Last week Michael was away on business and I was home alone with both boys. It was the longest amount of time that I've spent with the two of them on my own. And while the number of days was nothing compared to the time that some families spend apart, it was a challenge I was not looking forward to.
So far, since Connor was born, my biggest struggle with parenting two has been determining priorities and figuring out how to take care of all of the things that need to be taken care of. When both children are in need, who gets tended to first? From feeding, to putting to bed, to simply being held and providing attention. Then it's not just the kids, but the house too, and work, and then me. And all of these decisions can be so unclear. But one thing I learned during the time on my own, is that I need to pick something and stick with it, follow through and finish. Because what needs to be done is what I'm doing, and what I'm doing in each moment is the most important thing.
I couldn't say it better then Shauna Niequist in "Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are." She says:
"When you work on a team and you have a boss and projects and deadlines, when you get to the end of something, someone says, “Good job.” Or “Thank you.” Or “Wow, that was smart and helpful.” But Henry never looks up at me when I’m changing his diaper and says, “Good move with the wipes, Mom. Very thorough.” He doesn’t look up at me when I’m trying to get him to go back to sleep in the night and whisper, “Fabulous technique with the shushing and rocking. You’re a genius.” It doesn’t matter to Henry one little bit that I can speak French or explicate sentences or cook really good roasted salmon. What matters is that I can be there with him as long as he needs me. What matters to him is that I play with Froggie, his favorite toy, one more time, one more time, one more time. All my life I’ve been multitasking. I’m good at it. I don’t want to be braggy, but I’m kind of a champion multitasker, really. And all of a sudden, what’s valuable is not the multitasking, but the single task—being with him, only him, doing nothing else."