Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My poor bored and underprivileged children....

Like most mothers, I feel guilty if I don't spend a good amount of quality time with my children. I'm one of those people who thinks she needs to spend every waking minute of the day entertaining her children. Sometimes I'll turn on a DVD and let them watch it so I can get things done, like housework.....or just to have 5 seconds to pee in peace and quiet. But then I'll look at their 4 tiny faces glued to the tv and immediately I feel guilty.

Perhaps this isn't necessarily a bad thing; however, the kids have become accustomed to having 100% of my attention most of the time. A friend of mine recently told me she was sewing Halloween costumes for her kids this year and I said, "Good luck finding some time to work on those" and she told me she's already halfway done. Crazy friend say what?! I asked her, "Okay, so tell me what's your secret to getting your kids to entertain themselves for a little while so you can do this?" and she said they always find some way to entertain themselves, especially this summer. She said she can sit in the backyard while they play in the sprinklers and ride bikes and she'll just sit out back with a huge glass of ice cold lemonade and work on the costumes or she'll read a book. I wanted to spit on her through the phone. Yes, I did tell her that...I have no shame.

This morning the kids were fighting like cats and dogs and working my last nerve so I said, "Okay, everyone get their shoes on....we're gonna walk down to the lake and feed the ducks". Honestly, the last thing I wanted to do was walk to the lake in the 98 degree heat but I had to get them out of the house. Cole and Bella rode their bikes, while I pushed Garrett and Landon in their little mini-cars. 20 minutes later, we were at the lake....but there were no ducks in sight.

So we played several rounds of Simon Says (I cut them off after things started going downhill, with them saying "Simon says pick your nose", "Simon says fart in someone's face"), they ran up and down the sidewalk (until Garrett wouldn't stop running and I had to chase him down the street while the other kids screamed "Go Garrett Go"), and running around in the grass by the lake (and getting completely covered in mud....). Good times.

After they were all worn out.....oh, who am I kidding....when I was completely worn out, we headed home. What I'd love to know is why did it only take 20 minutes to walk down to the lake, yet it took us 35 minutes to walk home??

While they all sat down and rested, I made them lunch. I really wanted to make them PB&J since that just seemed so easy but they really really really wanted macaroni and cheese. I'm a total sucker, what can I say? Yeah but I had my reasons...I figured with a full belly, Garrett and Landon were more likely to take a good nap. I figured wrong....

Then the little twins went down for their quickie nap while I played Barbies with Cole and Bella. I was really dying to get on the computer and check my e-mail so every few minutes I'd steal away and connect with the outside world....only to be summoned back by the bosses...."Moooommmmyyyy, we're not done playing Barbies....".

After their 45 minute nap, Garrett and Landon came downstairs and I said, "So what does everyone want to do this afternoon?". 2 of them wanted to do art projects while the other 2 wanted to go to our neighborhood pool. Oh Good God, why today of all days?? But going to the pool was much less of a hassle than getting all the art crap out of the closet and making a huge mess. Isn't that funny? I actually think taking 4 young children to the pool is easier than doing art projects....even the prep to get to the pool was more enticing (which involved 25 minutes of putting sunscreen on everyone, getting them into their bathing suits, gathering up snacks, juice and towels and telling Cole and Bella they had better go to the bathroom before we go because if they peed in the pool, the pool water would change color and we'd get booted from the pool FOREVER AND EVER).

We all swam for 2 hours. That's right, folks. TWO WHOLE HOURS. I had scratch marks all over my back from them all climbing on me while swimming, my bathing suit top was all stretched out from them pulling on it (as if it weren't hard enough to keep my boobs in my top?) and my sunglasses ended up with water stains and fingerprints all over them. Here they are during a quick break eating their snacks....don't they look like they're having a horrible time?


On the drive home, I asked, "So are you all worn out like I am? When we get home, I just wanna lay on the sofa for a few minutes before I have to start dinner so I need you all to play together nicely on your own."

From the back seat, Bella said, "Can we make that chocolate zucchini bread recipe you told us about?". I said, "Uh, no....I just said I'm tired and I want to rest for a little while before I have to start dinner. We'll make it tomorrow". My head almost spun around 5 times and popped off when she clucked her tongue and said, "You never do anything with us....". Then Cole chimed in with, "Yeah, we never get to do anything fun....".

