Reward: Lost Self-Esteem

by doodaddy on April 21, 2008

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Following the leader

Having three kids together with three adults is about three times easier than a one-on-one parent-to-child ratio. (To say nothing of one adult to two or more kids — I don’t know how you manage.)

We went to the zoo today with Emmeline and Buddy Boy and I felt relaxed as could be. I’m confused by the paradox: I was exhausted all weekend because I didn’t get much of a “parenting break” — you know, a few hours off to weed the yard or organize the garage. (What a break!) But come Monday, getting to spend time with the kids was just rejuvenating.

When the three of us first met up, the kids were a little tentative. Have you noticed how kids perk up after breaking bread together? (Well, breaking pretzels, anyway.) After a snack, the kids cruised right into toddler-play mode, orbiting like electrons around our parent cluster. While one zipped off to briefly peer at the meerkats, the other two would hang onto the giraffe fence, and they continued to pair up and split off and regroup effortlessly, all day.

Mike and Park Buddy and I fell into this great ebb-and-flow of “you play with this one” and “now I’ll rest and chat” for which, I think, three is the perfect number. The kids all had a blast and the adults didn’t get too worn out — the best of all days.

And so naturally, I have to question my existence. What right do I have to spend my “work” day chilling out at the zoo? With the house is still a mess from our weekend of the packed social calendar, am I not ashamed to be sitting here writing? How can I complain about clutter when days like today make me feel I’ve got the best job in the world?

I think I’ll go clean out the diaper pail. That always makes me feel like I’m earning my keep.

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tagged as , in friends,stay-at-home guilt ·

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

sikantis April 21, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Esteem and self-esteem is so important. If you have time visit my blog about esteem news. I wrote some posts about children/parents.

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David April 22, 2008 at 11:17 am

Never feel guilty for the moments that make life worth living, man! That’s the stuff that makes diaper pails not smell so bad and the dishes not seem so dirty and your child not seem so cranky.

Trust me, I’m in the middle of trying to find a similar group of folks with infants (B is 7 mos.), and it’s tough. I tried this local group of dads which you may be familiar and didn’t particularly click with their style (drink beer at noon while we hold our kids). That whole socializing thing IS part of the job of a parent. It’s like that one part of a 9-5 that keeps you going back day after day, enduring traffic.

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sugarplumsmom April 22, 2008 at 9:19 pm

Aww I’m jealous! I wanna go to the zoo with boo and emme too!!! Looks like it was a great day! Take em while you can.. you can clean the house the next time it’s foggy out. 🙂

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Jessica April 23, 2008 at 5:54 am

Your day sounds fabulous. Don’t feel guilty. You were doing a great job of making memories for your daughter.

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