I have to tell you what happened today. I planned on cleaning my entire house, doing all the laundry and getting everything together for the week because we have zero weeknights free this week. I was sitting in front of the television in the living room and had just gotten into a groove folding and sorting laundry while catching up on a show when my middle child, Jess Jr., entered the room.
“Mom, Charlie isn’t playing fair or by the rules and I really want to play with someone who will play basketball the right way. Can you please come play with me, Mom?”
“Honey, I’m trying to do laundry. Look at all this. I have so much to do, I really can’t until I’m done with this.”
He had asked me to go outside and play before they both had gone out there and I had told him the same thing I was saying now. You’re never going to guess what Jess Jr. did next. With tears in his eyes and without saying a word, Jess Jr. started grabbing the laundry, folding it piece by piece, and sorting it into piles.
“What….What are you doing, Jess?”
“This way it’ll get done faster and then you can come play.”
I was shocked. Typically, a fit would have been thrown and I could tell how upset he was by me not immediately jumping up and going to play. Instead of throwing a fit, my 8 year old son decided to get through the obstacle in his way by helping get the job done so we could do what he wanted to do.
I stopped folding clothes. I closed my eyes and folded my hands. He wasn’t folding correctly at all and he didn’t know what went where so everything was getting mixed up, but I knew he was trying to help. He asked me what I was doing.
“Are you praying, Mom?”
“No, I’m not praying. I’m thinking. I’m sitting here thinking and breathing. I’m telling myself that I should not be getting mad right now because things aren’t being done my way and I should be thankful you are willing to help.” I replied.
I was irritated. I did not want to play basketball. My house was a giant mess and I only had today to clean it. After a few moments of thinking, I decided to pause the laundry and go outside and play. We played basketball with Charlie. Jess was right, he wasn’t playing by any rules and was making them up as he went. Jess and I went one-on-one and had some laughs. After a while, Jess Jr. quit because of Charlie and I went back inside. I continued folding laundry. Spoiler alert: It was still there and didn’t mind that I had left it 🙂
Jess Jr. and I also ended up playing a game of Pokemon today where he kicked my butt although I’m not sure we were playing it right.
I am a solo parent. I work a job during the week, take my kids to activities, feed them every night, get the homework done and get them in bed at a decent time. It is exhausting. I have three kids which means at any given moment, at least one of them is asking me something or needs me to help them with something. If not every single moment, every five minutes is not an exaggeration. It is difficult for me to get things done around the house and I use weekend days with no plans to do just that. After all, the kids will expect to be able to find clean dishes for their snacks, clean underwear for their day, and non-button pants to wear.
I am not complaining by any means. If I didn’t have my kids, I don’t know what I would do with myself. They make me Laugh and Love me like no other beings can as I do them. They just want to hang out with me whether it’s to play basketball or fold laundry. I would much rather play with them than clean or do laundry and sometimes I need to do just that.
I am doing a lot of things differently at my house right now. What I was doing before was not working for our family to be happy and healthy, so I’ve switched it up quite a bit. I am trying to stay calm when the kids are upset so I can help them sort through their feelings and emotions. I am severely limiting their time on all electronics, like, I shut them all down for chucks of a full day or choose a weeknight where they do not get them at all and I make my kids figure out how to otherwise fill their time. I am checking myself, my attitude and my mood more than ever in an effort to be a better, more patient mother. Part of these changes must include me being more present in the moment, so I will play more.
Consider this a friendly reminder….
The laundry can wait.
The dishes are okay too.
Your kids are Important and Need your Attention and to Feel Loved.
Say “Yes” at least once a day.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES.
~Love & Light, Sarah