I have been M.I.A. for weeks because of mid-terms, final projects and exams so you will forgive me for not writing recently, but I hope you can at least understand why. That’s why I am writing tonight. To show why it’s such a hard decision to study and parent when you have young kids at home.
Tonight I realized that during these past few weeks I have really been concentrating on finishing my projects and just doing the bare minimum requirements with the kids – you know, feed them, bathe them (well I don’t actually bathe them, they are nine and six for crying out loud), read one story, ignore them fighting (no energy) and get them ready for bed because every second counts when you have the crazy schedule that I have.
However, today was very different and it reached fever pitch with my six year old. You see, I came home later than usual because I was attending meetings on campus and then was invited to dinner. I also had to go to the pharmacy for some “stuff”. I assumed that since my husband was at home that the kids were bathed, fed and ready for bed. I got home just after six and saw that my daughter had sent me a FB message earlier in the evening, asking if I was still in class. I believe I must have replied “Why?” and she messaged to say “because my brother misses you”. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the message until I got home.
He seemed very fretful and miserable but then he was always a whinny child so I pretty much ignored him for a bit then after some time, and counting to 300, I realized that he was missing ME. Not just me being home but me being with him, playing and watching Friends, doing his word search and reading him a bedtime story and I realized my daughter felt the same way, although she is older and understands more, when I told her I still had three papers to finish she was like “Seriously? Do you have to do them?” They don’t quite grasp the magnitude of me not putting in a good four hours every night to ensure I get those As (rain check on the grade).
Then it hit me that I was being way too selfish because they are used to me being home and fixing them their special dinners (you know, the ones where you hide as much veggies into the meal as possible), watching Friends (we do word search at the same time) then the bedtime story and they miss that. I thought to myself that it’s their right to want that and even though I mentally cannot be there EVERY single night, I could be there tonight.
So I put down my pen and paper, closed my laptop and consoled my six year old. Told him that I loved him and would hold him until he stopped crying. A few seconds later, he looked at me and said “I love you mummy, but I missed you but you can go and study” and I just melted. Needless to say, he is a typical boy, loves attention but he will let you know when he is unhappy and he did tonight. My daughter was also hugged and kissed but no rocking – she is nine after all!
My choices tonight were to let him whine and cry when I actually knew why he was behaving like that or to console him and let him know that I am still there for him. His rock! His comfort zone! I mean that is okay right? Some might say I am spoiling him but I don’t think so because ordinarily I ignore his crying. I look at it as me taking a step back and realizing that it was not selfish on their part, they have been really cooperative these past few weeks. The 9YO offered to help with the dishes, the 6YO tidied his room all without me having to ask. Tonight I can burn the midnight oil just for them. Of course the flipside is that after they went off to bed and I settle down, finished one paper and crammed for my online quiz, the second I hit submit for grading I realize the website is down for scheduled maintenance. FML!!!!
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