I have found over the past nine years of being a mom that there is nothing more potent than "mom guilt". From the time I was pregnant, I was already feeling like maybe I wasn't doing everything I could to make my child's life perfect. Maybe I should only eat organic food, maybe I should get more exercise, maybe I should stay away from that guy in room 16 with TB...you know, the usual mom guilt stuff. I have found that instead of getting better over time, this only gets worse. This summer has been unusually full of that mom guilt, so let me just put in out on the table now....
1. Yes, I'm excited that the kids are going back to school. Yes, I love my kids more than I ever dreamed possible, but while trying to work from home and be with them, it's been a rough summer. I have loved getting to spend more time with them than usual, but I think we are all ready to be back in our "normal" routine
2. Yes, my kids played WAY too many video games and watched entirely too much TV this summer. I was certain that the American Academy of Pediatrics was going to come beat down my door any day for them watching more than 2 hours a day....2 hours....yeah, we got that beat by a landslide. That being said, Gavin is now a master at Minecraft! (if you have kids this age, you know what this is)
3. No, we did not do our summer reading like we were supposed to. I'm pretty sure at the end of the year there was some sort of "bingo" game that came home for us to read books and fill in the squares. I'm also pretty sure in the next couple of days we will get many reminders to send those in soon, and I will feel a stab of guilt each time I hear that reminder.
4. Yes, our house was pretty much a wreck all summer. Between work, and hanging out with the boys, the last thing I wanted to do was clean. Though I did teach the boys to clean a bathroom this summer...guess that's one thing we accomplished.
So, in that respect, I feel like the epic fail of moms....and I know that one day they will be in therapy talking about how I didn't care enough to make sure they did their reading bingo over the summer....But, there were a few things we did get done....
1. We went bowling together, and we laughed when Gavin and Noah both beat me!
2. I heard my boys say more than once, "Mommy, I like hanging out with you"
3. I watched Gavin teach Noah how to play games on the iPad like a big brother should, and watched Noah actually take direction from him, which for Noah is a pretty huge accomplishment
4. I watched my boys show all of their friends that came to the house the picture of their little sister, and tell them how we were going to China to get her. I've never heard so much pride about being a big brother, that it brought tears to my eyes many times
5. We had movie nights under the blankets with popcorn, painted pottery, and ate ice cream....all for the most part without a schedule
I guess maybe I didn't have a total fail this summer. I will remember this as my last summer with just the boys, and I am amazed at what great kids they are. I'm so thankful that they have such open hearts, and I am so excited to add our little girl to the mix and to see her grow and learn from the best big brothers a girl could have.