Wednesday, February 18, 2009

When Mom checks out, everyone checks out.

The day back to school after a long weekend is hard. Even if you've kept fairly close to the normal schedule, even if you didn't travel over the holiday weekend, the logistics of getting lunches and socks and out on a bike on time challenge everyone.

During the school day, I needed to take one kid to a dentist. Additionally, I dropped over at someone's house to work on a Relief Society project I wanted to participate in, something for an orphanage in another country.

I knew I was maybe pushing it, stopping by for socializing and quilting. I should have been doing chores or maybe catching up on sleep. But, I wanted to have a normal life, by my measurements. even if I had just pulled a couple weekend days as the only parent at home.

Right after school I needed to take one kid to tutoring. Which was also aggravating, because the tutor cut back her hours and the institution providing the tutoring couldn't schedule with me with an appropriate replacement. I've paid for the ten-session block in advance. The other child's tutoring, which we usually drive to after this one's, had been cancelled for their spring break.

On the way home we were talking about picking up the monopoly game the smaller children and I had laid out on the game table in the morning. But I was so tired driving, my head kept nodding.

Luckily when we got home, a toy my son had ordered from eBay had arrived. We cancelled monopoly. He played with his new toy, and she played some computer games. And I took a nap. I was out for three hours. Three prime hours of after-school time.

Now everyone is cross. They don't like the hot dogs I offered for dinner, my backup for when I didn't make anything good. They haven't done their homework or chores, so now they're overwhelmed and cross about being asked to do so.

I don't consider my lapses character flaws anymore. I consider them flaws in managing my time and resources. Still, even with greater attention to my limits, sometimes I am taken by surprise when I've collapsed.

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