My emotions around parenting have felt deep and intense over what seems like the last six months or so. Life has felt like a rollercoaster with such highs when I feel warm, cozy and content and such anger with myself when I get angry with my children. I’m keeping score and letting go, all in the same day. It’s really exhausting. I interviewed for and started a new job. I went back on birth control, only to go off it again after feeling like the hormones were just too much for me. I had kidney stones and surgery. I found out I have gallstones. My husband finished a doctoral degree that was ten years in the making. My youngest daughter started at a new school. I got up every morning between 5-5:30am. I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that so far doesn’t seem to be affecting me much. Blah blah blah, I’m tired., so tired.
Through all this, I’ve had two more adults around every day to help. I don’t know what I would have done without my parents. They have graciously moved their lives up here from Florida for half of the year to be a part of our lives. They pick up the kids from school with hardly a day’s notice. I could count on one hand the number of dates that my husband and I had been on in the six months before they arrived. Now I can’t even begin to recall all the things we’ve been able to do since they’ve been here helping us.
Just this weekend, I was thrilled that my husband and I were able to go together (alone) to Starbuck’s, Sam’s Club and the grocery store in one leisurely afternoon. Last weekend we even had TWO dates night. Having them here has allowed me to really be present at my new job, never needing to worry about leaving early to pick up a sick kid.
In three short weeks they leave us. Mother nature scares them away and they high tail it back to Florida for another long winter. I know we can do it alone. I know I’ll feel like super mom again. We’ll turn the heat up and snuggle in for the winter. I just worry about how it will be. It feels tough now, even with them here. I try to start each day out fresh, but it’s hard to feel refreshed when you haven’t woken up on your own terms in over 4 years. I know we won’t starve, I won’t (hopefully) yell any more than I do. Hopefully the kids won’t watch more TV or get less hugs. I know my husband and I will go on fewer dates. But getting to go out more has shown me just how important it is to just get that babysitter, spend that money and get out and connect with your spouse.
This time we’ve had with my parents has been invaluable (that’s if you don’t add up daycare and babysitter costs saved!). My daughters have a deeper bond with their extended family, my parents have gotten to see the girls grow (and fight) and I’ve gotten to spend some quality time with my mom and dad. I know just how lucky we are to have them in our lives and providing us with so much support – thank you mom and dad!