The last couple of weeks have been busy. Each day is filled with activity – the everyday schooling, learning, answering, playing, refereeing, cooking, feeding, cleaning, folding, sweeping busy. All too often, and increasingly, I feel myself being stretched out too far, in too many different directions at the same time. Yet, I’ve been rewarded with a feeling of productivity and accomplishment.

On my list of “things to do” is to call some names I’ve been given for babysitters. I figure if I get a helper once, maybe twice a week, enabling me to get on top of a few things – whether chores at home or running errands – I’ll feel a little less taxed. And this will make me a better mother. Somehow, though, I can’t seem to get to those phone calls! That seems rather crazy, because really they’d only take a few minutes. I really must get on that.

Tonight was affirmation that I should. We had a long day in the city. When we got home everyone was starving. Everyone was tired. Ben was exhausted. I whipped up a supper as fast as I could, fielded all the questions, nearly hyperventilated when they were asking me things that would involve planning and decision making for TOMORROW, nursed the baby, and then started throwing kids into the (long over due) bath. I marveled at my stoical calm – not only this evening, but for several weeks. In no time flat I had Ben lathered up, rinsed, dried, and in bed. There he proceeded to cry (loudly) because he wanted to go back downstairs. Noah cried on the bathroom floor in his towel. Zachary came up the stairs for the fifth time in mounting frustration at a difficulty he was having with Comic Life. Ben cried louder. My moment of self congratulatory back-patting had passed. I forgot about how good it feels to exercise control and calm. I opened Ben’s door and, yes, yelled, “BE. QUIET. BEN.” And before I finished pronouncing the “n” on “Ben” I felt the pangs of sorrow and regret. So even though Noah’s cry had escalated into a scream, and everyone else “needed” me, I took a few moments to rub Ben’s back and attempt to reason with an overtired, unreasonable creature.

Well, I better go get the last kid out of the tub and tucked into bed. We have a busy day and week ahead. And I have some phone calls to make.

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3 Responses to Stretched

  1. el burro says:

    It’s happened to me many times in that exact way. Just when I’m feeling like I should be congratulated for my extraordinary patience, I lose it. And, experience immediate regret (and self recriminitation). I still remember a few of those moments quite vividly, even the ones that happened years ago.
    Having a bit of help was really what made the difference, when the kids were the ages of your kids. I didn’t need it before, and don’t want it now, but at that time, it was huge.

  2. Donna says:

    Here is one word to encourage your call “Jilly”. We were so blessed to have her in our lives. The kids adored her, I adored her, and she got some cash for college. It can be a bonus in ways you may not be even thinking about.
    Take it from someone who feels time slipping away, do whatever it takes to enjoy those fleeting moments.
    I do remember being apprehensive about sharing my kids with anyone and felt like I should be able to do everthing, but let’s face the facts….support is a good thing.

  3. Angie says:

    Thank you! Yes, I need my own “Jilly”.

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