Yesterday, when J came home he asked me (as he usually does), "How was your day?" My answer....."Non-stop." My day was non-stop. I imagine that most moms of four littles have non-stop days regularly. In fact, it probably is quite ordinary to those of you who have more energy than I. See, I am by nature the kind of person who LOVES to be around people, but I need lots of time to recharge afterward. I just do. I also really really need to be social. It's kinda strange actually. Anyway....the point is that needing lots of time to reboot is not really an option when you homeschool four boys. And I struggle with this on a daily basis.
Normally it goes one of two ways. One way to do it is to take little breaks throughout the day between activities to have a little breathing space. For example, I spend 40 minutes playing a Repair Man imagining with Owl and then when he tires of it, I tell him to find an activity or I direct him to one while I go fetch a cup of coffee or take a quick read through of something I'm studying. The break is usually five minutes or so, and I never have to watch the clock because I am ALWAYS found by someone somehow after five minutes. It's true. :) Hen has radar you see. :) This way of spending the day is great because I am usually still semi-sane by the time J arrives home and the kids are super happy because I spent lots of time with them. However, NOTHING gets done as far as laundry, dishes, cooking, or picking up the obstacle course that becomes my house after a morning at home with the boys and the dog.
The other option is to spend lots of time with the boys, but when the breaks come just fit the chores into those five minute breaks. Or better yet, every time we finish with a fun activity we all chip in a few minutes of chores and more gets done that way! The boys are doing really well with this and I believe they might actually be learning how good it is when everybody helps out. But....oh wait! ....that doesn't leave anytime for me to catch my breath. No it doesn't. So you see the struggle.
Today however....and yesterday too....I spent the day wholeheartedly doing "option 2" and it was indeed non-stop. And believe it or not.....by the end of the day....I was just fine! More than fine in fact! And since this has not always been the case, I just feel amazed! The difference...well....I think it might be that I have just realized more deeply what a super duper investment mothering is. It matters when I spend time listening to the hearts of these little boys. It matters that the towels are clean, folded, and put away. It matters that there are clean spoons and fresh library books, and memories of us having imaginings together. And yes it does matter that I make time to recharge and regroup, but I guess the point is that the less time I spend thinking about how I need time for myself the more time I actually have to invest in everything (including keeping myself healthy). Does that make sense?
And here are two recent pics of the boys.Who IS that little boy? Yep. That's Hen. Can you believe it? Look at how big he is!
New pjs. Thanks, mom!