Parenting is a balancing act. Not just schedules, and needs but you also need to deal with a variety of different personalities. When conflict arises you need to try to find a solution that makes everyone happy (or at the very least minimizes the unhappiness).
This is the hardest part about parenting for me. Little Reader is a very smart kid, but she is really hard on herself. She is a perfectionist and gets really down on herself if she makes a mistake. If she realizes the mistake, she'll brood for a while, but will eventually get over it. If I give her any negative critique (and I tread as gently as I can), she gets upset, calls herself stupid, and has a hard time moving on.
Little Hugger (as you probably guessed) gives lots of love. She tells me multiple times a day that I am the best Mommy in the universe. While I appreciate that, especially on the days that I feel I may have been too hard on her, I feel like the more I respond that she is the best little girl in the universe, it somehow diminishes the sentiment. I know I'm over thinking it, she just needs to feel loved, and as I told her a long time ago when she was upset that I hadn't hugged her yet (we had gotten up 5 minutes before on that particular day) if you want a hug, the best way is to give a hug. Hence if she wants to feel loved, now she gives love. The hard part though is when I'm in the middle of something and she gloms onto me, declaring I'm the best in the universe. I feel like I have to say it so quick again the sentiment is lost.
My Little Man is for the most part easy going, but is also reaching that 3 year old stage of "I can do it myself". I appreciate that and when we have all the time in the world go for it, but when it's pouring down rain and I'm standing in a parking lot waiting for him to climb into his carseat so I can buckle him and he starts climbing in the 3rd row or finding a forgotten toy I may lose it a little. If I yell at him, he gets this stunned look in his face and then starts to cry. It's downright pitiful.
Then there's my husband. He works long hours and often times by the time he gets home, we're both so tired that after the kids are in bed he vegs out in front of the TV, and I finish whatever I didn't get to earlier in the day or if I'm lucky read a book (which I much prefer to most of the crap on TV these days) He sometimes feels insulted when he's watching TV and I leave the room to read. But sometimes the background noise is too much and I can't concentrate. Other times I just want quiet after a busy day (my restorative niche, I guess). It's not personal, but sometimes he takes it that way.
He complains that we don't go out enough just the two of us. It's true and part of that had been due to finances, but now that that is slowly improving we'll be able to have more time for us. We joked when we had those brief sessions with a therapist that people always say marriage is hard work, and we both thought that was ridiculous. If you love someone how can it be work? But it is. Especially when you have little people vying for your attention too.
And if that weren't enough it seems whenever I try to focus on making one happy, the others start clamoring for attention.
Back to the title of this post. I feel like my little party of five is like those old circus acts with the guys spinning plates. Each person (including me) is a plate and needs to be taken care of. You have to take care of each one in their own way at their own time, but if you spend too much time on one, the others fall. Ideally everyone gets the amount of attention they need and deserve and everyone is happily spinning.