I was so angry I couldn't even say anything. When we got home, I sat them down on the sofa and said, "Look, I just spent my entire day with you all...doing what YOU wanted to do. It seemed like you all had fun...I recall hearing plenty of giggles and laughter throughout the day. Motherood is such a thankless job, I tell ya". I think they felt bad after that, because they did give me a few minutes to rest on the sofa while they tore the house apart. When Tim walked in the door, all I had to do was give him "that look" and he knew in an instant that I had pretty much had my fill for the day....and it was only Monday.

Oh yeah, my poor underprivileged children never get to do anything fun. Someone break out the violin. You can bet that "tough love" starts tomorrow first thing.





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49 comments:

Tami said...

LOL, you're right a THANKLESS job..and then they realize when they get older just how awesome you are! I was told all weekend by the older boys. mom out of all my friends parents you and dad are the best seriously.. have you seen so-and-so's mom? She's ONE scary woman. (She loves to torment the "older kids") Can't say I blame her LOL

YOU DESERVE a DAY OFF!

If I lived there I;d take the kids and give you a day at the spa LOL/.

Kathy B! said...

I

Kathy B! said...

What is going on here?! I am typing a comment but I see nothing. I had all sorts of goodies to say... but I can't SEEE! HELP!

Kathy B! said...

I don't know what is going on.... I'll try back later. And no I didn't start drinking at 8AM...

Shelli (wishes she was) Mrs. Burchett;) said...

Just wait till Bella's a teenager...Valerie and I go black friday shopping every year; she usually picks out everything she wants for Christmas in this trip. It doesn't matter if I spend EVERY dime I have on her, the first time I tell her she can't get something, I NEVER let her get anything and "are we done yet? I'm tired and I want to go home!"
grrrr.....lol

Kimberly said...

They should live with me! 3 summers in a row of boring! My kids HAVE to find stuff to do, which mainly involves coloring and drawing. I have plenty of mommy guilt. But next summer it's finally going to start getting better....I hope...

Michele said...

This was my morning. And all day yesterday. And the day before that. And....

Last night, after a full day of play,my six-year-old said I'm always on the computer instead of playing with her. (Yeah, about two hours a day, mostly after everyone is asleep, doing my job that earns money to pay for her bleedin' activities), and I care more about money than her because I tell her we can't afford to do some things. Aren't I evil?

I spend an entire weekend in ninety degree heat at a dog show for my teenage daughters, and they've complained ever since that they are bored and never get to do anything. Excuse me?

I also want to know, what the heck is so fascinating about me? I try to exercise and they have to watch me and comment on what I'm doing and they want to do it, too. I want to write and they have to stand there and ask what I'm writing about and how is it going and how do I come up with my ideas and can my six-year-old write too and how do you spell.... I need to sew and they want to sew too and when will I be done and why don't I ever let them sew?

And then my husband wonders why I'm grumpy after a day with the kids. Aaargh!

Morgan said...

4 kids at the pool by yourself?!? I haven't even been able to try that one yet.

Sounds like your kids have no reason to complain. ; )

Lauren From Texas said...

you are freaking super mom. They love you - it's just their way of trying to get what they want :)

Sadia said...

Wow! I don't think I'm looking forward to that age. And I'll be extra grateful when my girls say "Remember when we did X yesterday? I had fun."

(P.S. I hope my e-mail wasn't too weird!)

Hit 40 said...

I used to run myself ragged when they were little too. This is my first sorta free summer. The oldest has been kept busy with high school stuff - a gym class and band practice!! I am finally enjoying my tax dollars. My youngest is keeping busy with legos and biking on his own to the city pool. Nice!! Again - loving my tax dollars. I had a long school year. I have a crazy Vice principal who likes to try to make some of our lives just the pits. I vow not to let him upset me again this year. So... I spent most of summer trying to blog out the hassles of the last year.

The Lane Family said...

This is so true!!! It seems like no matter how much I do with Aidan he is always letting me know that we need to do more fun things and why can we not go and do something "funner".

Yes, being a mommy is the hardest job ever and yet we would not change it for anything..most days :)

Mrs Cooper said...

