Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When Disaster Strikes...

...Sometimes the kids step up to the plate and help mom out!

Last week was just one of those weeks that I'm glad is behind us. We didn't have the flu but we did have a nasty case of the stomach bug, and combined with Dad being out of town and Mom having too many outside commitments (that were eventually canceled), we were a bit overwhelmed!

Since the reason of this post is to share one of the lessons learned from last week's debacle, I will spare you the gory details of our situation. Let's just say that "it" all started on Tuesday evening around dinnertime, when a rather yucky occurrence (perhaps the worst in my mommy history thus far) called for emergency measures - the yuckiness was, unfortunately, NOT self-contained, the house had to be cleaned thoroughly, and there was no question about it. The dilemma was that I was on my own and the kids were ready for bedtime to begin - but I could not wait on vacuuming, mopping, and laundry, it all had to be done immediately.

Much to my surprise, Christopher stepped up to the plate and engaged his little sister in building and playing in a fort in the dining room. Chairs were moved and toys were strewn everywhere, but the children were entertained and I was able to complete a whirlwind cleaning project in record time. Maria loved the attention and love from her older brother, and Christopher enjoyed spending some quality time with his sister.

Lesson learned: Sometimes, it's good for Mom to step out of the picture for a short period of time so that the children can rely on each other. This doesn't work all of the time, but it's nice to know that it can work once in a while!


B-Mama said...

Kat, I can't even imagine, but what a gem that Christo was in the midst! He probably sensed your need for some peace and tried to help you out. Bravo bravo, little man!!! Kudos to the prego mama for tackling it all and not losing your cool... :)

Mary Alice said...

Kat, thanks for this great reminder! A priest once told me to take the kids into my confidence in this sort of situation, and it has worked well for me. My older ones now sense a stressed out vibe in the air and ask "what can I do to help?" I often assign them small tasks, but I need to remember that "play with the little ones somewhere else" is a great help, too.

I have also been trying to make sure that I thank them when they step up in this situation, and also apologize for my tone of voice as necessary!

Ugh, though, I hope you all are feeling better soon! We have had too many outside commitments this week and my in laws are away -- I had not realized until now how much help the help they provide really is, it has been a valuable but painful lesson as I tried to do it all myself this week!

Sophie said...

I hope you are over the ick, whatever it was!

I think it's so true, though that kids can sense when Mom really needs them to step up. It's easier for them to tell if I get down to their level, let them know off the bat that I'm counting on them to get through it. I think they appreciate the extra trust and responsibility that they have control over the situation.

Right Said Red said...

I hope you are all feeling better soon!

Way to go Christopher. Older siblings are just GREAT in these sorts of situations.

Juris Mater said...

Kat, agreed, great reminder. I need to figure out how to meanigfully step out of the way sometimes instead of just jumping ship when I'm frustrated. We moms don't have to churn butter and wash laundry by hand anymore, so we actually can be available most of the time. My wise paternal grandmother, mom of 6 and education specialist, had a term "skilled neglect". The skilled part is what I need to master.