Friday, August 14, 2009

Seven babysitting takes

1. This is the first opportunity I've had to turn the computer on since Tuesday. I AM NOT KIDDING. This is due to a combination of babysitting (which has only been mornings until today), afternoons at my parents' house canning beans, and my husband out of town. Taking care of my OWN child alone for five days is rough. Adding another child during the day plus trying to help my Dad get the beans picked, snapped, washed and canned while Olivia napped, played, got into trouble...well, let's just say that I don't have much energy left for typing by the time I get Olivia in bed at night.

2. On the other hand, it's a good kind of tired...the kind that comes from working hard. It's not like sleep-deprivation tired. It's more like the kind of tired I experienced when I helped build houses over Spring Breaks in college. The achy muscle, feel-it-in-your-bones kind of tired. Not that childcare and snapping beans are examples of hard physical labor, but the constant movement from one activity to the next until you just collapse at the end of the day makes it feel like it. This must have been what my parents' lives were like, raising five kids and running a farm all at once. And no computer to distract them from reality!

3. I got this thought the other day...on the Martha/Mary scale, I'm pretty sure I lean heavily toward Martha. Having a concrete task...like trying to finish cleaning ALL the beans before moving on to something else...energizes me. I don't know why, but I have this need to get things done before moving on to other things. This may be why childcare is a bit of a challenge for me at first. There is nothing to accomplish other than making sure the kids are fed and get naps. Most of the day is just play. I used to think that if I ever joined a religious order, it would have to be a contemplative one because I just liked the IDEA of that. But in reality, it would probably drive me insane. I need something more active...something where I'd be working in some capacity to accomplish a needed task.

4. I have also realized in the past few days that I do better if I have at least a couple of Mary hours a day too...some down time to just sit and think and pray and reflect. Going without those down-time hours is as exhausting as the work itself.

5. So, babysitting. It's going well, actually. The girls enjoy playing together. Today was rough because Addie is staying all day and needed to nap here, and she's never done that, so she cried for her Daddy (who put her down for her nap the last few days at home). They both finally did go down for a nap, but not until we'd all endured some tears and screaming (Olivia). It will get better when they get used to the routine. It must be hard for Addie since she's had her parents home all day all summer and now they are back in school (teachers). She'll adjust.

6. Today has made me grateful that we have a couple of months to adjust to this babysitting routine before adding the other two kids...another toddler and a baby. They will start in October. I don't have any idea how I'm going to get THREE toddlers to nap with a baby to tote around as well (or maybe two...the adoption possibility is always hanging out there with an indefinite time frame...ack!). But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

7. My husband's birthday is tomorrow, and he's over there near the East Coast for a wedding. While he's at his friend's wedding, Olivia and I will represent our family at a deacon ordination tomorrow. Two of our good friends are being ordained as permanent deacons. Between the 2+ hour ordination Mass and the reception and then individual parties for our two friends, Olivia and I are going to be pretty busy. I don't know when or how she's going to get a nap. I don't know how I'm going to stay sane while caring for an active and prone-to-screaming toddler during a solemn Mass and during the nap-deprived hours after. All I know is that I'll be EXTREMELY happy to see my husband home on Sunday. I hope he doesn't have any plans after work all next week, because I'm pretty sure he's going to be on child duty while I get myself out of the house. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY!

1 comment:

Jen said...

I also like that worked hard all day type of tired. It's a nice feeling.