To be perfectly honest with you, I have been struggling lately. It has been one month now since we pulled the boys out of preschool to begin homeschooling. That is one month of three kids 24/7 with no break for me. And my husband working 14 hour days. And of course that is after a year of him being deployed and parenting for the most part solo. Can you say “burnt out?”
Behavior around here has been not so pretty either.
For any of us.
I’ve been doing some major praying and soul-searching and have come to a few conclusions:
1. I have been just a (ahem) tiny bit overwhelmed with the three boys and the impending move. I think instead of engaging the kids I’ve been almost throwing toys/movies/activities at them-hoping they will keep busy so that I can do other things (pack, organize, attend to the baby. Their playroom is chaos. Their behavior reflects that chaos as well.
2. This approach (or survival method, if you will) is not at all in line with how I fundamentally believe I should parent. In fact it is diametrically opposed to how I used to parent before the deployment. Prior to the deployment I took a very Montessori-inspired approach to their days and areas and very strictly limited screen time. I think when my husband was gone and I was having such a tough pregnancy I started to co-parent with the TV.
3. I am not happy day to day overall. I love my kids and treasure being a stay-at-home Mom but I feel stressed, the kids are acting out, and its nothing like it used to be. This is an incredibly sad and frustrating way to feel.
I am realizing that I need to return to the things that worked for us…more structure, less chaos; more Montessori, less TV; more engagement, less escapism on my part.
Is this a common pitfall for other mothers? I know I can’t be the only one; but part of me really feels as though I have been failing my family. It makes me angry at myself and to be honest a small part of me wants to blame the Army for taking my husband away repeatedly and the long hours he’s working even now that he’s home.
But then I step back, take a deep breath and I realize we chose this life and it is a very good life.
Even with the ups and downs. So here’s looking up….