Monday, June 2, 2008

Making my Home a Haven Monday

Making my home a haven today is all about survival. It's all about how to get a million and one things done while trying to watch 4 kids and keep them clean, fed, and ALIVE! It's all about forgetting the housework and dishes just to try to control as much other chaos as I can.

While this temporary babysitting thing is over today (Yeah!) and wasn't as bad as I thought due to Junior being an angel baby, and his sister being a pretty nice girl who keeps Ali entertained, it still wasn't easy. The extra cash will sure come in handy and will more than cover the money we spent shopping in Billings. My Friday turned out so much better than I could have imagined in spite of the many commitments I had. I've discovered that getting out with 4 kids is not only possible, it is ESSENTIAL! I somehow squeezed 4 carseats into my tiny Honda, with the 6 year old riding in the front (her mom said it was okay) to go to the park and a potluck lunch with friends on Friday. Today, I didn't have car seats but quickly realized that I would lose my sanity if the kids kept running up and down the halls screaming and riding scooters wildly so I hauled out my strollers and took them to the park about a mile away. Jenna pushed her baby brother in the little umbrella stroller and I pushed my kids in the double jogger. On the way home, I thought it would be great for Ali to run off some energy so the girls both walked and I pushed the boys. Nothing kills time when you are babysitting then taking them to the park!

I have to say that as much as I love and adore my own kids and being a mom, I'm so thankful I don't have 4 right now. Of course if I had 4 I know it would be different because they would be my own and we would settle into a routine of sorts and they would know the rules and how the household works, etc. I know kids are a blessing and of course someday I hope to have 4 of my own or more. But 2 seems like a piece of cake after watching 4 and I'm not prepared for those levels of chaos on a regular basis yet. Have you ever noticed how mothering is like weight training? One baby feels so hard and so exhausting at first but once you get in the swing of things it feels easy and you decide to have another. And so on, and so on. You build up your strength, experience, tolerance for baby body fluids, etc.

This babysitting experiment has really enforced to me the NEED of mamas and daddies to watch their own kids. I realize there are extreme circumstances where this may be impossible and in those cases, it's such a blessing when a grandparent, relative, or woman who is gifted in this area can take up the slack. But I will say from a caregiver's perspective that caregiver's do NOT really care about your kids. Now, maybe I'm just less patient than most or maybe I'm just pregnant but even when Jenna and Daniel Junior are being the most amazing kids ever and even though the little guy is just as cute as a bug's ear, I have absolutely no natural affection for them or bond that makes the rough times bearable. I don't know how to comfort him or to tell what he needs when he gets fussy, I don't have the desire to deal with him when is sick and has a green snotty nose and I don't know how to tell if he's really sick or just tired. The truth is that the caregiver (who has kids of their own) will always care more about their own kids and will often feel a bit resentful of the time they are spending wiping other people's children's noses and bottoms. It doesn't matter how much you pay the caregiver or how much they like kids. It is very difficult to have patience, gentleness and love with your own children but I can assure you it is HARDER to have it with other people's children and though I have not hurt other people's children I can see how it would be soooo easy for caregivers to become abusive or just mean-spirited. Even the caregiver who is kind and sweet will still not have the tender, loving, scoop-you-up-and-hold you-for-the-joy-of-loving-you way that only a Mama or Daddy has. This is why I personally feel it is SO IMPORTANT for the parents to take care of the kids. There's also the issue of what the caregiver is teaching your child too (both in their words and actions).

Most people look at me and think I'd be the perfect caregiver. I've had scores of babysitting experience, years and years of children's ministry and missions, and I love being a mom, wear the long dresses and look like the very conservative, 1950s-homemaker-next-door. Of course you who know me or read my blog know better. I'm just saying that if I, who look like a stereotypical "good babysitter" have a hard time being a daycare person, than you better really be careful who you ask to care for your precious treasures and you'd better know them inside and out.

Now that I've convinced all of my blog readers I must be some horrible ogre of an ax-murderer babysitter or something...I'll sign off and try to go make my home as haven-like as possible with kids everywhere.

2 comments:

Meredith said...

This post is hilarious, whether you meant it to be or not! I don't know you, Lindsey, but I love ya!

Suzanne said...

This so true! I work in the nursery on Sundays and I'm always told how much I seem to love the children. I love my child! I just put up with the others! I'm kidding (partially), but really, I can never care about someone else's like I do my own. Thanks for your honesty. We need more of it!

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