I had the boys stay home from school today. They were both well and running around, but I figured they could use another day to stop being contagious, and these were the first absences for either of them, so I figured it would be okay. That brought about the challenge of having all four kids home with nowhere to go - kids who have all been cooped up a little too long already. I decided by 8:30 in the morning that I needed a plan or I was going to end up hiding in my bathroom with Carina, listening to the boys duke it out in the playroom.
I wrote down a schedule for the boys – chores, piano practice, PE (Just Dance 3), schoolwork, lunchtime, quiet time….with a point system leading to the promise of candy. I have found with both Colin and Gabe, that once they start school they love schedules and routines and rewards. Last summer we kept a tight schedule and it saved us. Today reminded me of the summer, only now Carina isn’t a little infant who will fall asleep anywhere - she is a little girl who loves to be entertained and doesn’t love to take naps when her biggest brothers are home. Today she took two 10 minute nursing naps – the lovely kind where the baby finally drops their head back and you let out a sigh of relief as you try to slink off, only to have the baby open their eyes and smile, acting like they had a good night’s sleep. Hey, Good Morning Mom, long time no see. I don’t know if you know this or not, but 9 month old babies definitely need more than 20 minutes worth of naps during the day. So, yeah…
It was a good day though, considering. The boys fought, especially Gabe and Oliver – Gabe is Mr. Jokester-play-on-words right now, and Oliver and Mr. Literal- and Colin got restless and hyper, but we survived Ingalls-style. We worked and played and cleaned together. I liked it because my focus was right where it needed to be. I had no choice but to give motherhood my full attention and effort.
I was reminded once again that it is so much easier and rewarding to treat my stay-at-home-status like the profession it really is – my “career” and “passion” – what I believe in spending my time on. It is NOT a distraction from facebook, pinterest, a perfectly clean house, a perfectly toned boy….all those things are wonderful and awesome in their place, but sometimes I feel like my kids are constantly dragging my thoughts back to them with their demands, and today I was reminded how much more fulfilling it all is when my thoughts are just there……right there on them already.