Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ups and Downs of Leaving The Kids

Well, tonight we will put the kids to bed, and by the time they wake up (unless they wake up at 5:00 AM) we will be on our way to Chicago O'Hare to fly to Mexico for Kelly's wedding! It seems like there is plenty to do to keep us busy today, including digging the suitcases out of storage so we can start to pack! Not that we procrastinate, I just don't feel that it takes me very long to put things in a suitcase. I've been typing up info sheets for my cousin to use while she watches our kids for the five days we are gone. I'm going to miss the kids, but I worry more about (I hope this doesn't come across as arrogant) them missing us, which I know will eventually hit, after a couple days. We're planning some distractions with visitors and new toys to help with that.

Lisa is great with our kids, and she knows so much about taking care of children, safety, health, and has a keen eye for potential hazards. She's fun, and knows how to play with young children, encourage learning and focusing, sharing, and creativity (and bonus points: she can French braid Lucy's hair - a skill I definitely do not possess)! She's not afraid of enforcing rules and boundaries (our discipline method is the Naughty Spot, and it works for us), especially when it might mean keeping someone safe - and that is something we feel strongly about when considering someone to watch our kids for this long. In fact, she was hired at the new Apple Tree daycare center being built on Port Sheldon. I know she won't do everything exactly the same way I would, and that's okay. I just want the kids to be safe, healthy, and happy, and I can relinquish some control here. We'll probably call home once a day to see how everyone is doing. There will also be various other relatives coming by to help give her a break, keep the house semi-tidy, and entertain the kids. She is going to be a great mom herself one day, but jumping in to the full-time role of taking care of an extremely busy, feisty toddler and a crawling, pulling-up-on-stuff, putting everything in his mouth baby sun-up to sun-down, isn't easy for anyone. It's a skill you grow into. I do it every day, and there are times when I need to give myself a time-out.

Actually, every mom - especially full-time SAHMs - needs some time off... no one climbing on me or grabbing fist-fulls of the skin on my neck with their tiny sharp fingernails, or hauling a loaf of bread out of the fridge to inform me they need a sandwich!, though I won't name names. Moms who work outside the home hopefully aren't experiencing such things at their job - which I can only assume provides some relief from all the little-kid madness! Ron and I pretty much never take a vacation, and I expect that we won't know what to do with all the freedom from responsibility! Margaritas, snorkeling perhaps...

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