Friday, July 04, 2008

missing milestones and happy videos

Lately I've been feeling bogged down and overwhelmed by all of the "things" I need to do. I'm feeling behind on everything. I run around all day putting out fires and trying to keep my head above water, only to discover that another flood is coming. At any given moment, there's laundry to be folded, dishes to be washed, emails to be written and calls to be made for work, carpets to be vacuumed, and diapers to be changed. And of course I'll get to it eventually, but by the time I do, there will be bathrooms to clean, floors to sweep, toys to put away, and dinners to be made. It's not that bad, really, I'm just adjusting to the fact that I have to make arrangements for someone to help me with the kids - not so I can relax or do something fun - but so I can clean and cook and go to the grocery.

Sometimes my distraction for all these things keeps me from experiencing the joy that is parenting my kids. I got especially frustrated with myself the other day: Katy was complaining that her tummy was hurting, and I asked her if she had to go potty. She said yes, so I thought, what the heck? I'll put her on the potty. I've had her sit on the potty a few dozen times before, but nothing has happened, and I haven't pushed it. So this time, she sat for a few minutes and nothing happened, as usual. I went into David's room and decided to try to put away some of the clothes he's outgrown (3-6 months - yikes!). Then I laughed at myself as I realized that I had forgotten that Katy was naked, and had been running around playing in her room for some time. So I went and got her dressed again.

Fast forward a little bit to nap time. I put Katy down for a nap and then went into the bathroom to use "Mommy's potty," and I looked at her plastic potty in amazement. She had peed in the potty! There was a very distinctive puddle, and she must've done it while she was still naked and I was putting David's clothes away. I was so upset that I had missed it!! I was so busy that I didn't have the chance to make a big deal about it and tell her how great it was. She just did it and went about her business. Poor thing!

So what I'm realizing as I write this is that I need to lower my standards. It's hard for me to do, because, as I mentioned, I'm a firstborn. But if I keep being wound so tight about every little chore, I'll miss moments like this:

and this:


Oma Froehle said...

Babies are the priority. What you invest in them is much more important than cleaning and errands.

Rock-a-bye Baby
(by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton
adapted by Wendy Lyn)

Cleaning and scrubbing
can wait 'til tomorrow
For babies grow up,
we've learned to our sorrow.

So quiet down cobwebs,
Dust go to sleep,
I'm rocking my baby
and babies don't keep.

Cindy said...

Emma, you're doing a GREAT job - it is no accident that you and Brian have two amazing children. I am so proud of you and I will be praying you soon feel content with a balance that your perfectionist, over-achieving, firstborn heart will enjoy. Keep it up! Thank you for sharing those precious videos!
love, c

Jen said...

It was so hard for me, but after 3 kids, I've learned to just let things go. I used to have my house in perfect order from top to bottom before we had guests, but no more, because we'd never have people over if I were still that way. The kids won't remember whether our house was spotless, but they will remember that mommy took the time to read them a book, work a puzzle, etc. Keep up the good work...your kiddos are awesome!

Pam said...

Talk about missing milestones. I didn't say "Happy Birthday" at the zoo and THEN I didn't say "Happy Anniversary" at the pool. I'm saying it now and hope it counts. :-)