It's time for the kids to head back to school.
Like, tomorrow would be great. This week I officially tired of managing the bickering, scheduling playdates, coming up with fun activities to do each day or so, doing the things around the house that they should be doing, and telling them for the 4,563,962th time to pleeeeease be quiet because their brother is taking a nap. The best remedy for all of this is structure, school, daily exposure to friends and PE and Art and Music, and for their brother to take a week's worth of decent naps.
For today's adventure we are heading out to buy Jenna's Official School Backpack and then tonight we are going to a minor league baseball game, followed by fireworks. When I told Michaela we were going, she winced and asked, "Do we have to go?"
So I launched into my second (or third) rendition of the Appreciate What Mommy Does For You Speech, which is one I don't enjoy giving, because it makes me sound like a martyr/whiner and does not come from a position of strength as a parent. But it has to be doe because for the last two summers, every time I suggest something we could do, the girls say But I don't want to do that. Picnic down by the river? Nope. Go see a play? No way. Go to camp? Absolutely not. And it gets REALLY FRUSTRATING.
Not to say that my kids aren't fun. They're great fun, just not particularly adventurous. They could do the same activities, over and over, and have the same friends over, every day. They love the routine and sameness and comfortableness of the known.
After I finished my speech, Michaela was contrite and apologetic and said she does, in fact, appreciate lots of what I do, and mentioned playing soccer and going to quilting camp as specific things she loves to do that we sign her up for.
I think part of the trick of motherhood is balancing the desire and job of making your kids your whole life without actually making your kids your whole life. They should know they are priority #1 but not take advantage of that. They should know that you'd do anything for them without expecting that you'd do anything for them.
And a little appreciation expressed by them after a soapbox speech goes a long way.