Friday turned out to be a reeally tough parenting day. I'm talking tears, frustration, drama, TOUGH. It was just really hard. And it was only our second day of summer. Noooooooo!
Originally I had planned to take the boys on our first little outing to Chick-fil-A on Friday morning. We'd enjoy a snack, have lots of play time, enjoy a fun outing, and then be back home in time for lunch and naps. Except that didn't work out when one of my babies decided he would tell me no multiple times and give me flashbacks to the fiasco at McDonald's. I was then forced to make a super hard decision that we couldn't go to CFA and risk something similar happening again. CFA is located in a super busy shopping center here and I knew making it out to the parking with an uncooperative little man would be dangerous and risky for all of us. Oh how it broke our hearts... all of our hearts. And all for different reasons. I hated punishing all for the sins of one but truly believed I had no other choice. (We ended up going after dinner on Friday night for dessert and play time.. WITH daddy.)
Then later on we had some issues with having too much time on our hands and not enough to do. That ALWAYS leads to disaster it seems. We also had some small issues turn into big issues when talking back and (very) delayed obedience was involved. Then, I may or may not have caught my big boys JUMPING off their DRESSER onto their bean bags. Oh Lord, please help me in this house full of boys. I need Your hedge of protection around all of us and Your infinite wisdom and patience poured out on me. Amen.
So. Friday was tough. Our second day of summer and our second day stuck in the house together with no escape. Not fun. Thankfully we made it out to eat Friday night and then enjoyed CFA for dessert and play time. A good way to turn around our not fun day and a great start to our weekend.
Then came Saturday. And my Mother's Day present. Woohoo! Way back several weeks ago when Terrell asked me what I wanted for Mother's Day I knew what I'd really love was a day out shopping. Without my precious darlings in tow. Terrell being super limited in what he can do with Layton has meant Layton is attached to me at all times. Errands, appointments, school functions, etc. Where mama goes, Layton goes. And it's been a tad overwhelming at times because as much as I love my baby boy and having lots of time with him (that I wouldn't trade), I also need a minute or two hundred to myself every now and then too. You know, for sanity purposes.
I had really been wanting just a couple of extra essentials to add to my spring/summer wardrobe and I'd especially been wanting a chance to go shopping by myself.... so my wonderful hubby made it happen. Garrison had a 9:00 baseball game Saturday morning that I thoroughly enjoyed and then Terrell enlisted the help of his mom for the rest of the day so I could go shop in peace. Nana to the rescue. Yay!
I was able to meet my mom and sister for lunch (literally can't remember the last time I got away with them without my kiddos) and then we spent the afternoon shopping. And I stayed within my budget by use of coupons and sales. Double yay! It was a super fun afternoon and so, so timely for me because mama NEEDED to get away. And let me tell you it is rare for me to feel this way. I like being with my babies and having my family together in the same place pretty much all the time... BUT, after our rough start to summer and my tough parenting day on Friday, getting away was a good thing. A very much needed thing.
I also had some time to think and pray and prepare. (Driving in the car without anyone in the backseat can do that for you.) I thought about the best way to tackle this summer full of free time we're facing. I prayed about how to handle my busy boys who need structure and outings mixed in with controlled amounts of free time. And I started to prepare. I brainstormed ideas. I analyzed when things go downhill for us during the day and when things go smoothly. I searched and wracked my brain for outings during our weekdays. Then, last night I found some educational activities that are simple but engaging and should keep us from the "summer slide" and give us some structured time at the table a few times during the week too. So coming into today felt much better. A fresh start. A prepared approach. Bring on summer. Mama is ready!!
Until this morning when we had to schedule a doctor's appointment and the whole day was thrown off. Sigh. Oh well. We're just going with the flow and trying to keep things running as smoothly as possible around here. Feeling defeated first thing on Monday doesn't help anybody. I think being flexible and lowering my expectations just a tad were lessons learned this morning.
I'm quickly learning to accept that things aren't going to be perfect and easy this summer. My little boys are just that. Little boys. They're going to be wild sometimes. They're going to get bored and act out sometimes. We're all going to get tired of each other sometimes. And we're all going to mess up sometimes. I know I have lots already and we're just on day 3. So while being prepared and having a plan and being intentional about our summer days is important and should be really helpful, so is going with the flow and not overreacting and extending grace. More than anything I just want this summer to be safe and fun for all of us. And for my boys to remember it with a smile and good memories (not with a frown and memories of a crazy, overreacting mama).
Pray for me this summer. I have a feeling it's going to be a wild one.