I need to go to bed, but I want to write very quickly about three great things from today. Like everyday, there is a lot of times when I find myself frustrated and yelling at the kids. I've come to think its because I've gotten to a point where I have things I very much want to do other than just playing with the kids so I often feel a need to multitask when they are awake. Some of these things are more important than others, but I still feel pressure to get them all done in the approximate four hours child free time I get daily (two in the afternoon and two at night). Today was a very productive two hour nap time. I got the Christmas cards designed, wrote a recipe blog, wrapped two presents, worked on meeting times for selling items, downloaded letter of the week printables, uploaded play school pictures, and created a book list for the new letter of the week. Tonight, I just relaxed and watched Glee with Mike. Its a huge conflict between wanting to do something by myself (like look up if we can watch the Nutcracker on instant play without two kids climbing on my chair trying to use the keyboard) and giving them 100% of my attention. It really comes down to little things, too. When Natalie was an infant, I barely bothered with makeup and clean clothes when we went out, but that is essential now, as it should be. Just putting on eye shadow is a battle, and sometimes I have to lock them out of the bathroom. But, most of my distracted parenting time is on the computer - looking up recipes, Goodreads, Amazon wishlists, blogging, uploading pictures, FB, posting and tracking items I'm trying to sell, etc. I hate that I am not interacting with them, but feel a bit torn. At three, Natalie really should be able to play alone. And William does play alone, but drives me crazy when he is suddenly glued to me. But I feel I shouldn't be frustrated with them when I haven't been focusing on them. I think its a bit of Mommy burnout. Sometimes I just want to eat my lunch and not read stories to them. Sometimes I just want to think adult thoughts and not redress a doll or put animals in and out of the barn.
On to the good things:
William plays very independently most of the time, which is why I get frustrated when he then starts climbing up my leg whining. But when I am able to take a step back, I know he just wants me to play with him. I have great guilt over not playing with him alone like Natalie used to get. Everyday I get a little time alone with William before his nap, but I often don't maximize it because I've been dealing with the kids for six or seven hours. Today, however, I allowed him to climb up on my desk chair and play with the computer. I then sat behind him on the floor, and we played peekaboo around the chair back. I'd go on either side, above, or under the half back of the chair. He loved it and giggled, something he doesn't do often enough. William woke up crying from his nap probably due to his molars coming in. He nursed back to sleep with me on the couch and I got to snuggle him for a little while.
After Natalie got up from nap, I stopped myself again and let Natalie get her way. She wanted to play on our bed. So Natalie, William, and I played on our bed. I turned off all the lights and got their Twilight Turtles and loveys. William played nap for the first time. He watched Natalie and figured out he was suppose to tuck in and lay down. When Mike came home he was saying bye-bye and nye-nye. They both liked playing with the different colors on the turtles and making the water bed make waves. It was a very nice time playing the same game with both of them for an extended time.
After dinner, I ran outside to put a couple of items in the recycling at the curb. I immediately noticed how bright the stars were when I stepped out. When I got back in, I called Natalie and put her coat on. I carried her outside and showed her the stars. When I asked she said she had seen stars like that before, but I really don't think she had since she has been outside after dark so few times. It was a small moment, but a really nice one.
As always, that took much longer than I planned because I always have so much to say! But, maybe its a good thing because now William has woken up. It would have been annoying to get out of bed only 30 minutes after getting in.