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I have 3 children. I am also blessed with a partner who is in the parenting trenches with me, especially on the weekend (meaning he cooks, he cleans, he gets children dressed – does everything I do and some things I don’t!). You would think we could manage to have some nice “quality family time” together, wouldn’t you? Well…

Today was one of those LOUD days. I am on call for the weekend, so I kept thinking that I was going to be leaving to do a case at any moment, so I didn’t rally the troops in the morning the way I usually do. We stayed inside in the morning for too long (because we didn’t really have a plan now that the hospital was calling me!) and by the time we all got outside everyone was pretty wound up.

The baby, usually sunny and happy, was NOT happy. He kept throwing himself down on the sidewalk and screaming for no apparent reason – it would have been funny if hadn’t continually bashed his head on the concrete. The other 2 were constantly fighting – the sidewalk is just not big enough for a bike AND a trike, I guess. I decided baby and I would walk over to the grocery store to get a few things for lunch. Any other day, he would settle right down in the stroller and smile and wave at all he passes. Not today. Today he screamed the whole way to the store, the whole time in the store, and the whole way home from the store. And the rest of the day continued in much the same fashion.

I kept checking my pager, wondering why it wasn’t going off to rescue me from the partial hearing loss I was started to experience from all of the yelling!

Of course, I did get called in, after all the kids were in bed. And now I am reflecting on our day together: where is the peace?

I want to tell you that today was unusual for us. But the truth is, other than Kirby’s foul mood, our weekend days are often like this. I have tried many things: no scheduled activities, some scheduled activities, divide and conquer by Tim and I, etc. And yet, at least a good part of one of the weekend days is like this. I have always assumed that Tim and I aren’t doing a good job of managing family time. If we were, surely things would be more peaceful, there would be more happy family time and less frazzled crankiness with each other, right?

For the first time, I am wondering if maybe this is just family life with 3 young children. I am also very much in awe of parents who don’t have the call of work outside the home to take them away from the “domestic bliss” from time to time. I salute you. I am not sure how you do it. And if anyone has any tips or suggestions on how to obtain greater periods of family peace, please share them!

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