Accomplishments

Lately, I've been struggling with the idea of getting things done. Just calling it an "idea" instead of an action should let you know what I'm getting at. With two kids, it's just so difficult to accomplish anything!

For example, I had been meaning to get my dad a Father's Day card and send it in a timely manner, so he could get the card by, oh you know, Father's Day perhaps? Well, just getting two kids to the store feels overwhelming, and that's just getting them out of the house. Snacks, water, extra clothes, shoes -- it all takes so long. And half of the time they are pretty content staying home, not even wanting to leave, making my job even harder. (As I was writing that sentence, Ellie stuck her head over the computer and asked if I was writing about "poopy diapers," dangling her hair on the keyboard so I couldn't write, and then asking if she could write something. Yes, even writing about trying to accomplish something is hard...)

Eventually, I got to Target, but the kids were asking for so many things, slowing down the entire shopping experience, that I considered abandoning the whole project altogether. I scoured the first floor (this is a two-story, mall Target), got everything on my list except a Father's Day card, and then realized my main reason for going was likely located upstairs. No way man -- I'll just make my own card, thank you very much. And I did -- a nice little construction paper one -- and the kids did too. Homemade cards are always nice and heartfelt, so maybe it would be better in the end anyway...

Kids sitting quiet at a restaurant, with friends? Now that's an accomplishment.

But the problem with cards is, you have to mail them! My homemade card didn't fit in a traditional envelope, so I had to go get a bigger one at the Dollar Store. There are always a couple things I need at the Dollar Store -- it's like Target for cheap dads I think -- but, no Dollar Store is convenient to where I live, so the items keep piling up. On top of that, the kids have spent their saved up money there before, so now they know they can buy things there, which makes a quick in-and-out procedure nearly impossible.

So I decided to forgo the Dollar Store (don't judge me). I thought I'd just buy a bigger envelope at the Post Office. Okay, to make this a shorter blog post, I'll just say that a weird car nap after a McDonald's visit, grumpy wake up time, grocery store necessities and an overall running out of time led me to just fold the card and put it in a regular envelope for mailing -- something I could have done days prior. Now I was late for no reason, other than that I tried to do too much (was it really, though?). But then I forgot the stamp, so with a car full of groceries, I had to get both kids out of the car again (because I can't leave them in, even just to run inside a store for like 30 seconds), buy a single stamp (actually, two stamps, because $0.50 isn't enough for a credit card purchase), and mail the letter. Card sent...the Friday before Father's Day. Odds are, it didn't make it in time. Thank God for digital gift cards and Amazon Prime.

I usually end these blogs with some sort of takeaway. Honestly, I feel bad about writing this whole thing, like I'm complaining. I have a great life, the best job I ever had, and we choose this every day. But sometimes you just feel a need to vent! I find myself comparing my life to those without kids a lot lately. We have friends that travel all the time, go spend hours at coffee shops, and lackadaisically waste their Saturdays doing whatever they want, whenever they want to. When a trip to the Dollar Store is difficult, how could I not desire a peaceful coffee shop experience every once in a while?

So maybe the takeaway is that I need to give myself more grace and not get so flustered? Could my standards be too high for my kids and their behavior? Or maybe my expectations for what is reasonable to accomplish as a father are skewed? Or is this all a lesson in asking for something I need, something I'm not getting -- a break? Maybe I need some time away from the kids, and should learn how to get that without sacrificing the well-being of my family, or my sanity. That sounds like a separate blog post though, so...stay tuned for the exciting resolution of this character flaw that keeps showing up.

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