My 3 Monsters: Tag-Team Parenting

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5.28.2009

Tag-Team Parenting

I'm coining a new phrase for the way my family has been operating since school let out. On a typical day in our home the children awake at the crack of dawn (for what reason, I'll never understand.) Unfortunate Brent is also up getting ready for work. He is "it". Sometimes he feeds them breakfast. Around 7:00 a.m. he leaves for work. TAG, I'm it. But I'm going to be "it" all day and the kids are big now so I linger in bed contemplating my day until the bickering begins somewhere between 7:30 and 8:00. The kids and I hang out all day doing a little of this and some of that. Until 4:15 when Brent returns home. We chat about our days for a few moments. I apologize for the general chaos in which he finds himself surrounded. Then . . . TAG, he's it so I can sneak out to the gym. I rush home around 5:45 to throw dinner in the oven. We ALWAYS eat together. Family rule. As soon as dinner is cleared from the table there is usually another TAG as one or the other of us runs out the door on another errand, with or without a child in tow as appropriate. Some days we are both on the run taking children in different directions or attending simultaneous church meetings and activities. And we're not even a very busy family!! My friend Tammy was telling me the other day about a friend of hers who unknowingly left a child at Tammy's house because she didn't remember having the child with her in the first place. She had met up with her husband, done a kid swap, and had forgotten which of her children she was responsible for at that moment. Crazy!! And not at all uncommon.

I think back on the younger days of our little family when everything we did, we did together, kids and all. Partly because we only had one car, partly because that's just the way we did things then. I stress about leaving Brent and the kids home "alone" in the evenings. He says I stress too much. I do. I know they're only home watching Wipe Out while I do the grocery shopping or attend meetings, but what if I miss some especially important bonding moment?! It is what it is. And it won't be this way forever . . . Soon, I fear, it will be our children tagging in and out of our lives as Brent and I sit together in our home desperately wanting them to just stay put. Ahhhh well.

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