I just woke up from a three hour nap.
I haven’t taken a three hour nap on a Saturday in a very long time.
A VERY LONG TIME.
Part of that is due to our schedule.
We have swim practice on Saturday mornings and baseball games and a lacrosse clinic on Saturday afternoons. Soon we will have all-day swim meets on weekends and other things going on to often make the weekends even busier than the weekdays.
But there is a bigger reason I have not taken a nap or had some serious down time on a Saturday in a long, long time.
It’s my own doing.
And I need to make some changes.
A couple weeks ago a friend I used to teach with shared a post on Facebook on a Saturday night.
In the past 24 hours she had watched 6 movies.
She shared what they were and what she thought of them in case anyone was looking for a movie to watch.
And then she shared the next three movies she was going to watch.
I commented on her post.
I’m so jealous.
She replied, self-imposed strike.
My friend has four kids. She went back to teaching a few years ago now that her kids are older.
So her home life is not much different than mine. Her kids are in sports and after-school activities and she has a full schedule.
I told her I needed to follow her lead on the self-imposed strike.
She told me I deserved it once in a while.
We all deserve that once in a while.
I have been thinking about this since she shared that post two weeks ago.
I have allowed myself to be the person who handles everything. The driving. The scheduling. The shopping. The cleaning. The organizing. The communicating. The orchestrating.
It’s too much.
This has happened for a number of different reasons. They aren’t important in the long run.
In order for me to maintain my physical and emotional health, I cannot continue to be the doer of all things.
And so today I went on a self-imposed strike.
It was a mini self-imposed strike, but it was still a strike.
I got home from swim practice at noon, and I was done.
I did not do anymore driving. I did not take Number 7 to her lacrosse clinic. I did not take Number 5 to buy a birthday present for the birthday party she was going to. I did not drive Number 5 to the party.
Instead, I put my pajamas on, and I got into bed.
I did not get out of bed when I realized Number 7’s hair was not in ponytails and she needed to take care of that before she went to lacrosse.
I did not even think about if she knew where all her lacrosse equipment was.
I did not check my phone to get the address of Number 5’s party for my husband when I realized I didn’t double check to see if he remembered how to get there.
He is a big boy and he had been there before and even if he forgot how to get there, he can figure that shit out on his own.
When the kids came into the room to ask a question and wake me up, I replied with Go ask your father.
I stayed in bed on a beautiful sunny, Saturday afternoon — probably one of the Top 10 weather days in CT in 2019 — without one pang of guilt until I was ready to get out.
And you know what?
Everyone got where they needed to be.
When Number 7 returned from lacrosse her hair was in a ponytail.
Number 5 made it to the party with a present.
I have no idea what she got for her friend, and I don’t care.
What I do care about is remembering that everyone got where they needed to be with all the stuff they needed to have without me.
As a mom, I am not replaceable. My kids need me.
But as the doer of all things and the keeper of all information, I am replaceable.
I don’t need to do that all myself.
It’s not healthy for me.
And it’s not healthy for my kids.
It’s not the dynamic I want to model.
My husband and I have our differences.
My husband and I have A LOT of differences.
I don’t know if we will be able to work them out, quite frankly.
But that should not prevent both of us from contributing to taking care of what happens on the weekends.
And this is another reason for today’s “strike.”
It’s not really a strike.
It’s more of a reality check.
I have to let go of stuff.
I have to be okay with other people doing things.
I have to learn to not be involved in every single thing my kids do because with five school-age kids at home, it’s just not possible to be present at everything, even in the healthiest of marriages.
Today my husband realized just how much I’ve been doing.
Today I realized just how much I’ve been doing.
Then today I made a change.
And I think, no matter what happens, we will all be better off because of it.