Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Surviving Summer (but barely)

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the state we are in right now. I was cheerfully telling my children that tomorrow they will get to see Grandpa and Grandma Wilson when they informed me "Hey! That means we will have had babysitters four days in a row!" What is more, they followed up with "Who is going to babysit us on Friday?" as if it's the most natural thing in the world for children to have a sitter every single day of the week. Thankfully, my kids love their sitters but I must admit that the rate at which I am booking them is giving me pause.

Ever since April, my hamstring has been bothering me. Cha-ching. Enter weekly physical therapy appointments and a whole lot of at-home exercises. Around the same time, a coworker took another job, leaving 1-2 work shifts a week for me to fill and I've been working more this summer than I have in 7 years. Add to that a weeknight appointment every week that also requires a sitter. And then when you tack on dentist appointments and doctor appointments and the once yearly hair appointment (if that!), pretty soon nearly every week looks like this one, with sitters lined up almost every day. And that's without a single "real" date night to be had. That's just me and him, juggling every day life with littles.

Then all the while, in the midst of simply "doing life" and trying to stay afloat and alive and somewhat healthy, I feel like I've lost myself and lost most any time for me. Graham and I have been talking about this a lot - how to carve out more time somewhere for me to pursue my dreams. I have them. And they're kind of growing bigger by the day. It feels hard to justify when I'm already on my 4th sitter for the week but at times I've gone the extra mile and I've booked a 5th, if solely to give me an hour to breathe. It feels like a little part of me dies when I don't.

Fellow moms, how do we survive this gig? How are we supposed to do this without a village? Like seriously. TELL ME ALL YOUR SECRETS. My "surviving" currently takes myself and 5 sitters and I'm still feeling starved for time. So yeah. I don't even pretend to have this thing figured out.

Sometimes I catch myself deep in guilt, wondering if I should have even had kids in the first place since I seem to spend so much of my life arranging childcare for them. It's a bit unsettling, no? Ultimately I know that I know that I know that I was made to be a mom and that I'm all the richer for it. But honestly. Our culture makes it SO HARD. And I wish it were easier. How are we supposed to even begin taking care of ourselves?

It probably doesn't help that it's summertime. That definitely explains a huge portion of this debacle. I have three children who are with me ALL OF THE TIME EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK unless I arrange otherwise for them. So yeah. That means lots of childcare.

I didn't really think there was much of a point to this post until just now when I remembered that it's summer. So if nothing else, let this post be a reminder to you that SCHOOL IS COMING!! Soon there will be sweet relief and OUR KIDS WILL HAVE PLACES TO GO and then we will bawl our eyes our and miss them and wish they were here. But, at least we can finally go to our dentist appointments in peace.

(And PS - if anyone has any tips to offer to better my survival rate in these early years when my kids can't watch themselves, I'M ALL EARS).

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posted by kelsie