You are so awesome. I don't even know you do it. I"ve missed reading your stories but school starts 2 weeks from today and then I can get back into the swing of things. See you soon.

The High Family said...

Yes, motherhood is a THANKLESS job!

You are a great mom! LOL I am sitting here in the family room on the computer (getting "me" time) while the kids completely destroy their playroom (which is really supposed to be the formal LV but why waste that space with nice furniture?). I feel like crap today SO there is no guilt (ok maybe a little)in leaving them "alone"...

Oh there's goes Kara crying...guess me time is over for now! ;)

MrsM said...

Here's the thing, it's actually really important for children to learn to entertain themselves. No really, I don't just say that because I want a break-children who can play independently (and with other children independent of adult intervention)are constantly problem-solving, learning about self expression, participating in imaginative play, and gaining the skills they need to become independent adults (someday)-so it's not a bad thing at all to allow your children to play amongst themselves!

Then again, my kids watch TV and I feel absolutely zero guilt. [They only watch educational tv-if you wanted to know how I get away with that].

Paula @ Organizing Tips For Moms said...

I hear ya. I need to take a nap after reading your post! I think mother strength is born from doing those thing you don't feel like doing but you do them anyway! You rock.

Carly said...

Can I send my crew over ? It sounds like you could handel 2 more. Brave woman 4 kids at a pool by your self. I've done 2 and thats hard .I dont know how you do it .

Buckeroomama said...

Yup, it's all about THEM right now, self-centered tikesters.

You are totally awesome for taking 4 kids to the pool! I can NOT even think of taking my two on my own.

Kristina P. said...

You are the mom I aspire to be.

The Mother said...

Kids always think the grass is greener somewhere else.

I just got to live through 3 weeks of why the college cafeteria food is SO much better than my cooking.

I was perfectly happy to send him back to enjoy it.

Alicia said...

LOLOL!! Kids are so dramatic, aren't they???????????

Man, I give you credit for doing all that in ONE day!!!!!!! You rock! :)

Laura said...

You're a great mom, Helene, but this was the story of my life, too!

Missy (Two Little Monkeys) said...

Ah, yes, Moms get no thanks whatsoever! When Daddy walks in the door - he receives big hugs & kisses. What do we get? Nada, I tell ya!

Kim said...

What's amazing to me is that a lot of us grew up in a time when parents didn't really play with their kids at all. I can remember on occasion my mom playing cards and board games with us, but mostly we kids played outside or with each other. I had a good childhood—it's not like I resent my dad for not playing dolls with me or hate my mom for not going on a bike ride with us—so why do we pressure ourselves to be so involved in our kids' playtime?

I'm getting better at telling my older girls to "find something to do or I'll find something for you."

Kristen said...

Seriously you sound like an awesome mother! I hope your kids realize that! To do all of that in one day!?! I think the other mom's kids may be more independent because she doesn't do things with them all the time and insists they do things on their own. Maybe you should have them play on their own more often. You'd still be an amazing mom, but maybe not as worn out! No, honestly you'd still probably be worn out, haha, but maybe a little more sane? Although, I'd probably be the same way, haha. I'm such a sucker for their little faces :) But really good for you for not giving in when you left the pool!!

Mommy24cs said...

You deserve like a week off after all that!

Kids never give us any credit, they only remember what you don't do for them.
It's ok though because Karma will get them when they are parents LOL.

Musings of the Mrs. said...

This is EXACTLY what I needed. I wrote a post this weekend about how bored I felt with life and how I knew I should appreciate it bc once I had kids I would not be bored. Your grass, at least on Monday, is not looking a whole lot greener. Less boring? Yes. Different? Yes. But not greener. At least not today.

yonca said...

My mom used to say that 'motherhood is often thankless job!'
After I became a mother I understood better what really she meant.
You definetely need a day off ;)
I love the photos. Your kids are so cute!

Jennifer said...

Holy cow, woman, you need a nap after that day! Geez, I need a nap after reading about your day! Ugh!

Brooke said...

sounds like a horrible day, full of neglect and fun.

Donna said...

