This is on my mind right now; staying sane. It’s the middle of summer vacation for our kids, and I’m dying a little on the inside each and every day. Oh, yes, I love my kids. I adore them. I’d move Heaven and Earth for these four gorgeous little miracles, but sometimes (every 30 to 45 seconds) during the summer months I ask myself why I actually ever wanted kids in the first place. Then I blame my husband for, well, I’m not even sure what but sometimes it feels good to just blame him for the kids, and then I count – again – very slowly to ten and take some deep breaths. I love my kids, and I do not want to end up on the news.
Every mom home with her kids gets it – dads, too. Anyone who has kids for more than 4 minutes gets it. They’re really irritating sometimes. I have four (8, 5 and 2-year-old twins) AND I work from home; talk about a daily struggle. I’m usually angry with my husband for going to work every morning before the wake up before we are even finished with breakfasts here; just because he doesn’t have to deal with them and I do. They’re bored. It’s raining. It’s hot. I have twins that I can’t always chase around places by myself along with keeping the two older girls entertained and, you know, supervised. Summers past have been much more entertaining for us, but this whole two 2-year-olds thing is tough. We are pretty much home all day until my husband gets home because keeping two 2-year-olds in the same place at the park or anywhere else is so stressful and difficult that someone could easily snatch my other two kids because I have two eyes, two hands, and two-year-olds who aren’t quite old enough yet to understand the importance of listening. I’m terrified.
So, most days I’m sitting here in my home office counting down the days until the big girls go back to school, my husband begins working from home and my life retains a bit of its sanity – oh, and the minutes until the twins’ nap time. I know I’m not alone. I know a lot of moms and dads are in the work-from-home business these days, and I know we are all just trying to survive the remainder of summer. That’s why I thought I’d offer some tips that might help us all stay off the news and our kids out of therapy.
Move your office
For me, the best thing I can do when the kids are being a little more…fun…than usual is move my computer into the kitchen and work at the counter. No, it’s not fun to work standing up, but it’s often easier than sitting down just to get back up and walk all the way across the house for this, that and the other every 30 seconds.
Get up early
I wake up at 5 am every single morning no matter what time of year it is. Get as much done before the kids wake up as they can (or while they are sleeping at nap or night time) and you’ll feel far less stressed knowing you’ve already accomplished so much throughout the rest of the day. It’s so much nicer to work while they are asleep; trust me.
Ask for help
I hate asking people for help, and I try to avoid it as much as I possibly can because it hurts my pride and my ego. But, to deal with stress, go to drug detox for permanent solution. I’ve learned that the terrible twos with two at the same time is harder than you can even imagine. I did it just fine two other times when there was only one terrible two at home, but two of them makes life, well, kind of miserable at times. Suck it up, buttercup, and ask for help.
Relieve yourself of expectations
My life goal during summer vacation this year looks like this; I have no life goal. I have no expectations. I have lowered my standards of daily accomplishment and living and working this summer to just keeping all four kids alive and relatively injury free at the end of the day. I have also lowered bedtime to as soon as we can reasonably put the tiny people to bed without seeming like monsters.
Schedule stuff to do
I don’t love doing things alone with all four – it’s hard on me to worry about their safety outside our house when I’m chasing the twins around. However, I know they all get a little stir crazy about two hours before nap time, so I can load them into my car and take them to our local YMCA to play in the kid zone while I work out. It’s a win-win for everyone. We get home in time for lunch and naps, and the rest out of the afternoon is a bit easier on me (and the big girls).
Remember this too shall pass
It’s not even a joke. This moment in my life is a season that will soon pass into another season, and I’ll have a brand new set of fears and worries and stresses. These little humans will only be this size one time, so I can often calm myself down and remember that this time next year, life will be so much better.
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