Inspired by my friend at BitchinWivesClub and her article “School Can’t Start Soon Enough,” I have to be honest about what’s been going on in my life. My kids have been home full time. Camp ended. School doesn’t start in my town until September 8th. And to be honest, the time has felt like an eternity.
I hate to admit this publicly as I know these days, these years, are flying by. All the moms around me seem to love the long days of summertime. No routine. No schedules. Freedom to do whatever. Many have gone on vacation over the last half of this month.
We went on vacation at the beginning of summer and I really hadn’t thought about how chaotic or agonizing these last few weeks would be. During the last week of camp, I started to get nervous. Not only have I recently increased my hours at work, but I’ve picked up other projects that require me to work practically full time, some days from home, some away from home.
In addition, I’ve got pretty demanding kids, a boy and girl. When they are left to their own devices, all they do is bicker and fight over something trivial. As soon as they wake up in the morning, he’s on top of her, pulling on her, begging for her attention. All she wants to do is sit in front of the TV quietly in the morning. Problem is, he always wants her attention. He’s very needy and he truly thrives on routine.
I know I’ve been working too long when my son comes to my computer and starts thumping the keys. Unfortunately, it’s happening too often. A sign that something is wrong and my balance is off. I won’t deny it. I have to fix it.
So, how have I managed? It’s been hard. I’ve used the boy next door a few times to come over to watch them, as well as an old babysitter. I enrolled them in a soccer camp for a week, despite the fact that my daughter has told me countless times, “Mommy, I’m not into sports. I like art.” I sent my son to an art camp for a few hours at a time, one that you could just walk into without a reservation. All at great expense, if I might add.
My requests to my husband to come home early were often rejected, and he felt that I sound more and more like a feminist because I kept shouting out claims of unfairness.
Am I blaming anyone? I can’t. I’m not blaming my husband or my kids, although I’m sure I gripe about it. I think that because i grew up under my mother’s careful eye, who stayed home while my dad was at work, I set my own situation up the same way with my own family. They rely on me. They need me to pick out their clothes. They need me to tell the babysitter what they should eat for lunch and dinner. They need me to call their friends’ moms and schedule play dates, which is sometimes more painful than anything. They need me to make plans for them to get to the beach and pool.
Otherwise, they wouldn’t go anywhere or do anything. My husband works hard, and long hours, he’s the bread winner in this family. I can’t expect him to do half of what I do.
And you know what? As hard as my days are, and as much as I might complain, I get a lot of satisfaction from it. Who the heck knows.
But what I can tell you is that through blogging and (especially) tweeting, I know that I am not alone.
When I tweeted about the fact that I don’t take my kids to the playground enough and my daughter was bored after 5 minutes on the playground, I got this response:
When I tweeted about being home with the kids, combined with no electricity caused by Hurricane Irene, I got these two:
And on my feminist remarks:
Yes, that’s Christy Turlington herself, one of my recent role models. Did that make me feel better? Well, yes.