I don’t do crafts very often, we don’t bake as much as we used to, our ‘free play’ (ie: run around and chase each other) is more limited. We have been hemmed in by the spring rains and so gardening and park playing have been almost non-existent. Playdates are less frequent. I send them to the babysitter a little more often than I used to & often ignore them for my phone, which is buzzing with emails and calls daily.
I did want to play pirate ship yesterday. My 4 year old, loves his pirate island. He patiently taught his little brother (who will be TWO in a few weeks!!!!) how to use the cannon and hide the treasure chest. I was on my phone the whole time sorting out some work. My wee one tried very hard to get me to help out but I was super busy- too busy to even look at him. Seems to be the story of my life recently.
I have tried to carve out time that is specifically for them, but have failed of late. They get my half-attention, which usually ends up in yelling or crying, or a combo of both. I know they need/want my undivided attention but, with so much on the go ALL.THE.TIME, it has been hard to give. I want to play and chat and be together but all the other stuff really gets in the way.
They are good kids- despite the ‘terrible twos’ tantrums and ‘fearsome fours’ sassiness. They are kind to other kids and decent at sharing. They are unstoppably inquisitive and unfailingly forgiving. I really, really love them and I hope they know that. I hope they know I hate being the boring mom- the mom who is so busy trying to keep everything (house, bills, work- LIFE) together that she often feels drained and emotionally tapped before they even wake up. The mom who wants to give them every enrichment she can but is too exhausted to put a full sentence together at times and lives on two pots of coffee a day. The mom who farms her kids out just so she can get something done, but then feels extreme guilt because she’d rather have those two kiddos at home with her. I hope they know that they are my #1 priority and my life, even though I don’t always treat them that way.
My four year old told me last night that he loves me- I know he means it. My two year old fell asleep in my arms at 3:30 a.m. after he woke up screaming- I know I was his comfort.
But whether warranted or not, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m ignoring my kids every time I turn on my computer, pick up my phone, or shift my attention away from them. I can’t shake the feeling that I am constantly letting them down.