Sunday, July 24, 2016

Mommy's "I'm over it" summer tantrum: dishes, laundry, and sticky stuff

Mom2MomEd Blog: Mommy's "I'm over it" summer tantrum
As a work at home mom, I'm obviously home pretty much all summer long with both of my kids (ages 3 and 5).

Let's pause for just a moment...did you catch that?

I am home ALL summer with two young kids with two distinct personalities.

There's not school drop offs, school or after school activities to plan around, no classes, no set, scheduled routines.

But there is a lot of eating! I had no idea how much food my two little ones could go through! And, you know what I've learned?

My kids like variety.

If they've already eaten something this week, they don't want to see it again anytime soon. These aren't PB&J every day kind of kids! They want variety, something new every day of the week.

Or, they want to make their lunches and snacks themselves which in itself is a topic for another day!

This summer, I find myself going to the grocery store twice as often as I did during the school year. I feel like I am spending twice as much money on food and ten times as much time and effort on preparing food.

Not to mention the dishes...oh those dishes! Mt. Dishmore, right?

Please tell me that you understand. Tell me that I'm not the only one...

The dishes hate me. If I wash them and let them dry in the rack next to the sink, they somehow manage to push themselves back into a giant, dirty pile in the sink every single time. I'm almost ready to wave the white flag at the dishes, but we occasionally have ants. And, leaving the dishes would just make that problem worse. We don't have trails of ants, but I find the occasional straggler here and there. I just can't handle finding even more of them.

I even find the odd ant or two in places like my purse. In fact, right now, my purse is lying open on our deck with all of it's contents spilled out because of the ants. How did they find their way in there and what could they possibly have found at the bottom of that pit?

And, on top of the food monsters, dish pile, and ants, I have side gigs to bring in some income. I work from home for an au pair agency, grade assessment essays, and of course, I am deeply invested in Mom2MomEd and our mission to help parents just like you to be better advocates for your own children.

Oh, and what else have I faced constantly this summer?


That's right. I wash clothes and dishes and sticky substances off of surfaces.

Sometimes I wash sticky substances off of the dog, a chicken, or a kid.

I know this isn't unique to just my family. All moms and dads (and grandparents and guardians) are faced with the challenges of having these extra little bodies at home, but it just seems particularly daunting in the summer months.

Please tell me you are with me on this!

Or, does it just seem like so much more this summer because for the first time I have NO nappers resulting in no real breaks or downtime in the day.

And, now I've gotten distracted, but that leads me to the entire point of this post. It can seem like a thankless job to keep up with household tasks, keeping everyone fed and clothed, ensuring that my children are active and engaged, and just keeping us all going in a positive direction.

And, this isn't unique to stay at home parents. Whether you work or not, or work at home or out of the house, you don't get to clock out of parenting at the end of the day.

When you are home, you are scrubbing kids, dishes, and laundry. You are feeding and clothing your little ones. You are grocery shopping and chasing the dog or cat out of the kitchen. You are constantly picking your kids up, putting them down again, and intervening in sibling squabbles.

While I love being with my kids, do you know what that does to me after days and days on end without a break?

It makes me lose my motivation.
It makes me feel like I can't keep up.
It makes me question my decision to stay at home with my kids.
It makes me feel lazy because I can't possibly dig up the energy to fold one more load of laundry or empty the sink one more time today.

Not only does it do these things to me, but I then have a difficult time combating the feelings associated with those things.

I realized early on this summer that I was not doing a good job of taking time to attend to my own needs. I'm just not good at it.

Like many moms, I end up feeling guilty. And when I do make time to take care of myself? Well, I sometimes feel like I don't actually know what to do in terms of self care. It's like my mind can't turn its attention from my children and home and to focus on me.

I've been making an effort to pay extra attention to some of the things that make me feel good and help break of up the monotony of summer days at home with my kids. In our next post, I'll be sharing some of the self-care steps I've been taking over the last several weeks. Malea will be throwing in some tips of her own as well. Please be sure to check back here or follow us on Facebook so you don't miss it!
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