Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Friday Night Freedom

With three children spaced 2 1/2 years apart, saying that parenting is challenging is an understatement. It's worse when it is coupled with a Super Type A A personality so I am often exhausted by JED's shenanigans and so wound up it doesn't benefit anyone. Often, I need some breathing space to regain my centre. As I once blogged about,  I am much less inclined to fob them off as much as I used to want to when they were little. The irony of the situation is that since I've stopped full time teaching and have availed myself to them when they are not in school, I feel it more difficult to tear myself away despite being a lot more exhausted and frustrated at times. Thankfully, I have a wise voice in my head.

That voice isn't mine. When it comes to JED, I am hardly rational (Now, I just sound like a neurotic mom!) Packrat remains the rational voice when it comes to parenting and he openly encourages me to let other people take JED off my hands once in a while.

So, we've got a little bit of tradition in place. Every Friday, JED go swimming. Some time along the way, the twins basically suckered their grandparents into letting them stay over after swimming. These are Packrat's parents whom the twins are super close to. Now while I feel that it is an imposition and I shouldn't allow them to stay over on a regular basis, I also know it is a good thing. Packrat reiterates that, reminding me also that this way, we kill many birds with one stone.

1. The twins get to spend time with their grandparents, which to both Packrat and I, is an important relationship they need to establish and cherish.
2. Muffin gets undivided attention from both Packrat and I. Something he has to fight for when his siblings are around.
3. I get to sleep a little bit more because I only get disturbed by one child through the night.
4. The twins learn to be independent from us and get used to sleeping away from home ( I remember a cousin who stayed over as a child and had my parents send her back in the middle of the night because she couldn't sleep).
5. The twins get a little bit of breathing space away from Mommy and her strict rules.
6. Packrat gets a wife who is a little bit more relaxed for the night. 

Like I say, it's a difficult thing for a mum to do; to let go. But it's good for everyone and all it takes from me is to let go and go easy a little bit. It's easier said than done but every Friday, I try and every Friday it gets easier, especially on Saturday mornings when we pick them up and the twins are excited, happier and more importantly none the worse for wear.

The message it sends out to them, according to Packrat when he tries to rationalise it with me, is that 1. Their grandparents are important.
2. They can survive quite well without Mommy and Papa.
3. They need to learn to fend for themselves without us aforementioned parents.
4. Their parents' relationship and marriage is as important as they are to their parents.

I am linking this to Simply Mommie's Tips for Mom Series because if anyone asked what was the biggest survival tip I could share, it would be this. What has helped me survive being a parent to twins and a fierce, younger Muffin is to find time to step away. I know that not all mums have that luxury but where ever and whenever there is some opportunity to let go, sometimes, there is wisdom in doing so.

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