Being Engaged, Saying “Yes”
My little week-long challenge didn’t quite last the full week due to a bout with pneumonia, but not to worry, I’ll do it again. When I start having lots of complex emotions, or feel stressed, it’s very difficult for me to keep some balance and parent the kids well. When I feel stressed, pretty much all I want to do is to disengage, and sadly, the more I try to do that the more they try to engage with me! Part of it is a legitimate need (I’ll write more about that later), but part of it is more some depressive feelings that I really do need to snap out of. Today I managed to do that for a bit.
We’d had a dinner with my in-laws planned for today, which we do every couple of weeks, but unfortunately the cousins came down with a stomach bug. Switching gears can be especially difficult for my kids and for me as well! MrH had the idea of spending the afternoon playing some games together. The kids settled on Trouble! and we played for almost an hour. This time together was much-needed as we’ve been coping with a lot of tough behaviors lately. After, I was ready to check out for a bit. I was in the kitchen starting to do some dinner prep, when Missy came in. “My baby [her doll] needs a jacket. Do you have some fabric?” I should mention that I do have fabric but most of it is down in the basement and sort of a project to. The temptation to say “not now” was so great! But I remembered some of the lessons I’ve been learning and said “yes, let’s find some, I’m about to start dinner though so can’t sew something right now.”
In the process, we ran across an old piece of fabric that I’d used to make a nighty for her. It was still sewn together at the end and was the perfect size for her to use a pocket sling! Missy inspired Sweetpea to ask for her sling that I’d made her as a Christmas present, which has been rejected completely up until today. She also enlisted Buddy’s help, asking him to dispense tape for her project. Under her leadership, they created a vest for the doll, as well as paper and tape hat and booties. Too cute! Throughout all of this, the kids mostly worked independently, I spent maybe 5 minutes total with them. And you know what? I was so impressed and pleased with them, that I was wishing I could spend more time with them. How’s that for a 180? Next time that I’m tempted to say “no” because it’s work that I wasn’t planning on doing in that moment, I hope to remember today’s project and how satisfying it was for everyone. Perhaps if I can remember that, I’ll say “yes” again.