t really complain. He’s six years old now and when I pick him up at school, basketball practice, birthday parties, etc, I get the fiercest hugs a mom could ever hope for. His sister gave that up ages ago. I will gladly cherish those hugs for as long as possible!

Red ink pad smeared across the face takes several days' worth of scrubbing to disappear.

Red ink pad smeared across the face takes several days’ worth of scrubbing to disappear, in case you were curious…

I do have to say that, most of the time, I can laugh about the trouble he gets into almost right away. Of course we haven’t had to deal with any baseballs through the windows or trips to the principal’s office, so I guess we’ve gotten off easy so far. Fingers crossed and knocking on wood.

Never a dull moment

Never a dull moment

I turned his music on (he likes to have the local classical station playing in the background while he sleeps), flipped on his nightlight and kissed him goodnight. He hollered after me as I shut the door: “Why do you always have to be the boss of me? I’m not tired, I’m just sad! I said, I’M NOT TIRED!” Uh huh. And then he was out. Seriously. In about five minutes. Not tired, my big butt!

wipedout

Sweet dreams, Little Guy (and Big Sis). Time for my glass of wine and a good book.