After a very long month of May, I have come to the decision that I need to find the fun in mommy-ness again. It was beginning to feel like the only interactions I had with my kiddos was meeting basic needs and home schooling. What had happened to spontaneous trips to the park or running in the rain?
I didn't want to leave the house because it took too much energy to get all five kiddos out of the house and loaded up. Grocery shopping was never happening so our meals were costing more and were getting progressively less healthy. My house was mounding with laundry and mess and I just didn't have the energy to deal with any of it.
Fortunately, I am surrounded with a wonderful group of friends who, while I didn't specifically say "Pray for me to be less overwhelmed and more fun", they were praying for me anyway. I felt it. I knew it. It helped.
So, as is my 'all in or nothing' mentality, I set an ambitious goal for myself. A summer of adventure - which means something fun or spontaneous just about every day - something where we play together and I get to just have fun with my kiddos. Know what? It is working :)
On Monday, when I got my brilliant idea, I thought I would take the clan to the playground. Yes, it was raining, but I figured that would make it more of an adventure and we would have the place to ourselves. Unfortunately, timing didn't work (why do kiddos take forever to pick up when you have something fun planned to bless them????), but I did manage to get us all to the store for an ingredient for our dinner, and we got to run through a downpour to get back to the van. That counts as an adventure, right?
Tuesday, we had a wonderful play date with a dear friend and her three girls. Oh yes, and their four grown chickens and four baby chicks. We had a blast, playing, hanging out, chatting, and letting the kiddos enjoy themselves. They all played together wonderfully, the weather was perfect, and we enjoyed a picnic lunch afterwards. The kids got to play with the chickens, bake up all kinds of grass and dirt concoctions, and do some arts and crafts too. It was fun and refreshing. Off to a good start.
On Wednesday, we loaded on the sunscreen and headed to the playground. Other than a few minutes at the Sandy Cove playground when we went down to Lydia's graduation, this was the first time I had taken the kiddos to the playground since Liliana's arrival. The Sandy Cove playground was empty except for us, but this playground had lots of kiddos running around, so I was curious how Liliana would handle it. There were definitely a lot of other mommies to sidle up to there, but she did great! She stuck with me for the most part and when she did wander a bit, she stayed nearby and kept checking in. I was really encouraged by the progress. To finish off, I gathered up the kiddos and we had a race in the soccer field. Definitely out of the ordinary for me and we had lots of fun.
On Thursday, we had a normal play date scheduled, so we went to it, but I decided to throw in the girls' bikes to they could practice their balance bikes on a nice long driveway with their friends. They all played and rode their bikes and had lunch together, but I hadn't really gotten to play with them. So once we got home and the tots were napping, I got out paints and q-tips and the girls and I painted. When Simeon woke up, he joined us and then once everyone was up, we made popcorn and watched Little House on the Prairie. Yeah, TV doesn't really count but it was very unusual for us, so I'll count it.
I have no idea what I have planned for tomorrow... maybe we'll go play in the rain. Who knows? All I know is that I am starting to enjoy my kids again and I am also seeing some good signs of improved relationships - on my end and theirs, so we'll keep going with it as much as we can. Hopefully, I'll remember my camera one of these times and get some pictures to go along with the adventures...