This is our first week of summer, since Paprika just got out of school a week ago! This week has been filled with swimming lessons, a playdate at a friend's house, a few trips to the park, and a lot of unstructured free time - that means just hanging out and trying to keep the kids occupied so I don't go crazy!
The good news is that Paprika and Ginger are two peas in a pod. They are always looking out for one another, and I could not ask for two closer sisters. They are such a pair!
This week has been challenging for me. I was so sad for my brother to go back to Indiana. We had such a great time with him here - he is so easy to be around, and so positive (especially in light of everything he has been through this year).
Being home with all three girls is a lot for me to handle, especially with Mr. M working so much. It's just tough, no way around it. I feel like I keep looking for solutions to help me - like hiring a babysitter or joining a gym with daycare - but really, nothing works for long!
I had to quit the gym this week - it was just too much trouble going there, and it kept ending in disaster and the aftermath of it just wasn't worth it. For example, I tried taking the girls there on Tuesday, and what happened was pretty typical:
First, Paprika didn't want to go (she never wants to go but always has a great time once she gets there). Then, Ginger didn't want to wear clothes, so I had to struggle with her to get dressed. Finally, got everyone in the car and drove 15 minutes to get there. Then, when we got there, Ginger didn't want to let go of her water bottle (she wanted to run around with it open and spilling everywhere). So, I took that away from her and she had a huge meltdown. Then, I dropped Violet off and raced over to the gym. I hopped on the elliptical and 22 minutes later I got a call saying, "Your baby has been crying for the last 20 minutes. No matter what we do, she cries and it's escalating."
So...I quit working out (obviously), and came back and picked up the girls. Mission: Fail! The rest of the day was pretty much a disaster because Paprika was overstimulated, Ginger was grumpy, and Violet was overtired.
I feel like it's like this no matter what I do with them. I have also tried having babysitters, but it just doesn't work very well. Violet has major separation anxiety, so she has to come with me always. Paprika is difficult for other people to manage, and I have a hard time trusting anyone to watch her (she can be frustrating to people, and then I worry how they will treat her). Ginger is fine, for the most part. A few people have told me that my kids are very hard to babysit, and I think it's true. I wonder often: what am I doing wrong? Why doesn't my life resemble Pinterest? Haha!
I feel like I am just trying new things all the time trying to find SOMETHING that works to give me a little free time to myself, and nothing works.
So, my solution has been basically to surrender to THIS being my life for now. My kids and my husband ARE my LIFE. I know this is probably not making sense, and it sounds kind of pathetic. But, everyone knows that when you have a child, you give up certain things. And the truth is, the more children you have, the more that is true!
Instead of being upset about it, I have just decided to GO with it. Is there another choice, really? I feel like whenever I struggle against that process of surrendering, I just make my life harder. I definitely DO choose my battles and for the big stuff, I definitely do take a stand.
But, I have come to realize that I may not be able to have an uninterrupted conversation for the next five years, and that is okay. Really. I may live in yoga pants and Old Navy t-shirts until my kids are older. It's fine. My laundry is piled up and the floors need mopping? Check!
I am tired of wishing I had family living closer or looking for someone to help me out part-time. It IS what it IS. I love being around my kids, and while it is all-consuming, it is just my life! So, instead of being upset that Mr. M and I can't go out for dates all the time, I am just going to be happy about putting a movie on for the girls and ordering in take-out on Friday nights. If that's a date at this stage of our lives, then I am okay with it. Happy, in fact!
So, that was a novel! Haha!
We went over to a friend's house earlier this week for a little playdate - she has a little girl Ginger's age and a little girl Paprika's age. We had a great time. It was fun to just lay there with Violet in the grass while the big girls had a ball playing.
We put down a blanket for Violet, but all she wanted to do was crawl off it! That stage of "laying on a blanket with toys" kinda flew past us. I would not be surprised if Violet just stands up and starts running one day soon - at 7 months, she is so strong it pretty much blows my mind!
And back to that idea of unstructured playtime? Basically, this week the girls have had a ball playing around the house and in the backyard. I went outside yesterday and Paprika had put together this little ensemble. She said she was a witch named Goo and that her broom had lost its magical powers and she was trying to get the powers back. A little fairy (Ginger) had stolen the powers and hidden them in the backyard, and she had to find the powers to fix the broom so she could fly again!
Her little get-up made me think of my new motto: Surrender, Dorothy!
And my other motto, too: There's No Place Like Home!