We had a great vacation. We saw some new (to us) places in Austria, had some amazing experiences (including one of the most fun things I’ve ever done — sommerrodelbahn) and actually got a chance to relax and recharge as a family, for maybe the first time. (We’ve vacationed before, but I don’t think we’ve ever really achieved “relaxation” before as a family.) It was truly a fantastic trip, and I’m going to write all about it, very, very soon (not like last year’s vacation, which I’m still working on writing about . . . and which I will also get back to soon).
But, for today, we’re back, we’re on a new schedule, and I suddenly feel like I don’t know how to be a stay-at-home parent anymore.
In retrospect, planning a pediatrician appointment for today, our first day “back to normal” (and it’s a new normal) was not the wisest plan. But, we were gone the last two weeks, our pediatrician leaves on Friday for her vacation, and this is one of those things that we wanted to get done during the summer, so here we are. (We also have a dentist appointment on Thursday, and at least 3 other doctor’s appointments to try to get in this summer.) Besides the pediatrician appointment, though, I just feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m home, with the kids, just me & them all day. And though I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for almost 6 years now, I suddenly feel like this is all very new again. How does this all work? How do I get things done? How do I shower? How do I go out for a run? How do I get the groceries? How do I manage both boys safely at the playground? How do I fold the laundry, go to the bathroom, or prepare a meal without someone getting hurt? I used to do this all the time — why don’t I remember how to make this happen???
But, of course, the challenge is that it’s not the same as it’s ever been before. Liam was never in school before this year, so this is the first time I’ve had him at home full time since he’s gotten used to that schedule. B isn’t napping anymore, so this is the first time I’ve tried to get Liam down for a nap while B is doing other things. Both boys are bigger and more energetic. They both have more need to expend their extra energy and more ability to injure each other while they’re playing. While they’re old enough to reason with (more or less) they’re also old enough to require a bit more substantive mental stimulation. And, for the first time, I’d gotten used to having some time on my own every day, so the loss of it is uncomfortable for me.
It’s fine, though. We’ll figure it out — we always have before. And I know that I’m not alone in this feeling. Parents everywhere are suddenly faced with the same dilemma — “Why is my house suddenly overrun by these short, demanding people, and what am I supposed to do with them?!?”