Thursday, October 31, 2013

I Wish There Was Two Of Me

There have been many times that I have wished there was two or more of me. One of me to man each child. Another one to do the piles and piles of laundry that have collected in my basement due to sick kids. Another to do the dishes, clean the kitchen, and keep kids in line. Another one of me to cuddle each child. Most importantly, another one of me to sleep! But the truth is there's only one of me and one person can only do so much.

Yesterday was a day I had been looking forward to for awhile: I was going to help out in Harrison's classroom and see his Halloween concert, participate in Max's fall party, take the minis to dinner, and go trick or treating with their little friends. Sick kids changed all of that. I'm not upset that my kids are sick....sick kids this time of year is usual. It was having to choose what to do and which child to support that got to me. Elizabeth is very sick and needed to go back to the doctor, Harrison had his concert, and Max wanted me to pick him up from school. Knowing full well I wasn't going to be able to do all of that an overwhelming feeling crept in: mom guilt.

I hate mom guilt and have really truly only felt it a few times. There have always been times I have felt guilty about the way I handled a situation with one of my kids, but this was a first for me. All three kids had something going on at the same time, all wanting my support, and it left me choosing. Thankfully the kids have wonderful grandparents who pitched in and made themselves available to help me out, but it was still a toughie for me. I wanted to see Harrison in his concert, I wanted to be able to pick Max up, but I truly needed to take Elizabeth to the doctor. I sat down and explained what was going on to each boy and left it at that with them.

All morning I felt an incredible amount of guilt and disappointment for not being able to go to each child's event. Worst of all I feared that the boys would be disappointed and upset with me for not being there and not "sticking with the plan" (this is big thing for my kids, especially for Max). I worried that this would be one of those things that they'd never forget and would throw it in my face.

While my mom guilt seemed to choke me all morning long, it was wiped clean when I picked the boys up from school. Instead of showing any kind of disappointment about the changes in their days, they were concerned about their little sister. I got grilled for information about how she was doing and if she was feeling better. I was appalled by their worry for their baby sister. No matter how guilty I felt, I knew this was not the day I was going to screw them up (I'm quite certain that will come another day). I was relieved to know that I must be doing something right when they are more worried about, concerned, and want to look out for each other rather than themselves.

I know there will be many more of these situations down the road where each child has something going on and I know I won't be able to be there for everything. I know we're lucky to have a fantastic support system ready and willing to help out when needed. Now I know something else too: that I am raising my kids to care about each other and not think only of themselves. I know I'll have the confidence to deal with these situations and have faith in my kids to be as understanding as they were yesterday. I am always amazed at how life has a way of teaching us things and this was just the lesson I needed to remind myself to have a little faith and never underestimate my kids......but I still think it would be helpful to have two of me around.