Do you have a jam-packed schedule for you and your little ones? Do you feel like you just can’t do it all some days? Do you wonder how other moms are able to handle it all and what seems like so much more? Well, you can handle it too!
Many of us moms feel compelled to see, do, and participate in as many things as possible as we fear our children may miss out on something or maybe we are afraid of offending whoever invited us to the event. We take our children to see as many places as possible, whether those are parks around town or big city museums out of town. We try to attend every birthday party. We do as many child-friendly activities as possible, such as trips to the zoo or local art classes. We sign up for as many sports or extracurriculars as possible. Once we have our calendars planned out, we say “We can do that. In fact, we have room for one more activity!” and we check the local guide to Knoxville to squeeze in one last event.
And so the day goes something like this…We tiptoe around the house prior to wake up to pack the bags for the day with endless snacks, distractions for the little siblings, our own personal snacks because we all know we won’t get a chance to eat ourselves, and wake our littles with hopes they wake up on the right side of the bed. If they do, we have a smooth morning and we are off to a good start! We make it to the first event of the day and one child is not feeling it. No worries, I tell myself. We only have a few minutes left here and we will have to leave to make it to the next place on time. There will be more room for the young ones to run around at the next place so it will be a piece of cake if we can just get there. We arrive, and both are crying. We give ourselves a pep talk, something like “I can do this. Some moms do this with more kids. I can be SuperMom too! Take a deep breath. Use your calm voice. They’ll love it once we get inside!” Disaster strikes. No one wants to participate. Temper tantrums ensue. Tears flow. Even bribery fails.
Did you or do you have days like these? Days that just don’t go the way you imagined them in your sleep-deprived superhuman mind? Days that were supposed to be fun days morphed into days of torture?
I used to have days like these. Until an overwhelming day of torture finally turned into a reality check. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days like these, but not nearly as often as I used to. Dear friends and family close to me always said things along the lines of “Don’t over schedule!” “You don’t have to see everything!” “You don’t have to take them everywhere!” I knew I didn’t have to do those things but I wanted to and continued to squeeze in as much as possible into a time period too small. It wasn’t until I had my second child that I finally realized someone somewhere along the way was right. I did it all with good intentions thinking about how much I knew they would enjoy the things I had planned if I could just get them there to realize it. But to them, it is more than that. It’s about going when they feel good, going when they are well-rested and well-fed, going when they don’t have to be rushed, going when they feel that going is right.
It is important to be flexible and slow down. That doesn’t mean you have to stop filling your calendar. It simply means you have to be willing to change the calendar when the day needs an adjustment. I still fill up the calendar every opportunity I get, but I only actually commit to a few things written down so that the rest will be a pleasant surprise for all of us. If we feel up to it, we go. I don’t tell my kids what is on the schedule until the day of. We all know the young ones have no concept of time and if you tell them 4 weeks, 4 days, or even 4 hours ahead, it becomes a major ordeal if it doesn’t translate into now. So we wake up, feel out the moods of all us (don’t forget about you!), and go on from there.
These 2 little superheroes of mine have really shown me how to slow down and take life day by day. We have those good days where they think I am SuperMom and then we have those where my cape is no where in sight, my mask is covering baggy eyes, and we all need naps. I’m learning flexibility and what is really important: not the number of Yeses RSVPd, but that we go to what we are able to and we go happy!
Do you have your own little superheroes waiting for you at home? How do you manage long days of scheduled activities, whether they are musts such as doctor’s appointments or just fun things like extracurriculars and festivals?