It’s really easy to judge a mom by her highlight reel because let’s be real, that’s what us moms share 95% of the time. But I do aim to share both the good, the bad, and the ugly with you all, especially when it comes to motherhood. So here’s a look at the [current] bad and what I am both feeling and doing during this summer with all three kids at home.
To say that I am losing my mind is an understatement. These kids have got me running on fumes between fighting, accidents, and snacking non-stop (hence the photo at the fridge because it is where I spent most of my day, and no it’s not to feed myself). Enzo, right on cue, grabbed an apple during this little impromptu photoshoot. All I had to tell Elly was to pretend like she was throwing a fit and then I told Emmy to look annoyed at her sister. It really just came together quite naturally. HAHA!
I did, however, prepare myself for the summer a best as I could. I knew it would be difficult…but just like childbirth, nothing can quite prepare you for it all. The labor pains hit you like a ton of bricks and it’s just one contraction after another. Just a lot of pain with the occasional bright moment of ice chips. Bring on the epidural!
Okay, I know I took that analogy a little too far but it is very true. And all my mamas who have kids tugging at them right now said AMEN.
So what am I doing to cope and enjoy this time?
WORK SMARTER NOT HARDER
I am most definitely a write-through-what-I-go-through kind of writer and I do not claim to be any kind of expert, but I am finding a few things that have helped and will hopefully help these next two months before school starts. So maybe, just maybe, this will encourage some of my friends who are in the same boat this hot season.
1.) Chore Chart BABY!
I decided it was time for Elly and Emmy to earn their keep! They are five and six years old now, so I looked at them one day and said, “Mama’s making y’all a chore chart!”. After I explained what that was a million times, I busted out the mambiSTICKS™ and some Happy Planner® goodies to make the fanciest chore chart you’ve ever seen. Honestly, the easiest thing to make.
And guess what?! It’s a hit! Not only does it keep them active and teaches them some hard work and responsibility, but it gives me less to clean. PRAISE. They’re also very competitive by nature (which we don’t think is a bad thing) so they try to finish first each day. And because of that competitive spirit, I have been able to talk to them about taking their time and doing a good job. Then one day, I noticed that Emmy could’ve checked her chores off for the day but she saw her sister was behind so she chose to help her instead. Cue the tears. My girls never cease to amaze me and teach me things. Phil and I have been teaching them about winning and losing lately—how to win gracefully and lose humbly, competition isn’t a bad thing. But we always tell them that in the end, the best thing you can do is lift up your brother or sister, to show kindness and help. And when I saw Emmy do just that, you better believe my mama heart melted.
I make the chore chart weekly so that I can change anything I need to keep it fresh and fun. We also don’t reward them daily for doing their chores (it is an expectation we have for them). However, we do reward them with ice cream on Sunday (their rest day) if they do complete an entire week of chores. I think that’s pretty fair and then that means I get ice cream, too. WIN WIN.
2.) Routine BABY!
The first thing that messed us up within the first week at home was a lack of routine. Naps are weird right now because Enzo naps, Elly is hit or miss, and Emmy has outgrown them. Emmy was also used to waking up earlier then Elly and the list goes on…
So I had to establish a summer routine. We now do the same thing almost every single morning whether we are going out for the day or staying in. This makes a night and day difference. It’s a simple resolution and much easier to put into to place than dealing with chaos every day, in my opinion.
Do your kids have a summer routine?
3. Ask for HELP!
I am a 2w3 on the enneagram which means I want to and will do everything by myself and never ask for help and even shoot for excellence while i’m at it. Until I find myself in the fetal position…which happened quite quickly this season. So I humbled myself *pray hands pray hands* and I simply asked for help. And guess what?! No one died. In fact, the people in your life usually want to help.
So between setting up 1-2 weeks where the girls will be spending time with their grandparents in San Antonio, to asking my parents to watch them 1-2 times a week, to tossing them to Philip and running away to my room when he comes home from work…I can breathe a good bit better knowing that I don’t have to do it all. These children aren’t just mine. And families take care of one another.
MAKE MEMZ NOT MARGS
In conclusion, I have found that when I change my perspective from I have to be home with all three during the summer to I get to stay at home with all three this summer, and I simply choose to make beautiful lifelong memories with them, everything changes. It is all about perspective! And I am thankful for the mama friends in my life who have told me that recently.
“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” - Psalm 127:3-5, NLT
Then I can make a marg for all the right reasons because I was obviously joking with the title of this section. Haha! But honestly, that is the greatest piece of wisdom I can pass along to my fellow kid-towing warriors: focus on the inheritance your children are and the fact that you won’t always get full summers with them. Take pictures in your mind, kiss their piggly wigglies, and fill your fridge with popsicles. They are only this little once. And then pour yourself a glass of wine or two each night. You deserve it, mama.