I'm learning, day by day, what I can and cannot handle as the stay-at-home mom of three. This morning we ventured out into the frigidity for a field trip with our home school group. It was a great concept--a cool learning environment, my good mommy friends and their kiddos. I even brought the double stroller! I did not, however, bring lunch for my kids. You'd think I'd have learned my lesson by now. But no.
So there was a lot of standing around waiting before we actually went in. Not so crazy about that. The kids were more patient than I expected they'd be, and we did see some interesting things, though I'm pretty sure no actual science knowledge was absorbed by any of us. At some point my 18-month-old reached her threshold and became downright unpleasant. And somewhere along the way my son dropped his snot rag (he has a serious cold); I pity the person who picks it up. I finally scrounged for snacks in my purse... thank God for the small container of smoked almonds I put in there four months ago. Mmmm, still tasty. And "Fruit Spins", not nearly as old as the almonds. Also tasty. That bought us another half-hour.
We got out to the car, everyone full-on cranky, and I exerted significant self-control in not cursing loudly in front of my children. Especially when I had to pay $5 for parking. GRRR. Just keepin' it real, folks. Drove home through a lovely snowfall (no really, it was!), got everyone inside, boots off, everyone fed, pottied, diaper changed, girls down for naps. WHEW. And... breathe.
My point is not to complain about the day, honestly. So any of you home school group mommy friends reading this, please forgive me. Seeing you all was the best part! My point is that I am growing wiser about what I can and cannot handle on my own. I should clarify: "handle" while still maintaining a cheerful, positive attitude. Today was simply too ambitious for me. Yes, I realize the irony, given that I am charging my way through an international adoption with the result of adding a fourth child to our family. A fourth child age six and under! But hanging out all casual and cozy in our house (albeit arguably a bit small for four kids and two parents) is way easier than venturing out. Sometimes. It just depends.
So I'm learning. And that doesn't mean I'll never give something a go. I managed with three kids on my own while my husband was in Georgia for SIX! WEEKS! exactly one year ago. How in the world did I do that?!? Oh, yeah. His grace is sufficient for me. And Skype was fun too. It's good to work through these lessons now. I'll have a whole new learning curve come this summer when we bring home sweet baby X. I think it's safe to say you won't see me out and about with all four kiddos. Not for a while. Not without reinforcements. And a cooler full of snacks.