i swear i’m not complaining

We are still adjusting to the new scenario. The hardest part for me is that it is so all or nothing with the boys. They are wonderful boys, funny and smart and so, so adorable, but they are young and they are demanding, especially now with everything so new and different. There are no breaks – and I don’t mean to catch your breath and relax – I mean to calmly cook them some dinner without one wrapped around your leg and screaming that he was hungry five minutes ago and the other complaining about the menu.

We had a few commitments (like rugby) and other things that really had to get done (clean out the old apartment) and the rest sort of fell to the wayside despite my good intentions. We did make it to rugby. I did clean out the old apartment (mostly). Six finally got to have a friend over to the new place for dinner; he also memorized a poem for school without any major complaints or tears. I (briefly) played cars and Thomas with two-and-a-half and he did not injure himself despite countless attempts. We even made homemade cookies using the wannabe Martha Stewart set my mom got us with cute little words and phrases to print on your cookies, and six surprised with me “I Love You Mommy” and “Happy Sunday” (I think he meant Buona Domenica, ha ha). I got the minimum amount of work done late at night that I absolutely needed to do (hopefully) to make a Monday deadline despite having to take my car in for inspection Monday morning.

All in all, I’d call it a successful weekend, even if I never got around to making the curtains for the kitchen windows, never dragged the three of us back to Ikea for the right size wooden slats for six’s bed (meaning he is still sleeping on a mattress on the floor), never watched the movie I rented for myself from Blockbuster and never found the time to wash my hair. And even though we slept in on Sunday, by evening I was beat. I smelled their heads and announced they could skip their bath. If I’m no longer bathing, why should they?

That sounds terrible, I know, but it’s all about priorities and going by the way six cheered when I told him his head didn’t smell that bad, I am figuring he is not going to end up in therapy complaining of neglect. And even if he does, I can always point out that I did hang out with him during his brother’s nap so he could sing for me the African chants they are learning in music class and we could answer the page of quirky questions at the back of the Highlights magazine, each of which was infinitely more memorable than making sure he was nice and clean for school on Monday and all his nails were clipped down to regulation length. Also, it meant we could lie on the couch. But it was also fairly time consuming and so, while the old apartment might be (mostly) cleaned out, the new apartment is in a very sorry state.

Kind, well-meaning people keep telling me to remember to do nice things for myself and I nod and smile and wonder what exactly they mean by that. On a weekend when it’s go go go all day and then work work work into the night, or even on a weekend when the kids aren’t here and I have (nearly) two days to catch up, having to do something for myself is just one more thing to add to the To-Do list. And then I have to think about what to do. Does blogging count? Does washing my hair? What if I wash my hair and put make-up on? Or was last week’s haircut sufficient? What about the party I threw last weekend? How long does the credit last for that? Until the beer runs out? Because I’ve still got a fridge full of it.

What if, GASP! I am doing too much for myself?

That might explain why there are never enough hours in the day.


About Jennifer

I'm a freelance translator and American expat. I live in Northern Italy with my two young sons.
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4 Responses to i swear i’m not complaining

  1. L says:

    I’m so glad that kids are still reading Highlights!

    Your weekend sounds really productive.

  2. grandpa says:

    Missed you this weekend, but we were thinking of all of you. Good luck this week.

  3. meredith says:

    You’ll find your groove.

  4. Sara says:

    Good lord! You did more than we did with our kids this past weekend. Pat yourself on the back for that! 🙂

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