Monday, July 17, 2017

During summer, I remember how hard it was to be with my children 24/7

The novelty of free time in June has become the endless cycle of free time in July.

I enjoyed summer break throughout June, but now that we are in July, I am getting tired of my children, especially the middle one.

This is less about him and more about my reaction to him. I allow him to get under my skin in a way that I do not allow other people, and I do not understand why.  I guess part of it is that he is compulsive and obsessive (hence his darn OCD diagnosis), so he just doesn't give me a moment's peace.  And I am susceptible to compulsions and obsessions (hence my darn OCD diagnosis), which makes me less tolerant of hearing the same request over and over and over.

He keeps bugging me to go on a date with D so that I can hire his camp counselor from Girl Scout Camp to come babysit him and M. He's 9 so he doesn't understand that going on a date requires money for the date and for the sitter and requires that I figure out dinner for him and his siblings, so it's not like "date night" keeps me from thinking about food planning. It's not like D can just come home from work and I say, "Let's go out. Goodbye children" and leave.

I suspect that time will come, but it ain't here yet.

He also keeps asking me to plan playdates and sleepovers for him and every person he has ever known in his entire 9-year-old life.

The other day, G insisted we exchange phone numbers with some kid at the pool he had just met. His name is Caleb, and I have his mom's phone number, but that is the extent of our knowledge of this child.
Where he lives?  Don't know.
Last name? Don't know.
How old he is? Don't know.
Spawn of serial killers? Don't know.

G is very much like me in that his mind needs to be actively occupied to keep from getting stuck in the OCD groove. I didn't get better at doing that until I became an adult and had all the crap of adulthood to keep my mind occupied--like bill-paying and cleaning and responsibility.

Anyway, by the time July came, I was starting to remember just how hard it is to be with my children 24/7.
Even though they can occupy themselves much better than when they were little and can mostly get their own snacks, they still require me for a lot of stuff.

It made me think about how unhappy and cranky I was at times when I was a full-time SAHM and how much I relished the times when I could get the heck away from my children.

Of course, there were many things about when they were little that were much easier. They were happy to go outside and play anytime. They weren't interested in technology and devices. They had opinions but I was bigger and stronger and could just plop them in their carseats and take them where I wanted.

I guess it is good for me to remember what was difficult about then to appreciate what is easier now. There is no perfect time.
Sometimes I forget that.

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