Yesterday was the first “real” day of school, I would say. First day with regular schedule, academics, etc. It went fine. Overall, it was all fine.
The biggest issue is that I already feel exhausted from just being “on” all the time. The easiest days by far of having kids home with me while I work from home are days that I throw it all to the wind and let the kids do whatever they want.
A day where they get up, leave their beds unmade, move to the couch, play video games or watch TV and eat crackers from a box, then maybe get dressed, or maybe not…brush their teeth (again, maybe), then eventually go outside and disappear to somewhere (where? who knows?! who cares?! they aren’t home!), play outside/ in this unknown location for long stretches of time, come home at some point and eat a cold hot dog for lunch from the fridge washed down with a gulp of lemonade, don’t help with any chores, or practice piano, or do anything of any significance.
That is a great day, from the standpoint of being a work from home mom. The boys completely leave me alone, I work uninterrupted, both parties are happy.
Obviously, from a parenting standpoint, that is a pretty terrible day. I never said it was pretty, just that it was easy.
Of course, being the Type A-ish mom that I am, I don’t ALLOW those types of days very often. Days like those make me feel like an irresponsible mother/ a failure/ setting my children up to be 42 year-old men with beer bellies snoring on their father’s basement couch (because I probably would have ran away and joined the circus by then if it came to that).
The hard days are the ones like yesterday. Making sure they act like productive members of society. Eating a decent breakfast. Washing the dishes. Brushing teeth AND wiping the sink after. Picking up their PJs from the floor. Following a schedule. Helping with chores. Making sure they are doing their school work and not spacing out or suddenly deciding to organize their rock collection in the middle of it all (ahem, Asher).
This all requires loads of mental energy (from all of us, really). My kids know how to do most of this stuff, and they actually do a pretty good job of it on their own by this point….IF they know it is expected. Which requires me to set the tone and be semi-present. Otherwise, they are happy to sort of revert back into helpless toddlers that “conveniently” can’t find the garbage can.
Anyway, I’m just mentally exhausted already from looking at all of their million assignment emails, links, videos, etc… it’s a lot to keep track of, on top of, you know, all the ACTUAL life stuff that I’m already keeping track of in the household + full time job. Even just keeping one eye on the clock while I work to make sure they don’t forget to join the Zoom at a certain time is distracting.
Ethan did a quite good job of being very independent with it all. Asher’s set up is more relaxed/ less structured so far which I’m not a huge fan of. We’ll see how it all goes as things settle in.
Trying to just chill out the best I can, take it easy, have realistic expectations and stay ORGANIZED. Trying to plan my days in advance and teach the kids to keep their stuff organized, too. It makes a big difference.
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
And finally- I’m loving this cute little card that was enclosed in that sweet back to school gift basket from a friend. I have it propped up on my desk. 🙂
2 thoughts on “An easy day vs hard day: parenting edition”
sounds like a overwhelming day. I think it's probably because that's a big change from previous unstructured and relax schedule. Suddenly we feel the need to be responsible and strict with the kids, which adds to anxiety and stress. Once the kids are in a ritme with their class and find it fun, i think it will become easier. My girls are both quite independent and very engaged so I don't feel the need to be on top of them, and husband is willing to assist the little one if needed. love that little card. happiness really is from within and depends on our perspectives.
That is an overwhelming day and to have those days as your new 'normal' is especially tough. I am sure lots of moms can relate to how you are feeling. Plus it's tough since your husband can't WFH so it has to all fall on you… I honestly don't know what I would do if we had a school-aged kid. Our daycare has a program for K-5 so I think we'd have to send him there… But hopefully by 2023 when he starts school things will be back to normalish? Who knows! That's what I am banking on as I can't catastrophize and worry about the future. I'm trying to not even think about 3 months from now when the baby is born because it stresses me out to think about telling people they can't visit the baby… Ahhhhh! We are going to be super careful between covid and cold/flu season. Good times… Hang in there, mama. You are doing a great job!!