Today has just been one of those days. Lousy outside, so all the kids have been trapped inside all day. The little guys are done school, and Nathan had just a half-day, so he was home around lunch time. Owen and Lila have been particularly crabby for no apparent reason. Since Nathan got home he's spent the majority of time taking toys away from his brothers and sister and when called on it, complaining that they aren't "sharing". Um, if they are actively playing with something that is THEIRS there is no need for you to take it away from them. When they are done then you can play with it! Mitchell has actually been the best behaved of all the kids, but it doesn't make up for everyone else's attitudes!
The hard thing about today is seeing my summer stretch out before me like this. Me and the kids, trapped at home, nothing to do, no where we can go that I can handle all four of them, and my days stretching on forever with virtually no adult company. Yes, my husband works from home...the operative word being "works". I see him briefly for meals, but for the most part he's working, and I'm with the kids. And, unlike most families with kids, I'm sort of trapped at home because it's a place I know that is safe, that Mitchell or Owen won't get away and run off from. Because I can't run in two directions, and if they both decide to take off, I'm screwed. All my friends with kids are planning on taking their kids to the park, to swim, or to have playdates with other friends. But other people's houses aren't Mitchell and Owen-proof, parks aren't totally enclosed so I'd have to either be able to shadow two different children or hold their hands the whole time...not conducive to either of us having a good time. So, it comes down to either going places I know will be safe (of which there aren't many if I'm the only one "in charge" of all 4 children, or staying home.
I will say, I AM a homebody. I do like being home. But is so isolating to be home because I don't have any other option, rather than because I am choosing to be. Feeling left out of the activities that all my friends are doing really sucks. And I know that it's not that they are excluding me...I'm excluding myself because I know that if I try to go and do what they are doing it will end up being very un-fun for me because I will spend my time corraling the boys rather than actually doing what we are supposed to be doing. Plus, it detracts from everyone else having a good time...they aren't not inviting me, but it makes it easier for everyone if I'm not there.
The other thing is that the kids require so much supervision that I've really given up most of my hobbies. My day is usually spent trying to do some housework, playing around on the computer, or maybe trying to read (which is something I love, but it's hard to concentrate on reading when you're interrupted all the time). I love my kids, but sometimes it feels like I'm expected to give up my whole life, all my interests, and everything else I love in order to parent them. Add to this the fact that no one else in the family wants to help, even to just give me a BREAK once in a while, and it can get a little overwhelming at times...heck, all the time.
And now I've got the spectre of the summer looming ahead of me, of endless days spent alone with my kids, making sure they stay happy and safe. But no one wants to make sure I am happy and safe. Maybe this sounds like a pity party, and maybe it is...but I'd like to feel like I matter. That my feelings and needs and desires matter. But, mostly, right now they don't. My kids' needs and my husband's needs and desires seem to always come first, and then maybe I'll get my needs met if it doesn't overtax anyone too much. It doesn't matter that I feel like I'm at the end of my rope and am only hanging on by the grace of God. As long as I'm still hanging on I don't need to get my needs met. As long as I'm dong what I am supposed to be doing without disturbing anyone else's needs getting met, then I'm fine. Or at least that's how it feels. Sometimes it seems like the only way to get what I need is to be in the process of falling. Then the safety net appears. But to get what I need before that point of desparation? Almost unheard of, even with me loudly stating that things are crashing down around me.
And the thing is, I don't know that Chris does that because he really doesn't care. I think he does, but he puts himself first...and if my needs coincide with him having to do something he doesn't want to do, then obviously my needs aren't that important. And yet I'm living my whole life doing things that aren't fun and rewarding, putting everyone ELSE in the family first...and no one is putting my first. If I disappeared the household would crumble down around them, and yet I don't feel like I'm important. I'm important in taking care of the kids and the house, yes...that's only what I DO. Who I am and what makes me happy doesn't seem to matter.
Boy, I'm a downer today, aren't I?