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June 2, 2013

Neglecting My Children

That's what I feel like I've been doing lately.

And I hate it.

I shared this on Facebook recently, and I guess it's time to make it blog-official, too.  We are building a house!  We are so excited, and so grateful.

That means, of course, that our current house is on the market. 

Ultimately, I'm very thankful to have had such a busy week...

I've been picking out finishes for the new house, so that means we're getting close to completion (within the next 6 weeks or so, anyway).

And I've been tidying and polishing and fluffing our current house, as we've shown it every day but one over the past week.

Again, that's ALL good.  But it's been HARD, too.

I can handle the fact, I thrive on that in a lot of ways...but what's hard to handle is what it's meant for the girls.

I've been home, save for a couple of meetings related to the new house, but I haven't spent nearly as much time on the floor with them. The house is in very good shape, but there are always last-minute things to do before a showing.  And about half of the showings we've had have been on pretty short notice.

The worst day was when we got an early-morning email from a family from out of town who'd seen our house a couple of days prior.  They wanted me to send them pictures of our house.  I probably should have had pictures made already, but I hadn't.  So I spent the better part of an hour making pictures...then I had to edit them and put them into a cohesive format...and then it took a few tries before they were able to receive the file via email.  When I finally got confirmation they got the pictures, it was 11:21am.

I had spent THE ENTIRE morning consumed by the house.

The girls had been troopers, spending most of the morning coloring at the table.  They were missing me being with them, though.  It's not that I typically spend every moment engaged with them, but when we're not actively playing together, I'm usually easily accessible.

That day, and quite a few other times, I had to appeal to them.  "Babies, Mommy is doing something very important towards the sale of our house.  I can't sit down to color with you right now.  I promise we will color together in a little bit."

And I hate what it's like for the girls when we are showing the house, too.  I ask them to sit quietly at the table and color.  That's all fine, but it just feels so effect I'm asking them to pretend they're not there, while their daddy and I walk around the house with other people.

We almost always involve our girls in conversations, and it just feels so strange to purposefully cut them out of the scene.

Had these been an isolated incidents, I wouldn't think twice about it.  Stuff happens, and the girls need to understand that.  But it feels like it's morning, and then afternoon, and then again something the next day and the next.

It has been heartbreaking to hear the girls say in their sweet little voices, "Mommy, I just want you to snuggle with me."  Or, "Mommy, we haven't read any books today."

I know this is just a moment in time.  I know this will all pass, and we'll be back to our watercolors and birthday party pretend play.

I'm trying to sneak in time when I can, because I don't know when the next phone call is coming.

[Before 7am this morning, the girls and I built a "bunny stroller" from blocks, laid out a "sidewalk" from blankets and pillows (on which to stroll the bunnies, of course), and they helped me make banana nut muffins.]

I know we'll make it, but, whew...this is hard.


Marcia (123 blog) said...

Oh Mandy! It really is just for a short time and then the house will be sold and this will never happen again, right? :)

I know your heart and when you do have time with them, you make it count - they do know that too.

Plus... it's not a bad thing now and again to let them get on with things... provided there's nothing too messy :) :)

Johanna at The Baker Twins said...

Sometimes, it is nice for them to be able to play with 'just' one another! It helps them build their imaginations, the twin bond, and their independence.

Soon, they'll be in their new home with the whole summer to have Mommy as their facilitator! :)

Charlene Juliani said...

Aww I always hate when that feeling sneaks up and you feel like you just can't do and be all to everyone, especially the kids. It will all work out :)

Mandy said...

Focus on the good things that lie ahead friend! Children are tolerant and resistant, and I'm sure they'll be super excited when all your hard work pays off!!

Maybe you just need an ice cream date to smooth things over in the mean time. :)

Deanna said...

You've already said it,'s just a phase, it will pass, and all will be back to normal (except in a brand-new house...even better!).

Don't let yourself stress too much about it, and remember to give yourself a break when you're in the new house and you have to do things then, too. I imagine they are pretty good at entertaining themselves on their own, and that's a very good thing! It's an excellent skill for the future. : )

Anonymous said...

i'm sure your "neglect" is still more engaging than many other parents, friend. this is not a normal thing. you are a great mommy and once you move in (and unpack and get settled and and and...) things will get back to your routine. also! they're four, you've done a great job so far, so they can handle some autonomy, right?