Sometimes Life Needs to Have a Pause and Rewind Button like a DVR

As you already know, life with children is busy and can be chaotic. On some school days, I feel like a drill sergeant with my oldest son, and not a very nice one to boot.

I tell him, “Get your shoes on!”

Five minutes later, he’s still playing with the baby and has on NO shoes.

I get so frustrated.  My voice rises as I take my daughter out to the car, “GET YOUR SHOES ON NOW! We are LATE.  GO! GO! GO!”

This type dialogue continues until he is buckled in his car seat, and we are well on our way to school, behind schedule, of course.

The more off schedule we get in the morning, the tenser I become.   Sometimes, I cannot believe I’m the same mom who an hour earlier was all smiles and hugs when I saw my little boy come down the stairs for the first time in the morning.  

When both of my children wake up, and I see them for the first time, I experience a happy feeling that I can’t even put in words.  I wish I could keep that feeling with me all day that I’m with them, but instead, I turn into a not so loving, drill sergeant.

Once my son is dropped off in his classroom, and I kiss him goodbye, all the focus is on the baby.   I’m no longer a drill sergeant, but rather a soldier on active duty.  I keep my busy 16 month old occupied, and she is one BUSY BEE.   By the time she has snack, we do school pick-up, and I prepare everyone’s lunch, I’m ready for some R and R as soon as I put my daughter down for a nap.   I just want to sit down alone, drink a cup of tea, and have some computer time.   My son, however, wants mommy time without his sister around.  I hate to admit it to all of you, but I struggle sometimes at that moment to relinquish the personal time that I want.   I often ask him to play or watch his favorite TV show, and I sense his disappointment.

As you can imagine, I wish I could hit pause, rewind, and replay those afternoons at naptime with a different ending.  Unfortunately, life is not like a DVR, but I can do a better job of making more time for him now that I have a second child.  He misses that time we had together before his sister arrived, and I do, too.   I need to start making better choices with my time even on those dog-tired days, which is about every darn weekday.

He’s going to be in kindergarten in a few short months, and when he’s there all day, I’ll think of that time with him that I no longer have.  It really will be precious time lost. 

I am making some progress though.  The other day, I was in my son’s room trying to check off a few items on my long to-do list while the baby napped.

He comes in the room, and says, “Mom, will you read me a story?”

Daddy took a photo of us reading the same book
on another day!

Without hesitation I said, “Sure!”  We crawled into his unmade bed, cuddled and read Dr. Seuss’s “Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?”   The to-do list came second.

I’m lucky all right!   My son and I had a special moment where you wish you could hit pause, and enjoy the time awhile longer. 

(This post was featured without photos on the Raleigh News and Observers's Triangle Mom2Mom parenting site on Sunday, April 3.  I'm proud to be the newspaper's featured blogger every Sunday.)  

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