Balancing Children

No, I’m not referring to a new circus act for the school carnival. Nor am I setting up an audition tape to get my daughters on America’s Got Talent.

I’m talking about trying to balance time and energy among more than one kiddo. Right now my time seems to be very D1 heavy. If I’m not at one of her volleyball games, it seems I’m running down to pick her up from practice. It’s been great to spend more time with her and in a way I feel like I’m getting to know her all over again. Or maybe for the first time as this new, more mature version of the little girl I used to know.

In the next couple of weeks, D3 starts soccer so we’ll add her into the mix. She also leaves for school 30 minutes after her sisters every morning so I get to have one on one time with her each day as well. She’s bright, fun and energetic in the morning and I love that about her!

But what of D2? It seems most of my time with her this week has involved the words “Hurry up, you’re going to miss your bus!” or some variation of that which may or may not include the words, “Move your ass NOW because if you miss that bus you’re going to walk !” I’m expecting my inbox to overflow with requests for parenting advice any minute now. Parenting Magazine will be asking me to do a weekly guest column I’m sure.

She started middle school this week. A whole new chapter for her in a place where they estimate 80% of the students go through puberty while they’re there. If that isn’t a ringing endorsement for middle school teaching as a career path, I don’t know what is!

This morning she was exhausted from the 1st week of school and unable to make decisions even about lunch. I gave her two choices, a sandwich or pizza, and she said she didn’t care. I’m guessing that when she comes home this afternoon she’ll be complaining I made the wrong choice!  The child who curled up next to me in the hospital 5 years ago just to find a way to be near me, has stopped kissing me goodnight or saying goodbye on her way to school.

Do you suppose it could be the yelling at her to move her ass?

I feel like this is the kiddo who needs more time but doesn’t necessarily want it. I’m pretty sure some of this also hit when D1  started middle school so I know can ride this one out too. In the meantime, I’ll try to find ways to sneak in a few minutes or an hour alone with her here and there.

She likes to help me cook so maybe we can do that side by side or hang out down by the river. Playing in rocks and sand will never be something she outgrows whether she has a fishing pole in hand or not.

I am trying to find the balance between my girls but I worry that when D2 finally decides she wants to chat, I’ll be too busy with one of her sisters to notice. If only I could clone myself so that I’ll always be handy for whichever child needs me at a given moment.

I always hear about middle children getting lost between older and younger siblings. I’ve tried like hell to be aware of that and not let it happen but this week, I’m afraid I’m failing miserably.


7 thoughts on “Balancing Children

  1. This balancing act is so tough. My oldest is doing so much right now and I feel like my son is getting the shaft. Plus, he does not have a fast gear in his body. So, I too, am constantly nagging him. I feel so bad about that. I am making my girl-child go do his favorite activity today. This parent balancing act is so hard. I’m pretty sure keeping plates spinning on a stick is easier.

    • I told D1 that I’m starting to think this is the way it’s supposed to be so that we’re actually grateful when they get their driver’s licenses. I’m going to start charging her by the mile! Sorry you’re doing it too but glad to hear I’m not alone. xoxo

  2. This is hard.

    But, what I found really makes a difference. A touch.

    My middle DOES get lost in the daily flow.

    But if I just hug him tight when he stands near me at the sink, or if he’s watching TV and I sit down next to him, and put my arm around him: he melts into it.

    No words needed, not so much time: but the touch.

    The gift of touching someone.

    I can’t even imagine what my life will be like when I”m old,and alone.

    Sorry….didn’t mean to take it there.

  3. And this is why you’re a great mom! But let’s face it…MIDDLE SCHOOL will suck the life force out of you. The next week or two will be better, I promise. If all else fails, toll house chocolate chip cookies. They are the answer.

    • Uh, i just ate the last choc. chip cookie. Up next pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting. I’d say high school is better than middle school so far but then i’d jinx myself – I typed that while throwing salt over my shoulder, knocking on wood with all available body parts and spitting. Not sure about the spitting thing but isn’t that something Marinka suggests? Ptah!! Patooey!! See? I don’t even know how to spell it.

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