When the Helpers are Away…Mommy Might Lose Her Mind

Last week my girls went to golf camp Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. It was kind of a big deal because while Honeybun has been going for a few years during the summer and other school holidays, this was the first year Sugarplum was old enough to participate (we switched programs last year which increased the age requirement and Sugarplum’s late summer birthday made her too young last year.)

Sugarplum has been looking forward to going to golf camp for months and hasn’t stopped asking about it since public schools let out many, many weeks ago. So, we finally got them signed up and she loved it! Even Honeybun who was hesitant about going (because in the past she was the only girl and one of the youngest) had a good time.

But you know who didn’t have a good time those days? The mommy stuck home alone with two energetic little boys.

Last summer when the girls did a week of Science camp, it didn’t bother me that much. Pipsqueak was still so little and spent a good part of the day napping and Doodle was pretty good at entertaining himself.

Fast-forward a year, however, and I now have a very (very, very) busy toddler plus a four year old who, for unknown reasons, is now afraid to be alone. Which means my golf camp mornings weren’t spent getting a break, as most people would assume, instead it was spent deep in the trenches.

Because all this time, I didn’t realize how much my girls actually help.

It’s not so much that they take care of the boys. I’m always responsible for feeding them, changing diapers, managing naps, etc. But what my girls do is entertain them. And help monitor them.

For example, while I completely missed that they were trying to feed the cat by putting cat food all over the floor one morning while I worked (I knew they were in the cat food and I kept asking them to move away…), my girls would have been all over it. They would have known exactly what they boys were doing and put the cat food up.

At any given moment, (some of) my kids are generally getting along and entertaining each other. Without my girls around, though, I was the head entertainer and Doodle expected me to not only be near him but play with him non-stop. Which is fine, except when I have a deadline or am trying to accomplish something important and he spends the entire time I’m rushing through my work flopped on the floor next to me saying things like “what can I do?” and “I’m so bored,” and “when are you going to be dooooooooone?”

All things I don’t often hear one a normal day because my girls are filling those needs!

So to all of you mommies that send your kids off to school every day and stay at home managing your little ones on your own, I admire you! To all you boy mommies, I can now say “I totally feel your pain!” And to all the mommies wondering if you can actually handle another kid, know that having older helpers around actually makes the baby and toddler years easier.

There’s a lot of reasons we love homeschooling and having my girls around to help is definitely one of the year-round perks!

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