Saturday, May 16, 2015

Drawbacks of One Parent

My husband has had to travel the majority of this month and my kids and I have managed to find our own rhythm.  We have missed him terribly but have adapted somewhat to our altered routine.  I have focused on keeping my little family and home running.  My kids have done an amazing job of going with the flow, even when things don't quite go their way.

I had to get our grocery shopping done and I just kept running out of time.  Between naps and school and swim team, our days seemed to be swallowed up.  Finally, I decided to just bite the bullet and get the kids to the store.  That was the day my six-year-old-that-never-naps decided to sleep.  "Should I wake him up?" I kept wondering. "No, he needs his sleep.  Let him go." 

Finally, at 5:15, he came bleary eyed into the garage where we were playing.  "Hey babe!  Get in the car.  Time to go to Publix!" He looked confused then resigned as he climbed into the back seat.  I buckled the other two into their car seats and we headed to the store.

Our trip was thankfully uneventful until my daughter started to get hungry (she's a stickler for a timely dinner).  I handed her some puffs to buy some time then wrapped up the shopping.  By the time we got home, she was really unhappy.  I sat her down with some watermelon and chicken then grabbed some super nutricious Lunchables for the boys.  I ran back and forth from the car unloading the groceries, all while soothing my screaming little girl.  "AAAHHH!!!  MAMA!!!!" she would yell anytime I was out of sight.  I knew that she was ready for bed but I had to finish bringing the groceries inside. As I sorted through the bags trying to find the refridgerated food, my six year old interrupted my thoughts.  
"Mommy, Drew and I are going to go outside to ride bikes, okay?"  
Frustrated by another thing pulling at my attention, I responded abruptly. "No, buddy.  I have to put away the groceries then put Rosie to bed.  I would need to be outside with you and I just can't be two places at once."
"That's okay, Mommy.  It's just another drawback to having only one parent around.  Daddy will be home soon."

I couldn't believe how incredibly understanding he was with me.  I realized in that moment that I am not the only one making adjustments to the changes.  I knew that they missed their daddy but I didn't realize how much they were helping to make things easier for me.  I thought back to how many times my oldest had gone to get something for me or entertained his baby sister as I tried to do something.  I thought about my three year old trying to handle those big bags of groceries as I rushed back and forth so that it would take me less time.  Somewhere along the line, these children have learned that we are a team, a unit, and we need all the members to function.  If we are missing one, we will pull together and give each other grace and understanding.  What a beautiful lesson for this mother and these children.

I would be willing to bet that your children will do the same for you when things get overwhelming.  The next time things seem to be too much, maybe you could ask for their help.  I'll bet they would jump at the opportunity to do something for you.

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