Why I am watching the Kids for the Weekend
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
In July of last year, we flew to Nashville Tennesee to adopt our son Sebastian. We spend two weeks there getting him released from the Hospital and waiting for intrastate adoption paperwork to be filed. It was not relaxing in any way, shape, or form. Still for all intents and purposes that is the last thing that you could even begin to call a vacation for us. Since we returned from that trip neither my wife nor I have traveled anywhere for the sake of leisure. I travel Kansas a fair bit for work and spend a night on the road every now and then. Erin, on the other hand, has not been away from the kids for more than a four-hour period since we left for that trip.
I love my children more than anything in the world. Erin loves our children so much sometimes I don't even feel qualified to use the word when speaking about them. Even still sometimes you just need to get away for a while. Her exhaustion from the constant momming was starting to show more and more each passing week. So long story short, my wife and her best friend are off on a girl's weekend relaxing. Meanwhile, I am here alone with our three children, becoming more thankful by the second that I have her in my life to help me the other 362 days of the year. That said the kids have been very good for me the last 36 hours and hopefully that will keep up for the remaining 24 more I have till she gets back. The boys have limited their fighting over their identical toy trains to every 15 minutes and Gabriella has only asked me "when is mommy coming home?" 1,273 times (much less than I was expecting at this point). We have played, colored, snacked, and napped, everything that three children under three years old should do in a day. I thought I was doing great! That is until we went over to see my parents for dinner. Shortly after arriving there, we were all playing in the basement and I laid back for what seemed like a second after the 50th round of airplane for the day. As I lay there on mom and dad's hard basement floor I closed my eyes surrounded by my children and their grandparents for what seemed like a mere moment. I woke a little over a half an hour later alone in a quiet house. I had straight up passed out on the floor. After working the crick out of my back and neck I quickly found my missing family playing outside so they would wake me.
Even though we can feel just fine while performing a task, it doesn't mean that we are not wearing down. It took less than two days of me watching the kids by myself to mentally drain me to the point that as soon as my guard came down for 1 second I literally lost consciousness. (The fact that I laid awake half the night worrying that I did everything I was supposed to for the kids definitely didn't help that) If this had happened at the wrong time it could have been way worse than that momentary twilight zone feeling. Making sure that you are aware of your current state of health is important. Convincing yourself that you are doing alright and actually being in good condition are two very different things. When you feel yourself start to slip, take a step back and say, "Am I able to give this my best effort right now or should I take a break and come back?" If I had acknowledged that I was tired a few hours earlier I could have grabbed a short nap while the kids were taking theirs'. Instead, I slowly (which should have been a sign for me) picked up our living room, so that the kids could spend the morning tomorrow getting all their toys back out.
Stephen Covey talks about a concept called "sharpen your saw" in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The quick summary of this thought is that it makes more sense to spend one hour sharpening an ax in order to be able to cut down a tree in two hours verse taking eight hours with the unsharpened tool. In order to do your best, you have to be your best. Some times the most productive thing you can do, is to take a break.
I hope this post finds you in good health and of a sound mind. (If not you might need a nap) I am just another confused father from Kansas wondering...
How Did I End Up Here?