Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New meaning for Busy

This week I had the privilege of babysitting for my nieces and nephews for a full week. I say privilege because I really enjoyed them and learned a lot from them despite how hard it was to have 6 kids for a week. I have a new found respect for parents of 5 or more children, let me tell you that. I never knew what busy was until I experienced firsthand 6 kids of all different ages. It was CRAZY! The worst were the evenings when it was time to make dinner (Cameron doesn’t get home till 8 so I had to do the whole dinner and bedtime routine by myself). So this is how it would play out: Dylan was cranky and screaming since he was hungry and not getting attention from the kids doing their HW, the baby was crying because she was hungry (and she doesn’t really let anyone hold her but me when she is that way), the kids would be annoyed and start whining for me to get the baby to be quiet, some of the kids needed help with their HW, Maddie desperately wanted to play and get attention (or her tummy was hurting and she needed to tell everyone about it), and there I was just trying to stir the meat and beans to make some tacos for the kids who kept asking, “When is dinner going to be ready?”. Ask me how on earth I didn’t burn the beans! How do people do it every day? I can’t even think about it. It was nuts. Looking back on it now, it was pretty funny. Every now and again the boys would try and help calm the baby (which just didn’t work since she is such a mammas girl), or tell their sisters to stop whining and see that I had my hands full. It was cute, but it just was too much for anyone even the boys.

So anyway, aside from the evenings we had a lot of fun. On the second day there the kids came home from their neighbor’s house telling me about a game that they started playing, and that I shouldn’t tell their parents about it. Great! I immediately freaked out when they showed me the holes they got in their clothes but apparently they were their “ugly clothes” that mom wouldn’t care about. They proceeded to take us outside and show us this game. One person drives the golf cart (one of the older kids of course) and the rest of the kids hang onto the back and drag on the grass. It sounds pretty dangerous, but it wasn’t at all (at least not when we were with the kids in their front yard…the neighbors house was a different story since they had hills and rocks on the land..but we didn’t learn about this until later during the week when the girls came home with scratches all over their bodies…it was clearly not allowed after that). Anyway, just to make sure it was safe, Cameron and I gave it a try. It was so much fun! Even Dylan loved it! Now when we are at the grocery store or out with the stroller he lays down on the ground and begs me to drag him...gross! I won't do it, but it is pretty sad that i taught him that that was acceptable on a golf cart. What am i teaching this kid?

On Sat we also took the kids to Jumpin Joeys (a place with big inflatable toys to jump on and slide down). It was so much fun. Cameron watched the baby while I played tag with the kids for about an was so much fun! Its fun playing with the older boys who can maneuver and hide pretty well. I felt like I was 14 again.

By the end of the week I had new appreciation for mothers everywhere, and the sacrifices that they make daily. I know that with two young children I feel overwhelmed and busy often, but nothing like this. It was intense, and it brought new meaning to the word busy. It was sad but at the end of the night all i wanted to do was sleep. I usually have a few hours at night to unwind and have quality time with my husband, but as it was all I wanted to do was sleep alone, undisturbed. I was just exhausted. I understand now how much you really have to work on your marriage the more kids you have...there just is NO TIME! I did feel a huge sense of accomplishment though on that last day. I called my sister and expressed to her how proud I was to have gotten through the week, and I talked to her about how much I had learned. I didn't just learn about how to manage so many kids, but I learned a lot about myself and my limits. It was eye opening to me and it really made me look at myself as a mother and what is important to me. Even though at times it was hectic, during the chaos I was so surprised by the kids and the love that they had for one another. Here was just one example; Everyone was stressed out one night after dinner, I had to feed the baby, Dylan was throwing a fit, and Maddie had hurt her toe. The kids were trying to watch a show and were annoyed and yelling at Maddie to be quiet. Maddie had a splinter, I had gotten it out, but she was tired and sobbing as if she had been stabbed. Anyway, I went upstairs to put the baby down and when I came back Jordan had gone and got a warm rag to put on Maddie's foot and he was consoling her. It was so sweet, and I was so impressed. Olivia then came and sat next to her to finish the show. It was just a special moment, and I was so grateful to be a witness to such kindness and love between family.

So there is it. A week with 6 kids, and here I am still alive and better off because of it. I had a lot of fun, and I hope that I can do it again...maybe not too soon though :).


Katie said...

OH MY GOSH! I can't even imagine watching that many kids. I feel overwhelmed with one! I can't even imagine having 3 at the moment, haha. You are a super Mama! Btw, Dylan and Sydney get cuter and cuter every day! Your main blog pic is so dang cute!

coco said...

I am so proud of you! I loved reading this blog because watching nieces and nephews for an extened time is so hard, but so rewarding! You rock-thanks for sharing. Fun pictures.