Most of my time as a parent has been spent either feeling overwhelmed, trying to figure out how to get a handle on things or being pretty certain I’m screwing everything up. (I do other stuff, too, that’s just in the background.) This is a part of parenting that I didn’t anticipate before I became a mom. I knew that the early days with a new baby would be hard (though I didn’t know how hard), but I didn’t know that I would never really get things “figured out” — that I would never get past feeling like a rookie at something I’d been doing for years. The thing is, this game is constantly changing. Every time I emerge from the tunnel of confusion brought on by new schedules, preferences, temperaments, questions, developmental stages, personality changes, and just life in general, I get knocked sideways by a whole new, different set of circumstances that requires a completely new approach. I’m always behind the curve because the rules are always changing. That’s just how it is. Although it’s tough, the upside is the knowledge that however hard a particular stage as a parent is, it will be over soon. The downside is that when things are finally smooth, they’re guaranteed not to stay that way for long.
We’ve been in a surprisingly long period of stability around here recently. Liam has mostly adjusted to school, outgrown his phase of night terrors (more or less — he no longer gets them every night) and it has become almost possible to reason with him sometimes. B has gotten the potty thing mastered, and has gained a surprising amount of independence lately. Most of the time, a family outing no longer requires a stroller, and dinners don’t always end with something being thrown, worn, or dumped on the floor. We’re able to brush teeth at night without major fits (occasionally) and the boys require only constant reminders (and not being chased through the house) to get ready for school. Things have been pretty easy around here for a little while (and by “a little while”, I mean since sometime after Easter).
So, of course, everything is about to change. Today is the first day of the last week of B’s time in preschool. Starting on Friday, I’ll have the boys home until August. And when they do go back to school, Liam will go back to this same school, while B starts at a new school. In the meantime, B, who still takes an afternoon nap most days, needs to get used to not having one, because he starts full-day school in August. But Liam, who turns into Mr. Hyde if he doesn’t nap (and whose night terrors come back if he sleeps too soundly at night, which is well mitigated by not going to bed over tired), still needs a daily nap. And, their shared nap time has historically been when I get a lot of stuff done every day … like writing this blog … so that’s going to require some rethinking. (And, as demonstrated by the fact that I’m still blogging about last year’s summer vacation, taking an extended blogging break doesn’t work too well for me.)
So, later this week, everything changes. (Again.) We’ll go on vacation for a bit, come home, and sort out a summer schedule for the 6 weeks before school starts up again. I’ll convince Liam to nap even though B won’t be, keep B quiet but busy so I can get a little done around the house and sort out an hour or so each day to find time to work on this blog. It might be a challenge, but, in exchange, I get to have my guys home every day for a few months, and that’s going to be great. It’ll be a bit overwhelming, but I’ll get it sorted out. It always is, and I always do.