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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Attention: Calling My Sanity!

Today is already one of those days when I want to run from the house screaming and pulling my hair out.

Or sit in a corner, rocking back and forth, muttering about quantum physics.

I have never before experienced such a dichotomy. I love my kids with my whole, entire heart. Often to the point of making my self sick worrying about them.

And then there are those times when I want to run far, far away.

I just want to remind them that I am one person; a tiny insignificant human being in the world with only so much energy, patience, and wherewithal.

I know they don't so much care about or even comprehend that, but I'd like to state it for the record.

The littlest one, #6 here, is getting bigger every moment and taking way more liberties with his cramped space than I would prefer.

If there was ever any doubt that we are "done" with having kids, it has been erased in these past couple of months, and reaffirmed every.single. day.

No one can ever put into words exactly how hard it is being a parent.

It's something you can't really understand until you've been there.

Every single day there is something new to think about, deal with, struggle over and address.

Whether you have one child or an army, it's draining.

Yes, there are those times when you look at them and KNOW it's all worth it--every single trial, tribulation, stressful moment and breakdown.

But in between those moments. it's damn hard.

This morning, E had no less than 4 meltdowns. She's an emotional 4 year old female who wants what she wants, when she wants it. Just so happens she wants it all and she wants it now. Not helping matters is that she has the vocabulary (and temperament) of a 15 year old and can argue with the best of them. Although today she chose to grunt and scream loudly at me when I didn't respond the way she wanted. She stomps her foot, slams doors, tells me she doesn't like any of us anymore...

Then R, our newly minted 7 year old, has been waiting anxiously for 2 years until he turned 7 and could sign up for our local peewee football league. That dazzling day arrived yesterday. And he was crushed when Joe and I explained that we weren't going to sign him up.

Even though I knew we made the right decision it still broke my heart to see him so deflated. He's one of the tiniest 7 year olds in his school, he's a string bean, and the league is made of ages 7-13. There are 2 teams, so we're thinking he'd be playing against other 7-9 yr olds. That's a huge difference physically.  Not to mention the 7 lbs of pads he'd have to wear and run in. This is a guy who throws himself down in a fit if his shoe rubs the back of his foot wrong...

He's an excellent soccer player. His coach just told us to see about putting him on a traveling team because she thinks he would go far. He's played for 3 seasons. We'd like to explore that and he wouldn't be able to do both football and soccer.

L was also devastated today because R has a field trip to 2 professional sports stadiums and Joe is going with him. L hasn't come out and said it, but I know it's bothering him. He's trying his best to be a good sport about it, but that's super hard when you're only 6. He's constantly having to wait to do everything after R does and that makes me ache for him sometimes.

That is one of the biggest cautions I would offer someone contemplating a big family (and only if they asked me.) It is so hard to make sure no one feels cheated. Whether it's possessions, privileges, time spent with parents alone...it's tough to make sure it all shakes out fairly. By 'fairly' I don't necessarily mean Even Steven. But I do mean fair according to age and ability.

R and E have been retreating lately to different parts of the house to get some quiet, alone time. There isn't much of that in this house, that's for sure.

Which brings me back to my intro...it's also important for Mom and dad to find some of that quiet alone time too. I am sorely depleted of it. I have been alone in my house, I think, MAYBE a handful of times ever. We've lived here 6 years. That just can't be healthy.

So, we're counting down to the end of school, to the baby's arrival, to when we list the house for sale...

We are always in a state of flux, it seems. A lot of that our own doing, some of it not.

And while I can say honestly that I would never trade them for anything, there are some things I would change.
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