Thursday, June 26, 2008

I wish I were....

(image courtesy of of those people who could handle having a house full of people and children. I don't know if I have a slight case of OCD, if I'm socially challenged, or what my problem is - but after a day with a full house I just want to run and hide (while I hire someone to scrub my house from top to bottom).

Today I was watching some of my friend's kids while she was packing to move. I wish I could do more - she really could use help. Her husband is in Iraq, she has her sister and her nephew living with them - and I'm sure that she could use more than the small amount of time I helped. We had 5 kids 3 and under, a 5 year old, and a 9 year old. By the time my 4 hours were up I was practicing some deep breathing and praying that I didn't come across as frazzled as I was.

Gabe was a lot of the trouble. He was demanding and bossy. Oh - and Gabe peed on me when he tried going to the bathroom. A shoe full of pee - and it wasn't even my own....

Another problem was that the 1 year old was supposed to take a nap, and didn't. The poor sweetie was exhausted, but would not nap.

The 18 month old smelled like he had bathed (days ago) in teriyaki sauce....I'm not quite sure about that one - but it was easily remedied by changing him into his swimming suit and sending him out to the sprinklers. I think the yogurt that he sprayed all over the dogs helped too. The dogs do now smell surprisingly like banana split gogurt...

The 5 year old had fallen on some rocks on her way to our house and was limping around - and wanting to be carried some of the time. Gabe caught on to this, and hasn't stopped limping, or kind of dragging his leg behind him.

The one really wanted to play in the sprinklers - but I tried....Gabe did too. He was so looking forward to a little pool and sprinkler party. We bought a new tiny frog pool this week - with a sprinkler attached, and an Elmo sprinkler. Gabe was crushed that no one wanted to play in it with him.

Anyway - where my problem was was trying to keep all the little kids in check - making sure I knew where they all were, and what they were getting into. I had one of my favorite Young Women come over to help me - and she was such a help.

But how do you moms all do it? Especially those of you who have more than 2 kids (this is a realm that I'm not sure I'll ever be able to attempt. More than 2 kids will probably put me officially in the looney bin - where now I only have a weekend visitor pass.) How do you juggle all the kids, keep your house somewhat organized, feed everyone (including yourself - I think Moms are supposed to eat too aren't we?), and not want to scream when it's all done. I know I'm a perfectionist when it comes to keeping things cleaned up, but that's just how I am. I've tried it other ways - and it doesn't work. I've tried not caring - but the trouble with that is - I do care - too much.

I have this awesome sister-in-law who can have 327 kids in her house, running around, yelling, playing, and having a ball. Ashley will still be able to hold an adult conversation, feed everyone something yummy to eat, and not even appear out of breath at the end. I wish I was a bit like that.

Anyway, enough complaining from me. All of you who have kids, who entertain groups of kids, those of you who do things like co-op preschool or Joy School - share your tricks with this inept mother.


Kim & Tammy said...

Joanna, line upon line, precept upon precept! Ha! Ashley was gifted with patience like no other! Heavenly Father knew she couldn't get it from me so He gave it to her as a pre-destined gift from her Heavenly Father before she even got her. You do great so enjoy and look at all the good things you do.
We love you!

The Rhiens said...

Joanna, sweetie, 7 kids would be a lot for anyone. Especially when 5 of them were under 3. Throw some water and some food and some dogs and some potty training into the mix and it would be a challenge for even the bravest of moms. I would consider it a pretty major feat to stay calm through it all. Be gentle on yourself and try to relax and have a little fun tomorrow.

Love ya! Mom

Kori said...

Ashley is an amazing mom and she does a great job with her kids. But she was kind of thrust into it having kids as close together as she did so it is normal for her. And although I am kind of inexperienced, I think it makes a huge difference when you have 5 of your own kids vs. 5 neighbor kids - you know what your own kids need, you can discipline them the way you want and you have already taught them the things you expect from them and what not. I think you are an amazing mom. Look at your boys and there is your proof. Gabe is so polite, smart, and already has a great sense of humor. I know how easy it is to be critical of yourself, but I bet you did a better job than you think! And like your mom said, that situation was one that would make anyone a little frazzled!
Love you!

Spencer & Ashley said...

Joanna, you really are great. I have to agree with Kori, I was kind of forced into it having Twins and Logan 21 months apart. When my kids have friends over it isn't that big of a deal, casue they are all 7 and older. That makes a huge difference. Hang in there, you really are doing a great job.

Spencer & Ashley said...

Oh yeah, adn tell Gabe the kids said they would have ran through the sprinkler with him, and so would I if we were there.

Anonymous said...

Oh Joanna, I feel sad when I see you being critical of yourself. I think you do a great job as a mom--your kids are so alive, so funny, so themselves. So open to other people. It's just hard to have two kids under 3, any way you look at it. I think we all have biochemistries that make us prone to be too hard on ourselves.
I keep saying to msyelf, "I am strong; I have help from Spirit; I can do this." It really does help. Love you, Sandra