We've Established a Routine
There is a great freedom in realizing that you can't have it all, do it all, or be it all.
This is life lesson #1 that has been hammered home for my entire family. And I do mean hammered.
After spending the first week of summer vacation disquieted by the need to occupy the kids and keep the house and make the meals and do the laundry while putting in a full work day from the comfort of my closet, which, like the rest of the house, hits 85 degrees by mid-afternoon on the hot days, I wore myself out.
By disquieted? I mean I was yelling at everyone. Often. Even when totally not necessary. My husband pointed out that this was probably not an optimal time for me to go cold turkey off refined sugars. Ha!
But, lo and behold, a strange and miraculous transformation is taking place. My children are settling down and occupying themselves. My nine-year-old is helping with her siblings when I have a conference call. The kids get dressed and head out into the yard and *gasp* play nicely with each other. They get themselves ready for swimming lessons and help prepare meals.
I mean, they aren't as helpful with chores as I'd like them to be, but considering that I'm not available half the time to supervise and direct (let alone do any chores myself) I'm thinking that playing quietly and nicely is an acceptable tradeoff for this week.
As for me, well... I'm trying to step out of the closet (my husband calls it my hidey-hole) and take bracing breaths several times a day. I'm making an effort to be present. And pleasant. I'm not always successful - but it's getting better all the time.
Hey, look! My kids are swimming!