I was reading Mir Kamin’s blog today and she practically took words out of my mouth. Of course, her words are specific to her own issues, but any mother would feel a similar way, at least some of the time.

Mir was talking about how the guilt that she can’t give everything humanly possible to her kids exactly when and how they need it consumes her. I feel this way for the largest part of my day, when I’m working on my book or blog or newest non-fiction article and am not tending to my sons’ every need when they would like me to.

Some writers use a babysitter for the part of the day they write, but I don’t have the luxury and/or need to send my kids packing with some stranger that isn’t their mom. When they ask me to play the millionth game of Hungry, Hungry, and I pass and then watch their face crumble, I try to remind myself about all the many reasons why we are so lucky.

1.  I get the privilege to stay home with them instead of sending them off to daycare while I go teach someone else’s kids.

2. They have their brothers to play with along with a plethora of toys, movies, one dog and a big back yard to keep them occupied.

3. I’m able to take a break and tend to the wet pants/fever/hunger pangs/boredom or any other ailment my boys might be suffering from that day. For example, in the middle of the last sentence, my middle boy – we’ll refer to him as “Alvin” from the Chipmunks – needed me to fix the green hippo’s head that popped off. And he needed me to do it RIGHT NOW.

So I paused my writing, fixed him, bid him off with a little kiss and resumed in my writing.

4. I’m grateful that my chipmunks don’t have special needs, even though a lot of times during the day they do have a special need that must be addressed every day, individual as each of the boys. “Simon” needs constant attention with his homework and reading when he gets done with school, “Alvin” needs tickled and sung to and eats up any and all my attention he can pull from me. “Theodore” needs cuddled and chased around the house as well as a lot of time to himself to play. This can be a challenge within itself because when it’s time to go somewhere or I’m in the mood for a cuddle, he might just snub me or refuse to get into the car.

As parents, we all have to figure out what works best with us and our children, but we also have to make sure that we don’t lose ourselves in the process. I’ll never forget the best advice I’d ever received as a new parent. It was a day I was fretting over bringing my three-month old baby to a lake to go camping. My friend told me, “Your children will learn to bend into your life…if you let them.”

So, every day, we work on what’s best for us…together.

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