I love my kids so much. Seriously, I really do (especially when they are sleeping ha!). No, but honestly, peacefully asleep or not, they are my world. But, I must admit, that I am more than ready for them to go back to school.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed all of the extra time with my babies. But, there is something to be said about having a normal schedule that keeps me — well — sane.
Between battling holiday sickness and trying to keep up with all of the Christmas fun, bedtime and full nights of sleep have went by the wayside. There has been no consistency, no “have to” be in bed for school, no reason to not let them stay up for another holiday adventure or just one more show.
But, just because they don’t have to get up and be functional in the morning doesn’t mean that mommy and daddy don’t. Many days of this break, we both have had to work. Which means we need to get some sort of sleep, drag them out of bed in the morning to the sitter, and still be able to perform at work. It has been exhausting.
And let’s not forget the awesome attitudes of children when they do not have enough sleep. We have had holiday meltdowns over the smallest of events — Sis stole her seat, she didn’t get to tell GG bye on the phone, she wanted the blue bowl NOT the orange one — and a tantrum ensued.
With children who stayed up way past their bedtime on Christmas or rang in the new year at midnight, there is no reasoning. Even attempting to discipline or rationalize the situation creates a warzone. This is not the ordinary behavior of my children, swallow it down, and know that soon it will be back to normal.
And what is it about not having the structure of school that automatically causing kids to forget about any sort of order? Yes, your shoes still go by the front door — not in the middle of the kitchen. No, your coat does not get thrown on the floor — go hang it up.
During this break, I have literally cleaned my house seven times a day. Every time that I was busy cleaning up a mess, five more were being made. From unboxing new Christmas gifts, to a much-needed snack every five minutes, to daily crafts with lots of construction paper and glue, I almost lost my mind.
Typically, we are not home through the day, so I can easily manage keeping my living room somewhat livable. Oh, but not during Christmas break. And after days of asking nicely and a few moments of losing it and threatening to throw all their new toys away, I finally gave in and cleaned it all up myself.
Look, I am not that mom! Generally, I make them clean up as much as I can. But this was overwhelming to me, and I cannot even imagine what was going through their completely sleep-deprived young minds. Not only were their messes adding to the madness, but Christmas had just thrown up all over our living room.
It was too much — for them and for me. But we meandered through — I followed them around the house like puppies about to potty at the park, and they kept supplying the crap. And each night, after I put them to bed way too late, I went and made our living space half-way livable — for the eighth time that day.
Just to be clear, I did still enjoy this time with my babies — I especially loved the extra cuddles, imagination, playtime, games, hugs, and “I love you’s.” But, I cannot for one second act like I am not ready to get back to some sort of normal.
I thrive on a schedule. My kids thrive on a schedule. We need a schedule! As mundane as it is being stuck in the ins and outs of week day repetition, the extraordinary impact of the routine ripples through every inch of our household.
When babies get more sleep, mommy gets more sleep. When babies are not there to destroy the house every 5 minutes, mommy does not have to lose it (as much). When Christmas decorations are put away and new toys find homes, mommy can finally walk through the house without injuring herself. It’s a win-win all around.
But truly, I love my babies and am thankful for our time off together, but there comes a time when getting back to normal is not only inevitable but also necessary.
So, bring on the return of our routine chaos, regular schedules, typical cluttered house, rested babies, and Mommy peace. You know, the kind that actually occurs throughout the day and not just after bedtime.
Sarah (Pitson) Shrader was born and raised in Lima. She is a Lima Central Catholic and Tiffin University graduate. Sarah is a full-time working mama who enjoys writing about her somewhat crazy, always adventurous life as a mother. She lives in Bath Township with her husband, Paul, and their daughters, her writing inspirations, Maylie and Reagan.