There were reasons - Jamie was little and we were tied to a nap schedule that was limiting in a lot of ways, wrangling a small toddler and a 5 year old in public by myself was difficult for me, and I was always fretting about the chores that were being neglected at home.
That last one was the biggie. That was the ass kicker. I felt (and many, many days still do feel) like a failure that the house wasn't ALWAYS tidy; the laundry done, folded neatly, and put away; the dishes washed; the meals cooked; the gardens beautiful.
But this year I vowed it would be different. I promised myself that we would have fun, we would go places and see things, and I would just stop worrying so much about the state of the house. I promised to let go and have a little fun. I promised to push my boundaries and comfort zones for the sake of enjoying time with my kids and to accept that in doing so, we might sometimes have a messy house.
So summer is finally here, Liam has been out of school for two weeks, and Jamie is old enough to have just one nap a day in the afternoon. Freedom!
In the two weeks since Liam has been done with school, we have been so insanely busy I feel like I can barely keep up. We seem to be moving at a breakneck pace, as though we have just a couple of weeks to pack in a whole summer's worth of activities. I've let go of a lot of my self-loathing for my lack of perfection when it comes to the house and it has made time with the kids much more enjoyable.
Earlier this week we met good friends of ours at My Little Outback in Squirrel Hill for some play time shenanigans. The kids had a blast and I got to hang out with Jennifer.
As always, Jamie gravitates toward the vacuum.
Liam enjoyed the kiddie habitrail.
Liam and Beatrix, attached at the hip, shoot down the slide together.
After the kids had played themselves out, we grabbed some lunch together. We arrived home just at Jamie's nap time and he was already sacked out in the car. I scooped him up and deposited him in his bed for his nap - a long one thanks to playing hard.
Since then we've done other fun things (more posts coming on that!) and it has proven to be well worth my while to ignore the toys on the floor and the dishes in the sink to spend just a few more hours having fun with my kids.