Friday, July 27, 2012

Mommy Guilt

My friends warned me about it. They told me it would hit me smack dab in the face once I was juggling two kiddos. They cautioned me that I'd feel like I was jipping my eldest child & that just when I would begin feeling like his needs have been met & that he's balanced & fulfilled & perfectly content, it's then that I would spin around to find, Crap! I've just gone & neglected my youngest! 

Sure enough, ol' Mommy Guilt has shown up & she's been a beatin' down my door.

We don't get out of the house enough. We don't go to the pool enough {Actually, I haven't even taken Jett to the pool once this summer. Thank goodness for grandparents & aunts & uncles who have filled up his days with summer fun}. Jett has watched Toy Story for the third time today. Lulla is has been sitting in the bouncy seat for too long. Jett is bored. Lulla isn't signed up for a Gymboree class... or a music class... or any class, for that matter. The list of guilt goes on & on.

I look at our summer last year, where we were constantly on the go--the pool, afternoon ice cream trips, playdates with friends, Tropical Sno visits, mini vacations. Our tans were golden, our gills had grown & our days were dripping of summertime sweetness. 

When I look at our summer at hand, the one that is breezing right by us--where we stay in the house most of our days, where we can't whisk off to the pool whenever we feel like it, where an impromptu playdate is virtually impossible because once the bottles & diapers & burpcloths & stroller have all been loaded, it's basically time to turn around & come home for nap times--I can't help but get discouraged.

I can't help but feel that we're missing out. I can't help but feel that my kids are getting the shaft. 

**Enter Mommy Guilt.

And let me tell you, I appreciate our families more now than ever-- I really do. We have leaned on them more this summer than we ever have in our lives. My parents, Jared's parents, my brother, Jared's sisters--every one of them have stepped up & come to help us entertain Jett, whether it be a morning spent at an inflatable bounce house, an afternoon spent at the pool, an evening swinging on the swingset or just some quiet time doing crafts, they have given my little boy a summer that I am simply not capable of giving to him at this particular moment. Deep down I know it's the best thing for him--to make lifelong memories with the people who love him so deeply, to spend the day hanging with someone besides Momma, to be doted on & absolutely spoiled rotten. And that's what I repeat to myself as the tears well up in my eyes while I'm dropping him off at the local pool, his loved ones by his side. I'm so thankful for our family & for the memories they are building with our little boy...but I can't help but wish it was me who was soaking up the summer with him.

This Mommy Guilt business is quite the kicker.

And you wanna know what's not helping the situation? This freaking thousand degree heat. 

Even if I were to get both Lulla & Jett's schedules in order {which is truly a miracle when it actually happens}, even if I got the diaper bag packed, even if the double stroller were loaded in the back of my SUV & we were all set & ready to roll out, this 100+ heat is not bearable--especially with a tender one month old in tow.

So for now, we're stuck indoors. We're watching too many Disney Pixar movies. We're staying in our jammies til noon {okay, so it's actually til' 3:00--whatever}. We're calling up grandparents to come & save the day. And my Mommy Guilt is crankin' full force.

And though it bums me out, this looming cloud of you're not measuring up as a momma to two guilt,  I have a choice in the matter. I can choose to let it eat me alive, to become slave to it, to cave & accept the fact that this summer blows. I can stay in my jammies, say forget it & look forward to next summer, where our family will be a little more flexible & mobile.

Or I can choose to embrace this season of life, to treasure the simple moments where life is slow moving & the days are a clean slate waiting to be filled with board books, rocking chairs & snacks eaten under a fort made of blankets. Where we trade in our smoldering summer activities for some beat the heat activities.

Beat the heat activities like these ones:

**Perfecting those fine motor skills while simultaneously practicing colors. {Little Mister has his colors down}:

Yes, that is a huge alligator tear rolling down his cheek. Grandma had come to visit & had to leave for a doctor's appointment & this little boy's heart broke. In an attempt to console him, I thought a morning activity consisting of pipe cleaners & a kitchen colander might remedy the situation. The tears still rolled, but at least he humored me & played along. 

**Cooking Class:

Because every child should know how to make a mean batch of Rice Krispie Treats

A two year old, a cooking class, & no mess? What fun would that be?

**A Homemade Sandbox:

A $7 tub. Two bags of play sand from Home Depot. A couple $1 toys from the Target dollar section. A few kitchen utensils from Home Goods. An Uncle Curtis who builds out of this world castles. And there you have it-- a backyard sandbox, my friends {or a front drive sandbox--cause it's moveable, ya know?}. Jett loves this thing--begs to go out & play with it.

**Afternoon Naps:

Take that, Mommy Guilt.

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