I very often tell my 6-year-old how much I thank him, appreciate him, couldn’t live without him, etc. for all he does – and you know why?! Because he HELPS OUT more than anyone could imagine, and I’m truly grateful for that!! I joke all the time that he does “everything but diapers” – but it’s actually true. This kid *actually* watches, entertains, wrangles his sisters while I’m cooking or doing laundry or the dishes or whatever else I might need to get done around the house. He’s *actually* there for the 2.5 minutes that I’m worried that Ari will climb out of her high chair and plummet to her death. He takes baths with them both so they have more fun (because they really do when he’s there). And when mom is yelling at everyone because she’s at her last straw, he comforts them and tells them what to do to not make me be so angry anymore (in a 6 year old’s way, but it honestly always calms me a bit too, lol).
He does it all without question and with love, laughter, and a super genuine adoration for his baby sisters, nearly every time I ask him for the favor (hey, no one’s perfect; why should I expect him to be?!) My beautiful little 4-year-old niece Elizabeth assists him when she’s here, (we get her every other weekend and some holidays…standard “separated-parents scenario”) and it’s basically the cutest thing you’ve ever seen with the four of them.
And then we come to today….today I told him to go take some time for himself. The girls were screaming at me for some dinner (which I was making for them at the time) and he was trying to help but you could tell he was tired. The kind of tired that I get at the end of the night. The kind of tired where you, yes, still love them so very much but maybe just want to run away forever kind of tired….
Self care is important. Really important. And I told him that. I strongly encouraged him to have a moment to himself when we got home, because he had been with the girls all day while I was at work, and I knew he really needed it. Again, self-care is really important. It’s important for you and I, and it’s important for a six year old too, especially when he has baby twin sisters that he genuinely helps with day in and day out.
And now he’s in the bathtub, teaching his girlies “how to blow bubbles” because he got a little recharge and came back to help for the night while dad’s still at work. I told him to take 5 minutes in his room but gave him half an hour (or more….I really never did ask him to come back downstairs…) to have for himself. When he hesitated at first, I told him it was important for him to take care of himself too. That even though I might need help, that it was important for him to take care of himself. And he totally did, and I was super proud. 😍😍