Life as a twin mom is crazy hectic. Life as a working mom is crazy hectic. Life as a mom is crazy hectic. There is so much to do each day that it can be totally overwhelming. It can feel especially so when you’re an introvert, or a person who usually needs some solo recharge time after lots of interactions with people. Because little people count in that. Yes, they’re your children and you love them unconditionally, but hearing “mama!” or “can you play with me?” or pre-verbal babbles or cries all day has a cost. It requires time to recoup energy.
So in those moments when everything feels like it’s too much, and you look around your destroyed house or at your cranky kids and you know they should get outside (and you probably should, too) the very idea of getting everyone dressed, finding enough socks and shoes, gathering snacks and water bottles will seem like enough to tip the scales back to “we’ll go to the park tomorrow.” For me, the idea of leaving the house with my three, four-and-unders never feels like it’s going to be worth the effort. But here’s the thing…sometimes it is. Maybe not always. Do give yourself permission to say no. Do prioritize your needs when you must. But sometimes, push yourself a little and you may find the self-care you needed was on the other side of that little effort that takes you outside.
Over the holiday break this was the exact task set before me. The wife was out with her family, and I was home with the kiddos, with plans to meet my brother and his family at the park at the end of our block. It’s literally a 5 minute walk away. But for some reason, getting all those kids wrangled and out the door was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done as a parent. Every attempt at getting a single task done was thwarted. Oldest needed help in the bathroom. One twin spit up and needed a change of clothes. It took me awhile to even realize I was wearing slippers not shoes. That’s right—the person who’s shoe situation kept us from getting out the door…was me.
But get out we did. I was nearly in tears, but I got my kids to the playground. And I looked up. Took a deep breath. And actually smiled. Oldest ran right to the equipment and made a friend to play with. The twins had their first turn in the swings and LOVED it. Oldest came over and while he and I were taking turns pushing the twins on the swings, I looked up and saw my brother, my sister-in-law, and my two nieces heading toward us with a picnic lunch. Kids played. Adults got to catch up. Sun and air, space and time. It helped. It took what felt like a herculean effort to do it, but it was worth it in the end.