In 49 minutes my 3 kids will be on Spring Break. I do have to admit, I might be more excited than they are. Usually we have some sort of trip planned but, this year, we are going to do what we need to do most – NOTHING. This was sort of forced upon us by a last minute business trip that my husband needs to take but we’re actually sort of grateful that we can just hang out at home without too many scheduled activities. The weather here in Phoenix is absolutely gorgeous and I’ll bet the pool water is warm enough for the kids now. Initially my youngest daughter was disappointed that no trips were planned but I told her that we were finally going to work on the playroom and get it re-0rganized and decorated. Over a month ago I bought a new sofa sectional at Costco for that room and it is still in boxes in the center of the room. She immediately asked if she could have the box from the couch … and I told her she could. So this past week she has been excitedly talking about how much fun she is going to have with these giant couch boxes – making them into a fort or playhouse or something for her American Girl dolls. So, just like when they are little toddlers, the “box” always captures their attention and imagination. Good thing I didn’t plan some expensive trip to Hawaii when a cardboard box is all she really wanted. So, we’ll see how that goes. Further proof that our life is too fast paced!
think a lot about how I possibly gained this much extra weight over the years. I know, for me, most of it was stress eating and just plain exhaustion/poor planning. I love my family dearly but wrangling 3 children in their younger years, for me, was pretty emotionally exhausting. And if my husband was traveling, it was 10x worse. Spring breaks, summer breaks, etc. would send a rush of panic through me because I was going to be “stuck” with them day in and day out. I love spending time with them but I would get panick-y at the thought of not having an escape or break – even if it was just for an hour. Every little thing you try to do with 3 kids is a project. Running to the grocery store was awful – car seats, grocery carts, arguing over who gets to sit/walk/push the cart. Every errand had to be timed perfectly. I should add that for the first 5 years of having little ones, my mom was a huge help. She would come over once or twice a week so I could get out of the house for a couple of hours. When my youngest was one year old, however, life suddenly changed on the first week of summer vacation when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and died by the end of the summer. My life was turned upside down on so many levels.
think know I’ll be successful. Things are so much different now. I have grieved the loss of my mother. Although always painful, it does get easier with time. And now, with 2 out of 3 kids old enough to mind the house and younger one, I am basically more free to take care of not only the household but ME. If I feel like running to the gym, I do. If I need a few minutes to run to a store I want to go to, I do. Huge difference in my outlook and stress level now. I can practice “self care” now. My kids understand that I need to get exercise. They understand that I am making healthy food choices – sometimes they might even play along and eat a vegetable. My kids are beyond supportive. They don’t cry and whine and hang onto me and throw a fit when I won’t buy something at the grocery. They don’t dump their toy box all over the room I just finished cleaning. They are capable of getting their own snack or simple lunch. I don’t have to mop the floor after every meal. Those days are behind me. Yay! I love spending time with them now. I did then too, it just came with more exhaustion and frustration – which led me to eat lots after they went to bed and I had a moment to myself.
So, in summary, I am done having babies and I am done taking care of toddlers. These are probably going to be some of the best years of our lives as parents. The teenage years are right around the corner, more stress awaits me but I think I’m better equipped now. I hope all this work we do to make them responsible, active, kids will pay off in their/our future. I’m glad I’m doing everything I can to get myself back “in order” and prepare the way for what I hope are the next wonderful phases of our lives!
Now, I have a couch to un-box…..