School’s back- 5 out of 6 kids are in school all day now. I love the summer, but I began to look forward to having the kids back in school so that I could finally catch up on everything that had been neglected while I was busy catching up on something else.
I wish I could give you the percentage of how having 5 of 6 kids out of the house has supposedly reduced my workload, but we’ve already addressed my lack of mathematical reasoning of any shape or kind before.
(And speaking of school, let me just say, in terms of parenting school-aged children, your own words come back to haunt you.. I remember telling my ninth grade math teacher,
“Geometry? Hah! I’m never going to use that as a grown-up. I’m going to be an English teacher.”
Well, my bad, Ms. Pryor, because it was all well & good until my daughter came home from school one day & asked me for help with her… geometry.
Like I said, I may be inept with numbers, but one clueless geometry parent times six kids’ worth of geometry equals a big fat “Told you so!” from math teacher Pryor.)
The statement that I’ve heard most since school has started is, “”Just one home? Wow- you’ll have so much time! I bet that will be much easier.”
I thought so, too.
When I dropped my kids off on the first day of school, I had a few moments to contemplate my newfound “freedom”, relatively speaking.
Fantasy: “Maybe I’ll take a nap! Or go to the beach! Or read a book!”
The reality was, there was a ton of tasks that needed to be handled, namely a TON of laundry that had been steadily piling up as the summer progressed. So the first day or so of the new school year were spent “catching up” so to speak, on things that hadn’t been done.
But I did catch up… only to face THIS clean-up disaster. Thanks to an ill-timed wind & a forgotten open umbrella, our summer came to a crashing halt. Literally.
And the next day, there was a…. wet puddle in the middle of the older girls’ room that we initially all suspected was the cat. Though she had yet to pee on a floor, we assumed this was her first venture into revenge urination for late feeding (detectives we are NOT, apparently).
So poor cat was persona non grata until the next day, when I was in their room to gather laundry. I stepped on the scrubbed “cat urine” spot & found my sock dripping.
Looking back, I’m not sure if I was relieved that it wasn’t cat urine, or that it was water dripping from our faulty air conditioner that was now soaking the entire bedroom floor.
So what started out as a Resolve-scrubbed-assumed-cat-urine issue had now morphed like a mushroom cloud into a catastrophic leak. And because The Captain had injured a disc in his back two days prior, I ended up having to move every piece of furniture out of the room, pry up the carpet & liner, and drag an industrial blower (because been here, done THIS before!) up the stairs to dry the flood.
Now granted, these are catastrophes that require an unusual amount of time. But even when I’m not handling issues like these, life with a toddler results in its own amount of busyness & disaster maintenance, amirite?
The point I’ve learned is this: there IS no catching up. There will always be something, whether it’s the odd calamity, or the busyness of coordinating homework and activity schedules for multiple kids.
Whether you’re a stay-at-home parent or a working one, life with children always requires some degree of “catching up”, & the perpetual feeling that there’s more work to be done.
That’s because there always IS.
Life as a family necessitates the juggling of schedules, the planning of meals, events, etc., no matter how big or small your family.
But what I realized is that although there is always “something“, that something is not my everything. I am learning to avoid getting so consumed by the seemingly unending task list before that I miss the forest for the trees. Instead of dwelling on my urge to get “everything” done, I’m trying to stay in the moment– to take each day as it comes, with it’s own set of demands.
It’s not just about the WHAT you need to do, but the WHO you’re doing it for.
Oh, and BTW- we apologized to the cat for wrongly blaming her. She’s pretty pissed, though, apparently…
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