Welcome back to the official start of afternoon mayhem, Everyone! The Logistical Olympics have begun!
Are you all ready?
Yesterday afternoon we had one kid start a new job, four kids at three different swim practices, one kid at a baseball practice, and a kindergarten open house.
I am out of after school shape.
Now that swim season has started again, I coach every afternoon/evening. That means as soon as the last kid gets home from school I load everyone in the car and head to the pool, and we don’t get home until around 8 pm.
Needless to say, Monday through Friday, the afternoons are crazy. I know it’s no different for everyone else. We are all in the same boat, driving and coordinating and just trying to keep our heads above water and keep shit straight.
But last year I had created a routine for myself where even after all the kids were in bed I still had work to do.
And dammit, I am determined to change that this year.
Knowing my work wasn’t done once all the kids were tucked in made me a bitch.
Or more of one, anyway.
And I often rushed through the bedtime routine and was short tempered and snippy and just going through the motions in fast forward speed so I could get them the hell to sleep so I could get to the work that was left undone.
It wasn’t fun.
For any of us.
So this year, with all the kids in school, with school hours opened up for me, I am determined to change that.
I’m still not anywhere near organized. The house is still a mess. I don’t have meals planned out, and I don’t have stuff for the kids lunches prepped the way I’d like so they can quickly pack their lunches.
I am making baby steps, though.
And yesterday I did have one major victory.
I gave myself a work cutoff time. It had to be done by 2 p.m. And if it wasn’t done by then, well, that was too bad.
It would have to wait.
I really don’t want the kids coming home every day to a freaked out mom who is barking orders at them and telling them to hurry the fuck up.
And when we finally do get home every night after all the practices and whatever else is on that day’s agenda, I don’t want to be doing the same thing to them before they go to bed.
That’s no way to end your day! It’s not fun for any of us.
And they deserve better than that.
Yesterday I was able to do it. Not only did I successfully cut myself off at 2:00, but I got everything done that absolutely needed to get done by then.
There was stuff I wanted to get done that I didn’t get to. But sticking to the cutoff time and also learning to distinguish between what is and isn’t imperative is a big step for me.
So last night when I got back from open house, I put on my pjs and I sat down in the living room for a few minutes.
Number 5 had just finished up an “all about me” paper and she was showing it to me. When we were done looking at it, I told her to go put it in her backpack, and while she was doing that, I just sat in the chair and just kind of zoned out for a minute.
Number 4 came into the room, and she said to me, “Mom, are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I told her. “Why?”
“Well, you’re just usually on your phone or working,” she said to me.
I had gotten myself so deeply into the habit of working and doing crap on my phone that me being available to the kids in the evenings — really available and present and not just checking the pre-bedtime items off the checklist as quickly as possible — was so foreign to Number 4 that she thought something was wrong with me.
How did I let this happen. I did I become that mom?
I don’t want to be that mom!
That mom that pays more attention to her phone than she does to her kids. That mom who always says not now and maybe later and let me finish this and I have too much work to do.
Nope. No more.
I only have one day under my belt, but I’m determined to make this one stick.
The to do lists, the work, the phone — those things can wait.
But the kids? They’ve been waiting long enough.
They’ve been waiting for the mom who says sure! and what do you need? and I think that’s a great idea!
Because that’s the mom I want to be.
And that’s the mom they all deserve.