I had a whole week off of work. A. Whole. Week. I prepared for this (because I’m a Martha.) I even made a “fun to-do list” because I knew I’d get caught in doing chores instead of enjoying time with my boys. So how do you think I did?
Well, as to be expected, the days quickly became full of travel to visit family. And, as predicted in my last blog, I got a cranky attitude by the end because I’m like a toddler needing structured time – and naps. Here’s what happened:
Trip to visit the parents. My parents are building a cabin on a piece of land they own in the middle of nowhere, and are getting close to having it finished. So we hung out there. O chased a frog, J built a deer blind, and I worked on sewing a dress with my mom. I have taken up really learning how to sew. My mom is a former seamstress and God’s sew-able gift to the world. And I’ve chosen to take my new hobby seriously. Unless the project takes more than 30 minutes. Seriously. (I originally wrote “3 hours,” but J read this post and practically ordered me to tell the truth.) Then I get angry, frustrated, and want to give up. So I think I’m about to take sewing less seriously. Because the projects all take me at least 8 hours. It’s ridiculous.
A couple days at home. The garden is 100% IN! Tomatoes and peppers were the last to be planted. And J mowed the yard so I got to use all the grass clippings to cover the current bare spots in my garden.
The grass keeps out weeds and breaks down/composts to make your soil better – bonus points if you lay newspaper down first, but I just can’t with lil O running around too. It’s complete mayhem. He runs after his daddy on the mower, climbs up and goes down the swing set slide, picks unripened strawberries then attempts to eat them (one experience with the stem became a deterrent for a few days and now he hands them to me to make them “right”). We also went on a visit to the children’s zoo, and O had a great time watching the penguins at feeding time, as well as running. Just lots of running. Finally, I researched how to make a quality frozen breakfast burrito, J put it into action, and now that man is happy as he heads to soccer camp each morn with solid protein in his belly.
A trip to visit the other parents (J’s parents). It was anniversary weekend for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, so we offered to take their kids. I wanted O to have some good cousin time. Little did I know how exhausting it is to care for a 15-month old, a 20-month old, and 4-year-old.
Ok, I knew it would be exhausting. But you talk yourself into all these special moments they’re all going to have. Then you find yourself wrangling a kid with a poopy diaper while simultaneously yelling, “Don’t climb on that!” to another kid. (If you currently have more than one child, I realize this is your everyday. And I think you are crazy. And amazing for being able to do it. And I’m adding you to my prayer list.) I’d like to take all the credit for this exhaustion, but the truth is, when I say, “we took their kids,” I meant they came to Grandma & Papa’s, where four adults were present. And my mother-in-law nearly did everything. I deserve no credit. She’s the mix of an angel and bad ass beast all in one. Just like my mom. Moms are just killer like that.
O slept like crap. Which means we slept like crap. I know there are people out there with kids who always sleep awful and they manage to get by (not happily, but they still show up to work). But we are so not those people. Lil O is a champion sleeper. And has been for the most part since 9 months old. But we stayed away from our house 5 out of 9 days – with him in the same room as us. And at least 3 of those nights consisted of a wet bed and baby in the very early morning. It was less than pleasant. You just wanna say, “Get it together, kid!” Because clearly that will work with a child under the age of 2.
Finally, cue the Saturday night before I go back to work. And PTL my husband knows me because he picked up a bottle of wine at HyVee that same afternoon when he also picked up more milk for the little ones – while carrying a child through the store. (I hope the grocery clerk judges us for buying wine and milk. Because I would. Just short of a package of Oreos, I think it’s quite clear what is happening in our home. And that is parents about ready to give it up.) This man is truly worth all he challenges me with – and vice versa. I get the kid in bed that night and pour a…healthy portion. And start to feel the effects within a short time frame. I feel calm, relaxed…giggly. Oh PTL for wine. And as I chilled out, I realized I needed to for real chill out. I think wine takes my amped-up, always buzzing, on-high-alert brain and brings it down to a normal human level. (Seriously, J stands with his mouth wide open staring at me when I screw something up or forget something. Because I don’t do those things. It’s a mix of Girl Scouting, my mother, and an overstimulated brain. It’s not ADHD; it’s Martha-ness.)
I could choose to be the negative one (that no one wants to be around anyway), or I could choose to have a better attitude and enjoy the last few waking hours with family. I felt content (and, admittedly way too self-righteous in my decision), so poured myself another half glass of wine to really knock myself out overnight (remember the whole “O sleeping like crap?” I had to improve my odds of a night’s sleep that didn’t consist of a 3am wake-up to J’s snoring, then having to pee…a phenomenon I’ve learned I’ll never recover from post-pregnancy, and a 6am wake-up from the baby staring at me who would have gone back to sleep if his parents weren’t in the room). So what are my take-aways from this whole week off of work and with my family?
- I need to stop sewing.
- Three children are too many children.
- Wine helps me think clearly.
- I need a vacation.