As parents, we are oftentimes faced with the choice between doing what we know is best for Audrey and doing what we want to do in terms of our social calendar. Obviously, the choice is always going to be to do what’s best for Audrey, even if it means missing out on doing a lot of fun things. This has happened quite a bit lately and I’m sure it’s just because summer is full of such fun activities & trips, etc. There is a HUGE difference in her behavior (and our moods) when we decide to take her out past her bedtime or when we decide to fluctuate from our routine too many times versus when we don’t. We have learned that it’s just not worth the ensuing meltdowns we will get afterwards. There is obviously some flexibility in this, but I feel like Brian & I have gotten really good at reading when Audrey needs to just relax for a weekend or a night versus when we can do something outside of the norm. Because she’s getting older, that flexibility is definitely increasing, but there are also times when it’s apparent to us that what she needs is mommy & daddy quality time and a laid back day or weekend.
The hard thing about this is that sometimes I worry that our childless friends do not understand this. If we have to bow out of something, it’s usually not because we don’t want to do it, but because it’s not in Audrey’s best interest (which is then also not in OUR best interest). The majority of our friends here are childless, and so I’m sure it’s hard for them to get this aspect of life sometimes, and that’s okay because someday everyone will. It’s been a funny transition for me in moving back to Virginia because the last time I was here, I was childless, husbandless, etc and since those days, the priorities I hold have made a complete 180 from the priorities I used to hold. It’s an adjustment for me but probably also for everyone else who hung out with me in VA before all of these crazy life changes. I feel the pressure to be the same fun, spontaneous person I was before getting married/having Audrey but at the same time to also be the best wife & mother ever…I don’t think these things can be reconciled all the way, but the pressure is still there!
Anyway, our Fourth of July weekend was very low-key, and definitely what we needed. I have been feeling very burnt out lately (can you tell from previous entries?) so it was a much-needed respite from craziness. We were supposed to go on a river weekend with some of our best friends and ended up having to bow out from that, the main reason being that my aunt, whom we haven’t seen since our wedding, came into town. We were really sad to have to miss it, but my aunt has been battling cancer for the last year or two and we definitely felt like our top priority should be to see her. It was really nice to get to introduce her to Audrey and to get to spend time catching up with her. Because we opted to stay in town, we were also able to see our good friend, Cindy, whom we also haven’t seen in so long. I think it happened to be pretty beneficial to have spent the weekend with Audrey as well, instead of sending her to my parents to be babysat for the weekend for the second time in a month. She was so fun & well-behaved this weekend. Now that Caroline’s arrival is coming closer, we need to cherish these last months of our family of three because things are only going to get crazier!