five things i learned while watching four kids for five days

(I’m alive, I’m alive, I am SO alive…)

Hello, my lovelies!  Sorry I haven’t been blogging lately.  (Gosh, it’s been almost a MONTH O_O)

Life has been happening.  I have been maturing more than I want to.  And it’s been insane.  😀

Take this morning, for example.  My mom had some pretty major surgery this past Monday, so I had to help out a little more than usual.  Right after cleaning the kitchen, I had a CollegePlus coaching call where my coach – my CP mentor who has helped me navigate the craziness that is my life for the past year – told me, without any warning, that she was quitting CP and getting a different job.  For anyone who’s in CP, you’ll know how major that is.  I cried a little, then walked upstairs to find my best friend’s brother in my foyer.  Great.  On top of all of that, today is my younger brother’s birthday.

So, basically, I’m going to utilize Starbucks’ Happy Hour.  (WHICH HAS BEEN A BLESSING FROM HEAVEN.  THANK YOU, LORD.)

Anyway, back to why I decided to randomly pop in and bless you with my presence on this sadly neglected public journal of my life.

This past weekend, I watched the children in a family from our church.  Four kids, ages ranging from eleven to three, for five days and four nights (my first babysitting job of that intensity).  The parents were taking a much-needed vacation overseas.  To say that it was a little nerve-wracking would be putting it lightly.  My parents were only thirty minutes away, though, so if anything had happened – which, thankfully, didn’t happen – they were easy to reach out to for help.

Over the course of the weekend, I observed a few things.  Here they are.

1) Parenting is HARD.  Sweet buttered crumpets, it. is. hard.  I didn’t even technically “parent” the kids (because they were AMAZING).  I told a friend that it was “like playing house, except for the fact that there are actual human lives depending on me.”  I played with them and made sure they did a little school and got them to their co-op and heated up all the meals (because their actual mom is majorly on top of things) and took them to different places.  So it certainly felt a little like what it’ll feel like when I have my own kids some day.  On Sunday, I took them to my parents’ house where we had church with my family, and it felt like an insanely weird flash-forward episode to fifteen years in the future.  SO. WEIRD.  And I was so tired by the end of the day!  Which brings me to the next thing I learned…

2) Staying up until midnight is no longer “cool.”  I’ve been learning that over the course of the past year, but the lesson really hit me this past weekend.  A college student needs sleep, but a parent (or, in my case, pseudo-parent) needs their sleep.  Especially when young humans are depending on them for entertainment and food and guidance.  If you stay up until midnight, you’ll find yourself waking up at a normal time… but with four little ones already up and watching something on TV.  Not the best way to start a weekend… especially if it keeps happening, regardless of how early you go to bed.

3) With a situation like this, all maternal instincts instantly kick in – with a VENGEANCE.  I won’t say anything other than the fact that, by the end of the weekend, I felt like these four little humans were my four little humans.  The end.

4) You feel ten times worse when you make a mistake.  (I did, at least…)  With your siblings, it’s easy to wave away minor injuries with a quick, “Let me kiss it and you’ll be fine.”  However.  When you’re watching kids that aren’t related to you – especially for a long period of time – it’s completely different.  When a kid trips because of their STUPID CROCS and you step on his hand, or when you accidentally feed a kid something he’s allergic to… twice… or when you half-defrost an entire freezer full of food (which is unrelated to children but makes you want to kick yourself in the face almost as bad) – you feel terrible.  Not only that, but you find yourself apologizing over and over and over and berating yourself for being so stupid.  (Again, this might be just me.)

5) If babysitting for a weekend is this fulfilling and rewarding, how much more is actually parenting?  I think I’m a little less nervous and a little more excited about maybe one day having kids of my own.

Of course, if they look this cute… I’ll be even more excited.

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Gotta run for now.  Hopefully I’ll be back soon.  But, with my life, ya never know.  😉

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7 thoughts on “five things i learned while watching four kids for five days

  1. Pingback: year in review: 2015 | inklings press

  2. Gosh! I am so sorry about your CP mentor! That’s gotta be hard. 😥

    I can totally relate to and agree with you on all 5 things, Ashley! (Though, I have to admit that even though my head knows that staying up past midnight isn’t “cool” somehow it just doesn’t connect and then later I regret it…like when a little one comes to wake me up early the next morning or my alarm goes off and I don’t want to get up.) 😀

    I’ve always loved babysitting and dream of the day when I have my own little kiddos! Oh, and I think that I’ll be getting that nannying job this coming week! SO. EXCITED!! After babysitting them for the first few days a couple weeks ago, they claimed me as their own (and vise-versa)! 😀

    • It was rough, but I’ll get used to it. 🙂

      Hahaha… I know that staying up ’til midnight isn’t “cool,” either… but I do it anyway. 😀 YAY! That’s so exciting!

  3. Glad you made it!! Sounds like an adventure, for sure. I personally love watch kiddos for extended periods… Which I get to do next week ’cause the parental unit will be gone until Friday. We plan to watch lots of movies, take tons of photos and have loads of fun.

    • I did make it and it was certainly an adventure in many different ways. 😀 Awesome! Duhhhhhh. I want to be at THAT party!!! 😄

  4. I hope your mom’s recovering quickly. I’ve been praying for her.

    You survived! You’ll have to tell me more about your babysitting experience on Sunday. Number 4 isn’t just you, it’s me too, but considering how much we have in common, it isn’t really surprising and may not extend to others. I probably need a wake up call about staying up til midnight, too. My whole family scolded me about it Tuesday night, since I had just got another part of a book I’m beta reading and I wanted to stay up and read it. I want an experience like you just had, it sounds kind of nerve wracking, but so rewarding.

    • She’s doing great! Thanks for the prayers!

      I did!! 😀 Heehee… I think it’s everybody – I just realized it more this past weekend. I still stay up ’til midnight… but it’ll probably have to stop when I have kids. 😄 GAH, BOOKS ARE THE WOOOOORST. 😀 It was amazing – I hope you get to do something like it some day!

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