I am inspired by Laura to write a post on the state of our evenings.
Lest anyone think that my relative calm/okay state recently means that I have this whole parenting thing figured out . . . well, I will share our current successes & struggles.
Sometimes the kids will play independently for quite some time! Their most common group games: obstacle course, “puppies”, pirates, etc. While they are doing this, I find that it is actually best if I completely ignore everyone and read. Which is fine with me.
G sometimes likes to bring me a book and read with me, even before we go upstairs. Love this.
A often draws or writes out elaborate lists. She continues to reassure me that once 2021 starts, she will be highly motivated to fill each pages of her Hobonichi.
Brushing teeth / etc is not nearly as bad as it once was, mostly because the big kids brush their own teeth. Do they do perfect jobs? Probably not. Do they floss? Admittedly no (but neither did I until I was approximately 38 years old). It seems reasonably good enough.
Every so often, the group play is punctuated by . . . violence. Sigh. And then I have to intervene, and sometimes there is yelling. And I hate it! I know it’s normal, but the large age gap between G & the others makes it particularly searing when I hear her cry, especially if it’s from getting (mildly) hurt due to big kid shenanigans.
The portion of the night just before everyone goes to bed? NOT WORKING WELL, esp ever since G went on her sleeping strike. Last night A threw a tantrum about a book I wanted to read to all 3 of them (refusing to listen to even one chapter or for 5 minutes) and I ended up having to take away the entire weekend’s worth of iPad time. Which is partly a punishment for me, but oh well.
I love Laura’s suggestions, but in practice I DON’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING with the kids at night. I don’t have that much energy left at the end of the work day. I wish I did, but I honestly don’t want to take a walk with all 3 at that time (even though our weather is finally getting nice!), and it’s hard to think of projects that will involve ages almost 3-8.
FaceTime is nice and I often call my parents or sister on the weekends, but for whatever reason it tends to make the kids act out more (I guess because they are not getting my full attention). Maybe I need to be more structured with it like — give each kids 10 minutes to FT separate with grandparents.
I do love the suggestion of a weekly night off but . . . I need some help with that one (which I do get on occasion, but not as a standing thing!). A significant portion of my evenings are spent solo, even if it’s not the entire time. Our nanny leaves at 5:45 or 6. The kids go to sleep around 8:30-9. Some (great!) nights Josh comes home around 7, other nights it’s more like 8:30, and other nights it’s after I’m asleep.
Ideas are welcome.
Or just tell me that it will naturally get easier in a year or two. Please.