Obviously, things have been busy since the semester started. I haven’t updated this blog and, to be honest, I don’t feel bad about it. I entered this semester at school determined to avoid the “I’m not updating my blog” guilt. School is priority and, while I do love this blog, sometimes it just has to fall by the wayside. And right now I just don’t have the mental capacity to answer emails most days, let alone blog.
But there is something that needs to not fall by the wayside–my kids.
Overall, I feel pretty good about how we’ve been since the semester started. We’re nearing the halfway mark and I don’t feel on the verge of a mental breakdown. Sure, things are stressful. Sure, I’m not getting as much time with the girls as I did during the summer. I’m not quiet to the point of feeling like I’m always playing catchup, but I am definitely teetering on that edge. We have enough things going on that I definitely get the feeling that we couldn’t take even one more thing. A few weeks ago when Twig suddenly stopped going to sleep at night I thought that I was going to go crazy. I seriously did have the kind of freak out that I would have called a “panic attack” in the past. Now I just call it having kids drive you crazy. Anyway, we’re pretty much operating at maximum capacity.
And even though I feel like I’m reasonably present with my children when we’re together. Even though I feel like we’re all handling things pretty well and staying connected to each other. It’s easy to slip into old patterns.
I find myself yelling more, feeling less sympathy, just wanting them to leave me alone for a few minutes so I can breathe. These are all feelings I’ve dealt with in the past and I try to work on being a happier mama, but it’s not my default.
So today while I was nursing Twig down for a nap, I was reading Hobo Mama (I do try to keep up with my feed as best as I can). I’ve gotten multiple emails about this Playful Parenting eBundle. To be honest, I read the title and deleted them. I just don’t have time to be an affiliate and promote anything right now, as I’ve said above. I read this post on 11 Playful Parenting Ideas and loved it. Immediately afterwards (as Twig was now sleeping soundly), I went downstairs and played hide and go seek, baby washing machine (from the post), and then Uno with Peanut. And when Peanut had a meltdown during Uno (she realized she could have played a card after her turn had passed and we couldn’t backtrack), I felt so much more patient.
I could have used that 30-60 minutes that we played to do homework, yeah. Sundays are nice homework days for me because we’re already at the grandparents houses (we go to my in-laws for lunch and then my parents’ for dinner every Sunday) and they’re playing, so I can get some stuff done before the new school week starts. So yeah, I could have accomplished a bit more without the play, but instead I chose to reconnect with my child. I think it’s good that we get our space during the week, but it is a strain on our relationship to spend so much time apart and then come home and have more things to do. It was nice to get that connection.
It also made me realize something–reading about parenting helps me parent the way I want to. Having that little reminder helps me act in the way I want to. It helps me feel the patience I’m always striving to have. It helps me forget all the homework and dishes for a few minutes and be really, really present with my kids. So I’m buying that eBundle. I’m going to, in my sparse spare time, try to read little snippets. And I’m going to try to be a more playful parent, even in the stress of the semester.
If you’re going to buy the book, I urge you to do so though Hobo Mama. She’s really great and has always been an inspiration to be as a parent. Follow through to this link and then to the link to purchase it within her post.