Whoever coined the phrase “Lazy days of Summer” certainly didn’t live at our house. We had a busy spring, and we’re heading into summer with that same fever pitch. Occasionally when I think about how four kids’ activity and sports schedules will fit into things as they get older, it makes me a little nauseous. I guess we have plenty of time to figure those things out.
Most of our busy-ness has been “fun-busy,” like the end-of-school party for Gracie, camping outings with friends, activities for church and our youth group, and birthday parties. That being said, we haven’t had many blank days on our calendar in the past month.
Added to all that activity, we have our usual June switcheroo, where Daddy finishes his school year, and Mommy heads off for a few weeks of teaching at a kids’ summer program at a local college. It’s something I’ve done for years and really enjoy. It gives me the opportunity to keep my foot in the door of teaching while earning a little extra fun money for the summer, and also allows my husband to have some time home with the kids rather than picking up some other kind of summer job. Once again, I’m enjoying the chance to teach and do something a little different, but it’s a challenge to keep up with the daily tasks and other things that need done.
My husband has done an amazing job being home with the kids. In fact, he gets a little upset when people say he’s “babysitting” or ask if he needs any help with them. He gets all grumbly and says, “They’re my kids! I’m their dad! Of course I can handle it!” But he doesn’t realize that he’s an above average guy in the dad department. Many men would probably go running for the hills if they were asked to care for an almost-six, four-and-a-half, and two-and-a-half-year-olds, along with a breastfed seven-month-old baby while mommy went off to work. But he does it gladly and does it well, and even managed to do dishes, laundry, and a little cleaning. If he’s not careful, he’ll make a better housewife than me!
With all these things going on, I feel like sometimes I’m just barely keeping my head above water. It reminds me of those first few weeks right after the baby was born, when I was barely able to get the bare-minimum basics done. Except then I had a brand-new baby, so I felt like people cut me some slack. During those first weeks though, the baby actually slept during the day. And while my sweet Zachary has many talents, napping tends not to be one of his strong suits. So even when we are home, one of us is on baby patrol, especially with Zach’s new-found mobility and curiosity. He’s a precious boy, but he certainly cuts into productivity!
A friend of mine recently wrote about having “seasons” in her life, and I could definitely relate. This is not a season of productivity in my life. I’m keeping the family fed and clothed, and cleaning enough so that we don’t end up looking like an episode of Hoarders. I’m paying the bills, mostly on time. I’m trying my best to do the “have-to” things to keep our family rolling. But some stuff falls by the wayside (including weekly blogging, sorry!). Right now, it’s the way it has to be because, while this is not a season of amazing productivity in my life, this is probably the season I’ll treasure most when I look back on it: the season when my babies were tiny and started to grow. I want to spend this season making memories with my kids and participating in all their new experiences. Right now, they actually need me and want me around, which won’t always be the case.
So some projects will have to wait. The lawn might not get cut as frequently as it needs, and there’s a very real possibility that weeds are sprouting in my gardens even as I type (at 6 a.m. while the rest of the family is still asleep!). I haven’t written a word in Zach’s baby book in months, and I’m almost two years behind in scrapbooking. But that’s because I’m prioritizing. I’d rather have a busy, fun-filled life making memories with my four kids than spend that time putting pictures of those memories on pretty paper. There’s time to catch up with that in another season.