How does your friend do it? Seriously? 'Cuz my kids when I tell MY kids to go watch TV, five seconds later, I hear "Hey, Mom come watch me watch TV." I SEE other moms SITTING, nay even LOUNGING at the pool - why is it that I, too have claw marks and stretched out bathing suits and ugly, ugly pool hair because of the children? Helene - we need intervention, girl!!

All that aside, hats off to you for rockin' out the energy for one heck of a packed day full of fun (for the kids) activities!!

Jenny said...

I don't know how you take out 4 kids to do anything. I get exhausted with just my 1 child.

I get the same nonsense like, "It's the worst day ever!" or "I don't get to buy anything!" Yeah, the whole house is filled with stuff just for us? I don't think so.

Maricris Zen Mama said...

I only have one kid and she drives me nuts! You're a saint I tell ya.

Mamatoosi said...

Oh man, I'm a little bit scared of the future now. :)

Momma Such said...

Thanks for stopping by today! Love the pics! :)

Desiree said...

Invest in one of those 30 dollar kiddie pools (with a slide) at Walmart and pour yourself a big drink and grab a good book. My kids could play in theirs (and have) for hours!! Plus, you can soak your feet when you get too hot! I have actually paid bills, sorted mail and written letters while watching my kids play in their pool! It's fabulous!!

p.s. from what I've read on your blog your kids are anything but bored and under privilaged. You sound like away fun Mom!

Jen said...

Let me give you some advice before you kill yourself, get over that guilt of letting them watch TV. I know its hard and you will get pangs every now and again but the sanity and rest is totally worth it.

Mrsbear said...

Consider it a lesson learned. Those 90 minutes you plop them in front of a DVD won't cause any more emotional scars than you skipping out on the zucchini bread for a day. Trust me, my kids are the same way, we could spend the day at the zoo, feeding gorillas and eating ice-cream for lunch, and they'd still whine about not going going to the overpriced gift shop afterward.

DysFUNctional Mom said...

Your kids would think I totally suck! I'm all about them learning to entertain themselves. And TV is our friend!

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

Thankless job, is so true. Ah to be appreciated ;)

crunkyjens said...

Wow I definitely agree that you need a day off as well! I think children, especially your own children, know just what buttons to push on you to make you putty in their hands and get whatever they want, yet still make you feel like you didn't do enough later on!

I love that Tim knew what you meant by "that look." Now THAT is a well trained man! hehe

Here's hoping you have a GREAT day!

Jen :)

Theta Mom said...

It's a tahnksless job that NEVER ends. Don't feel guilty about the DVD thing! Look at how much you do with your kids, like all the time!!! A little TV never hurt anybody! LOL

Theta Mom said...

OMG! Can you say spell check? Sorry, I meant to say "thankless." I haven't had my coffee yet! LOL

Creative Junkie said...

OMG, you are a much better mommy than I ever was ... just reading your post made me tired.

I remember spending entire days with my eldest when she was really young - at a water park or zoo or beach, whatever. We'd have a wonderful day and then I'd tuck her into bed and she'd get mad for some reason or other and tell me I was the meanest mommy on earth. Sixteen hours of happiness destroyed in a matter of seconds.

UGH.

Elle said...

Nothing is apt to push my buttons than the "We never do anything fun" comment. It always seems like it comes after I have just spent the day like you, entertaining them! It think they're all born with the wedontdoanythingfun gene in their DNA.

Booklover1212 said...

I nominate you for mom of the year for the day you had! How can you feel guilty after a day like that? Exhausted, yes....guilty, no.

And by the way - I wanted to spit on your friend too -- homemade Halloween costumes?? Really?? LOL!

~ Jennifer
http://thetoyboxyears.blogspot.com

kristi said...

OMG do we have the same kids??/

Zeemaid said...

I must have missed this post earlier this summer.


Motherhood is so thankless. I often feel frustrated with my kids because they don't appreciate what we're doing for them. I just hold onto the fact that they will appreciate me when they get older... like I do my folks. I actually felt bad for all the grief I gave them. *L*

I can't believe your friend can make costumes. I don't spend all my time playing with the kids, it's more like cleaning the house and making lunches and I can't see how I could possibly get 3 costumes done. Especially since they'd only interrupt me a MILLION times a minute. *L*

Scottish Lass said...

Yes but what have you done for them lately?
:0)

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr



 
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