I’ve missed you, old friend

Yes, I know. It has been eight months since I last opened up this blog to write. EIGHT MONTHS! It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, I have. More than once, I have constructed interesting posts in my mind, only to never find the time to put pen to paper, or I guess fingers to keyboard as it were.

My last post came right before school started for the year. I guess that should say it all. This year has been busy; busier than I could have ever imagined. I actually remember thinking that with my youngest boys starting preschool, I would have all this spare time to work, to get caught up on projects, to have time for myself….. except that isn’t exactly how it has gone.

Instead I have spent a very hectic last eight months juggling everyone’s busy schedules. My days are spent driving kids to school, picking them up, volunteering at their schools whenever possible, driving to after-school activities, finding time to help with homework, trying to keep the house running, and just occasionally sneaking in a few moments to sit back and enjoy life at this stage. It’s exhausting. Seriously. I don’t know how other moms do it, especially if they have more kids than me. I am worn out….

So no, by the end of a long day, I’m usually not in the mood to sit down and write. I’m much more in a curl-up-with-a-book-and-glass-of-wine mood, or maybe a Netflix-and-ice-cream-sundae kind of mood.

As it is, I find my time here drawing to a rapid close, as the clock tells me I must head out very soon to pick up my boys from preschool. I’m glad I was able to at least sneak on here for a few precious moments.

So tell me fellow moms, how do YOU do it? How do you get everyone where they need to go, get all the homework done, and get dinner on the table each night? I’m open to any and all suggestions. And maybe those of us who have this craziness worked out into a well-oiled machine, can offer some inspiration to the rest of us who are trying our best to keep up.

Taking a break from “on the go”

Is it fair to say that time is relative? Because I know that technically I missed my Friday deadline yesterday. But I also know that it kind of feels like we are still in Friday, simply because we have been so busy the last two days. I knew I needed to blog yesterday, I hadn’t forgotten, I simply never sat down at the computer for more than five minutes at a time… all…. day…. long.

You will have to forgive me, but I was too busy having fun with my boys. It was the start of a four-day weekend for Connor, who has been such a champ about heading off to school every morning without complaint, behaving wonderfully each and every day, and just adjusting magnificently to life as a big school-kid. So yesterday kind of felt like the first day of summer vacation to me, and I wanted to make sure we enjoyed it. And we did. We spent a couple of hours at the zoo, had lunch out with friends, dinner at our place with friends, a nap and some play time in between, and the day literally flew by. So I didn’t check phone messages, and I don’t think I answered any emails (though I may have skimmed a few), and I certainly didn’t concoct any blogs in my head. Instead I just enjoyed playing and laughing with my three beautiful boys.

I know how hard it can be to soak up the moment sometimes. As parents, and myself especially, we become so busy and so distracted by all the things that have to happen day to day, that we forget to enjoy ourselves and enjoy the life we are living. I know I have been feeling that lately, pretty much ever since school started. It feels like there are never enough hours in the day, and we are always rushing. Rush to drop Connor off, rush to do our preschool homework so we can go do something fun and engaging, rush to get Ben and Alex lunch and down for naps on time, so they can wake up on time, so we can rush to pick up Connor. Then we rush home to rush through homework, so I can rush to make dinner, and rush the kids off to bed. And then we do it all over again the next day. Is it any wonder I’ve had a hard time just enjoying the moments???

So that’s what I did yesterday, as I sat back and watched the boys play together, work together, fight together. And I savored the closeness of having all of my babies near me, just… being. Because I know now, more than ever, that days like yesterday will come fewer and farther in between. Okay maybe not literally, since Connor has a two-week break coming up and we will have plenty of together time. I just mean, as they grow older, they will go off in their separate ways more and more, and it may never be again as it is now. So I want to enjoy now as much as I possibly can. And if that means unplugging from the world for a day, I will gladly do it.

Milestones, transitions and a small serving of chaos on the side

The past few months have been full of changes, both personal and professional. In order to fill you in on it all, I would have to write a novel. And let’s face it, there isn’t time for that. So instead, I would like to focus on the biggest change of all. My sweet young man has just about completed his first month of preschool!

While we did a homeschool preschool program last year, and are continuing that program this year, Connor now also attends a formal preschool three mornings a week. It is an enormous transition, not only for him, but for his brothers and me as well. Connor does not remember his days of daycare, he was too young. His memory only includes life at home with Mommy and the babies. So this has been a very big change.

So far, he is doing phenomenally. There were no tears the first day, not even the slightest apprehension. He has warmed up to his teachers, is getting to know his classmates, follows instructions beautifully, and is adjusting well. We wanted to place him in preschool outside of the home so that he could adjust to that kind of environment and having a teacher other than me, in order to prepare him for Kindergarten. And it seems to be working. Already I notice that my once unbelievable shy boy is becoming more confident around adults he does not know well. He even struck up a conversation with my dental hygienist the other day, leaving me speechless!

Benjamin and Alexander are adjusting fairly well to the change too. At first I could tell they missed their big brother (aka the ring leader) and felt a little left behind. But they now understand that preschool will be there for them as well, once they are a little older. And until then, Connor is not gone forever, he comes back everyday after a few short hours, ready to play and fight and be big brother again.

Then there is me. I think the adjustment has been hardest on me. It has been hard to give up three mornings a week with my Connor. I miss him. But I know this is a natural progression, and I try to remind myself it is only a few hours until he is back within snuggling distance again. And it is nice to get a little one-on-two time with Ben and Alex. We have found ways to keep ourselves busy and engaged, whether it is playing quietly at home, visiting with friends, running errands, whatever. I enjoy getting some time to spend with just them, just as I have always enjoyed the times that Connor and I take off and do something on the weekends, just the two of us.

When I first put this whole plan together in my head, I told myself that I would take advantage of Connor’s preschool time to start going to the gym and having a little “me” time. But I’m starting to rethink that plan. There is a great daycare that I can place Ben and Alex in while I work out…. but I just don’t really want to. I don’t want to be away from them, I don’t enjoy my time to myself when I’m thinking about them and what they are doing, how they are doing, are they missing me, etc… I know it is healthy to have “me” time, but thanks to some other big changes, I am already getting more of that than I have in the past (more on that in a future post). My mornings working out don’t feel like “me” time, they feel lonely. So I don’t think I will be going to the gym much more. I think it is back to workout DVDs and exercising on the XBOX for me. That way I can do my exercising in the company of my favorite people.

I have to admit, I am also still struggling a bit to get used to the new schedule. I find that almost funny, seeing as how I am the complete Type-A, OCD, scheduler, planner person…. I thought our days were pretty regimented. Now they are even more so. I’m still trying to get everything worked in and everything done, hence not even posting a blog this entire month. The boys continue to come first, but with me seemingly having fewer hours in the day somehow, everything else is taking a back seat. For example, the load of laundry I ran on Monday is still sitting in the dryer, waiting to be folded, two days later. I will be addressing that as soon as I publish. It is easy to let the feelings of being overwhelmed creep into the back of my head, but I am trying hard to fight them. I know this will get easier as we continue to work out the kinks in our new daily routine. And until then, I will continue to just focus on my priorities, all three of them. And if the laundry has to sit…. so be it.