Every time we leave someone's house there is crying, whining, running away and hiding, a Fit. And that is with a capital F. If it's not one of my girls it's the other with a full on meltdown and hiccup crying in the car. On our way home I think, I can't. I just can't. Never again. But, of course, the next time comes around and inevitably we do it all over again because the girls have fun and this mama can't pass up an opportunity to hang out with other grown ups.
It makes me contemplate my parenting and what I might be doing wrong, or (heaven forbid) what is wrong with my kids -- and by that I mean, have I failed them in the discipline department. Because we do have friends, I do know people, whose kids will listen when their parents say it's time to go; they will get their shoes and coat on and wait at the door while mom or dad get the baby ready. What the heck am I doing wrong?
I realized today that we are doing too much. I am extended us to far. With preschool, ECFE, gymnastics, and trying to have outside of school playdates with friends, I am just trying to fit too much in. And it is catching up to me. It is catching up to all of us.
Not only are we doing too much during the week, we're doing too much during each day, and spending too much time doing it. Instead of a nice two hour playdate I want to stay all afternoon (and in my defense so do my girls, but I suppose as the adult I should know better), because I want that time with my friend and other grown up to have grown up conversations. So when it's time to go we are all exhausted and hungry and ready to just be done. No wonder leaving people's houses has been so hellish.
I admit that I have never been good at finding that balance between spending time at home and being out and about. I always felt like a better parent when we were away from the house because when we're home I feel like I should be either playing with the girls or doing housework, and playing with the girls is hard with housework hanging over my head (nor would I want to play with them all day long) and doing housework is nearly impossible with a five-year-old and two-and-a-half-year-old at my feet.
I guess I'm still working on finding that balance. I want to be able to visit friends (for my benefit and for that of my girls) or go to the zoo or play at the park or run to Target. But I have to be better about remembering how much we have already done in one day or one week and adjust accordingly, because even I am getting overwhelmed and burned out. Even I feel like having a meltdown every now and then. So I guess I can't really blame my kids for having them "occasionally" (every time ::cough::cough::) too.