There are times in any parent's life where kids are acting out or whatever, and you have to stop and re-evaulate what's going on, and perhaps make changes. I believe I am in the midst of one of those times.
The kids aren't listening. I repeat things 47 times every time I say them. I wonder if the neighbors can hear me yelling. I spend a lot of time saying:
"Cut it out."
"Make a better choice."
"Leave your sister alone."
"Do you want a time out?"
"Did you hear what I said?"
"Why aren't you listening?"
I know what the problem is, and the problem is time. My girls need more "undivided me," more time with both parents. I feel like they are missing some fun in their lives.**
Work has gotten busier. I've been promoted at Babble.com which is hugely exciting for me. I feel like it's a dream come true to finally be putting all my expertise to use. We have new projects in the works that have had me insanely busy for the past month combing the blogosphere for talent (while still managing Strollerderby)...and I've loved every second of it. I didn't sleep for almost two weeks after taking the job because I was so worried about Strollerderby's success. I've relaxed about it now, and am sleeping soundly again.
I was talking to my neighbor today about childcare, and how that can be the key to a working parent's happiness. How if you have family nearby or can afford the insane San Francisco Bay Area childcare costs (seasoned sitters can charge $20/hr for one kid, I have two.), you're golden. If you don't or can't, you're kinda screwed. Everything revolves around answering the question, "But, how will I get all this work done?" And by work I mean everything a work-at-home parent of two has to do.
Before we left San Francisco, I had a sitter come a couple days a week in the mornings so that I could work. Since moving four months ago, we've forgone a sitter during the week (for the most part), and just had our Saturday night person because we're trying to save money.
I have to admit that part of me is doing it just to see what it's like to try to work from home and take care of kids. It's really hard, and it doesn't always go well. I'm used to having "me time" during the week and for the past four months, I've gotten almost none. Some days I think it would be so much better for everyone if I worked in an office. I'd rather not have to take conference calls from the middle of the diaper aisle at Target or try to woo a potential blogger on the phone while wiping up a puddle of pee like I did today. Today I longed for a live-in nanny.
But, I keep thinking that soon it will be summer, we'll be gone for a month visiting family in Hawaii, then school starts for both girls so it's pointless to try to find a babysitter now. Plus we've moved so much in the last year and had so many sitters that I really don't want to introduce one more person into the mix only to have to say good-bye to them once school starts.
But my kids. They are so frustrated with me. And they are showing it all over the place with their "No's!" and "But, I don't want to's!" They are ever more defiant and unwilling to listen. It's like I've lost all control. They want and need attention, so things are going to have to change.
Now that I am almost two months into this new gig, I have my work pacing figured out. The site has felt like my third child all this time, and it's time to ease off a bit.
I've found a mother's helper, and come next week I'm spending more time just with my girls. Like we used to. We'll continue our fun activities like swimming and maybe add a few more into the mix. We'll take field trips and have picnics on J.'s lunch break and go on long walks.
And we'll all work on listening and making better choices.