Wednesday, August 3, 2016

My Limits

As we enter new seasons with our children... which sometimes feels like every week, something new, I am also learning my limits when it comes to motherhood.

This was a new concept to me, because I don't think of motherhood as having limits -- you do what you have to do -- and that is true, to a degree.

We are figuring out our new routine headed into this fall.  The new routine includes the following:
  • two babies gaining mobility and eating more and more solid foods every day
  • one toddler who oscillates almost hourly from behaving sweetly, joyfully and obediently to behaving like a baby who has a really hard time listening or obeying us
  • three jobs (Hubby full-time plus, and my two part-time jobs)
  • Hubby in his last home stretch of grad school trying to complete an enormous Capstone in record time
  • a kitchen that has become more than three times the mess every day now that three times the little ones are eating at meals
  • Tracey going back to preschool
  • A nanny watching our kiddos one day a week so I can work
  • My attending morning workout classes
We have a lot we're trying to figure out and many times I do more on a given day than I thought I was capable of... the capacity of motherhood has few limits.
All that to say, a few day ago, I did find myself in a situation where, with Hubby's help, I realized, I was beyond my limits.
A friend asked me if I would consider watching her two boys two mornings each week.  Their oldest is two months older than Tracey, and their youngest is two months older than our twins, and I REALLY wanted to say yes.
I invited the boys over for a few hours on Sunday with both Hubby and me watching them so I could see how they interacted with our children and to try and discern if I thought this would be possible for me to watch by myself.  It is not.
In my head, I really thought there was a chance I could do this.  I've seen Tracey play with her cousins, and I thought that scenario could work for a few hours while I juggled the babies... but I overlooked one huge difference.  The cousins I have watched  Tracey play with are girls... and these were boys.
There was just an extra factor with boys that I did not anticipate -- like their creativity.  Tracey never considered diving off of our couch until this little boy showed her how fun it could be.  Tracey never considered taking her riding airplane toy upstairs, but this little boy was prepared to roll the plane upstairs despite my instructions that the play stays downstairs... he made it up two stairs while my back was turned before the plane and he fell backwards down the stairs. 
Tracey had more accidental falls and cuts in the two hours we were watching these boys than she had the entire summer of our visiting family.  That's not to say it was the boys' fault... Tracey was feeding off of their energy and creating her own situations.
But, with Hubby's help, I had to acknowledge that watching five children under three -- at least these five children under three by myself is beyond my limits right now.

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