Yesterday I was feeling guilty that I’m not doing things like making spider webs with the kids, or fun tree art, or even educational word rings. And suddenly it hit me, why the hell am I not doing these things? Of course I want to be a mom who does fun crafts with her kids. What happened? Well, part of it is that, when you have three kids, the time allotted for non-kid tasks, or even house maintenance tasks, shrinks dramatically. So I am either reading them books or rushing around vacuuming or cooking or calling roofers. The end result, though, is that I am focusing on exactly nothing and living life as a multitasker (and me, someone who hates multitasking).
So suddenly yesterday afternoon I decided to stop. If I’m going to have Eli home with me, I should at least be teaching him more than how to call contractors or how to watch mom do schoolwork on the computer. I need to remember to Be Here Now. (I’m also hoping the byproduct of this will be better sleep. Maybe they’re not sleeping well because they don’t get good time with us during the day, so they try to get parental time during the night?) Eli and I gathered leaves. Henry, Eli, Miranda and I made cookies (Miranda is Henry’s best friend, not a random extra kid I added) (well, she actually is an extra kid I love to add all the time because she keeps Henry happy, but she’s not my own kid). Henry and I did rubbings with the gathered leaves. And you know what? I got more done. I folded a ton of laundry, made dinner, and picked up more than I usually can.
I’m embarrassed it took me so long to get back to this. I think with three (or even two) kids, you can spend a lot of time running around doing nothing in particular. I’ve heard a million times: “Who cares if your house is a mess? Pay attention to your kids.” The fact is that I care if my house is a mess, and a chaotic house tends to lead to chaotic child behavior. But yesterday’s experiment might mean that if I include the kids, really talk to them, and focus on whatever I’m doing, things will get done. Stay tuned. It’s possible this plan will send me right out of my gourd, but it’s so crazy, it just might work.