Some days, the exhausted-patience-has-worn-thin days, I spend the whole afternoon calculating how long it will be until the day is over (mornings are the best... I struggle with afternoons). Like.. I'll look at the clock.
That means... six hours till Steven gets home.
One hour for naps, if we're lucky.
Then it will be three.
Half hour at the play ground, half hour to run that package to the post office.
I'll start dinner, clean up, vacuum the stairs (granted the kids are being nice to each other), that will put us to about five.
We'll eat dinner, go for a bike ride to the park. Will they know if I put them down early tonight? Maybe we'll take baths early.
Six-fifteen. That's not too early for baths, right? Maybe they'll want to stay in for a long time tonight. That shaves off... hmmm a half hour? Where are we? Six forty-five?
And then off we go. And I check the clock ad nauseam and it becomes this sad puzzle of a day where we are filling time slots.
This isn't every day, guys. Okay, so don't judge me. This robot-day syndrome I have, I really don't like it. It turns my life into a game of survival and the thing that I hate about that is that THIS IS IT. This is my life. Why in the world would I want to pollute something so sacred and precious and really, truly wonderful with forcing myself and the kids I love into Survival Mode? I hate Survival Mode. It's the frantic, sweaty mom in the airport, trying to get through security with a stroller and two carseats. It's chasing a child down the Target parking lot, dodging cars and forgetting your cartful of diapers and wipes at the register. It's pulling a chunk of orange out of your child's esophagus while the other one has an accident all while at a really important meeting where everyone is silent except the speaker. THAT is survival mode. It has its place, but it is NOT what I want my life to be. I can't live in Survival Mode. I can't! You guys. Seriously.
So I just read over this, and realized that one might say, 'if life is so stressful at times, why even leave your house? Dump some toys on the floor, turn on a movie and let bygones be bygones.' To that person I say, I would go absolutely crazy if I spent an afternoon cooped up in my house. And my kids become high-functioning psychopaths when I try the leisure approach. We are happiest when we're out and about, and believe it or not, the day is far more fulfilling for all involved parties when we are having adventures. So, to answer your question, we leave the house so that we don't burn it down. ;)
The adrenalin has been flowing in me on and off the past few weeks. I'll find myself doing that thing - the count-down, the tallying of the hours and I have to be like, "Brooke. Stop. This is your life. You don't need to survive right now, you need to thrive right now. Relax. Breathe. Take a second."
And as cliche as it sounds, when I do stop for a second and take in the abundance and beauty of my life, I am back to normal and everything starts flowing back how it should flow. You know? Like... literally smelling the flowers and forcing my eyes to adjust to the deepest green I've ever seen (New York in the spring is a-may-zing) and kissing my kids' petal soft cheeks... it works. It brings me back home and slows my heartbeat to that reassuring, peaceful lub-DUB lub-DUB where it have been all along.
Do you know what I'm talking about? All this survival mode stuff? Do you find yourself there when you really don't need to be? Mom or not, I think everybody ends up there sometimes. How you deal with it?