Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Mother of three frustration, and why I haven't been blogging more

I really do miss having time to write here. Right now it's almost noon, I've fed the girls and Robert lunch and they are all playing sort of nicely for the moment, and I'm taking a minute to write. I'll probably never get to finish, but I'll start.

Projects I have going on right now:

I am reading Organized Simplicity and (interruption #1! Robert found Ivey's peanut butter and banana sandwich she left in the floor and is eating it. I take it away, he cries.) thinking of how I'd like our house set up. Right now we have more sweaters than I could possibly ever need. I want to have a sweater destash party and invite my friends over to make all kinds of stuff. Hopefully later this month. I also feel like we have too many clothes and toys.

We are going to be reorganizing our living room a bit in a week or so. When we get our tax return we're buying a new, much bigger TV that mounts on the wall! Yay! We recently got rid of our pretty but large entertainment center and have had our TV on that table ever since. When we no longer need it to hold our TV, I plan to use that table as Suzi's craft/school area. I'll set it up in the corner where it'll take up the smallest amount of space (interruption #2! Save Robert from choking on sister's grape stems.). Then I'll set up her markers, colored pencils, scissors and other items on top of it out of Ivey's reach, and put a barstool under it. I just had this genius idea of installing some type of gutter around the edge to catch Suzi's paper clippings. She loves to cut things out of paper, but when the bits fall in the floor Robert tries to eat them. She isn't yet capable of doing a decent job cleaning that type of mess, because it requires (interruption #3! Put Sleeping Beauty's dress back on right now or we will nag you mercilessly, Mom!) fairly meticulous sweeping. And I don't want to squash her creative flow by telling her not to cut. I'll have to figure this clippings-gutter thing out.

Homeschooling Suzi. I am starting a separate blog for this. Maybe it's a stupid idea, given my current level of blog dedication. However, I am going to have to keep records starting in fall 2012 and I might as well keep them in a blog. This way I can refer back to them easily and quickly, it will be in a safe place and easy to keep up with, and friends and family can see how Suzi is doing too! I've already started working on it. I'll have to do a separate post on this later, as there is much more to say. (Interruption #4! Rescue a crying Bobber who needs to nurse!)

The kids are driving me crazyyyy. Right now Robert is nursing and the girls are fighting over our counting bears that I let them play with after a quick math lesson, against my better judgment. My mom and others keep saying that it'd be such a nice break for me if I could get them to take a nap, but the thing is, they don't nap. I frequently try and every time am reminded why it's a bad idea. Suzi plays quietly in her room, but if I let Ivey "nap" alone there is no telling what she might do. Things could end up being destroyed. One time she chopped all the hair off a toy horse and stuffed it into her pillowcase. I wasn't aware she had scissors and was thoroughly confused at where all that hair could have come from, until I finally saw the poor bald horse. Good thing I bought it for a buck at a yard sale. If I keep Ivey downstairs and try to make her nap on the couch we end up in an ugly power struggle. The fact is, you can't make somebody nap. So I just let them stay up. They are tired and yeah, they could really use a nap, but it's not worth it to try to force them into one. Robert does nap but usually will not be put down for one, so it's not like I can use his naptime to get anything done. (Interruption #5! Ivey needs help in the bathroom, Robert spits up in the floor, Suzi needs help drawing a 3, and Robert needs to be picked up because he is trying to put his face all over Ivey's potty.)

I've had this strange guilt since having three kids. Even when I'm reading books to them and doing nothing that I personally want to do, like paint my nails or pee alone or sit down to eat a meal? What did I do before I had kids again? Anyway, even though I'm doing good things, things that need to be done, I'm feeling guilty because the baby is starting to cry, and shouldn't I be holding him? Is my floor really clean enough for him to be playing in it? Why wasn't I able to get that done? (Interruption #6! Ivey needs paper and I fuss at her to leave me alone a little while because I am nursing the baby while I type and really can't come right now. But on the plus side, high-five Suzi for figuring out how to draw the number 3! It clicked, hooray!) With three kids so little and unable to take care of themselves, at any given time there are about ten things I (interruption #7! Put Robert down, he is done nursing) should be doing. So I get guilt no matter what I do, even when, like last night, I clean with Jordan until 9 pm in preparation for a day with the kids that I hope might not be a total bear.

The other thing that sucks even more than the weirdo guilt is how I just don't do anything sometimes because the things I need to do, like a homeschool lesson with Suzi, a craft project, or a decluttering session, are going to take a few minutes of concentration and both my hands and I'm afraid I'll get halfway in and then have to stop. Sometimes it's better not to start at all. (Interruption #8! Go get Robert out of the bathroom YET AGAIN and shut the door.) Sometimes when you start said homeschooling lesson and then have to see the look in your poor disappointed little four-year-old's eyes when you have to snap the book shut and go clean the poop out of her sister's pants or fish the God-knows-what out of her baby brother's mouth, you wish you hadn't started at all. Sometimes it just hurts when the authors of your curriculum say to "clear your physical and mental space" and make sure there are no interruptions as you work with your child. Because it's freaking impossible. (Interruption #9! Keep Robert from chewing on my shoe, see what Ivey is getting into, and get her that paper she wanted.)

But people do homeschool large families, and their kids do turn out fine, and we'll get it done. I just pray it ends up getting easier soon. (Interruption #10! Respond to an ominous rustling sound to find Suzi cleaning up her own mess. Thank God. Maybe it is starting to get easier already. Just maybe.) I am not giving up completely on what I believe in just because it is hard right now. (Interruption #11. Suzi needs help after all. Bring Robert back into the living room.) I am so looking forward to feeling, once more, what it's like to be productive and not just breaking up fights and cleaning one mess after another after another all day.

Just being honest, though. Sometimes it's wonderful. Every day, many parts of it are wonderful. But this is hard.

And what do you know? I did finish this post after all.


Amy @ Anktangle said...

It's nice to hear from you, Jenny! I'm glad you persevered and wrote it all out. I have these same frustrations with one child, and I suspect you're doing a much better job than you're giving yourself credit for! I hope the guilt will (somehow) slowly melt away and you can ride the ups and downs that seem to be inevitable in this parenting gig. (Not saying I have it all together or anything--just a wish for peace for you, from one mom to another.) <3