Parent Sanity Says What?
You’re a parent, or at least know a parent. So, you know what I’m talking about here. Life is crazy busy all the time, but there are times when it is beyond crazy and you feel like you are trying to run a three-ring circus. Between family life, work life, grad school life, and extra curriculars, AND a lovely new water main leak in the front yard (one that we had repaired when we moved in just over 3 years ago!), it’s almost too much to take.
I’m not going to lie. I cried a bit on the way to work yesterday, after discovering that lush green patch of lawn in my otherwise bone-dry, dead lawn. I knew instinctively what it was and upon further investigation, I was absolutely correct in a water main leak. Judging by how nice and green and lush the lawn is in that patch, it’s been leaking for a few days. We dug out the paper work from the first time we had that line replaced and, oh joy! It is under warranty. Now, just getting the plumber to come back out and repair it…
But, a water main leak alone isn’t what is stressing me out. That’s just the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. The beginning of the school year is always a stressful adjustment. Getting everyone into routines, having less time with my family, and less time for life in general are just the tip of the iceberg. As a pre-k teacher, I am tasked with helping these adorable little 4-year olds with learning how to be in school. That might not sound so bad, but when you have FOURTEEN boys and only four girls in one class….let that sink in….holy moly, so many boys, so much energy.
Extras to the School Year
It takes a lot to learn how to sit, how to walk in a line, how to use the school bathroom. We haven’t even gotten into the curriculum yet! And that’s just the morning class! Just wait until the afternoon class comes in and there is so much extra special thrown in that you don’t even know what planet you are on any more. That’s about all the details I can give on that. I know it will get better, but right now, it’s the crazy part of the circus where all the clowns are jammed into an itty-bitty car and someone thought it would be fun to set that car on fire and roll it around. That’s my class right now.
Also, add an online class I’m taking right now to keep my certification up-to-date, and Adelaide is in Girl Scouts (which we love, but it’s another thing to do during the week). The guilt trip I feel from no longer being the “primary parent” comes from not being home with my kids, except for a couple hours a day. The kids turn to dad now for most of their needs. Don’t get me wrong, I am completely grateful that Travis is so hands on. The kids love him more than life and I love having a little reprieve in that area of my life, but at the same time, I used to be the primary parent. I used to be the one they’d come running to. That stings a little in the guilt department. Don’t get me wrong, they still run to me sometimes. But dad is the fun one!
Venting is a Good Thing
Wow, that turned out to be a longer vent than I intended! But honestly, venting your stresses is so cathartic. You should try it! What else do I do to de-stress? Well, at school, there might be some chocolate and deep breathing involved. Not so great for the waistline, but so great for the soul. Then at home, I talk to Travis about my worries (see, venting is critical in staying sane!), drink wine (oops-my waistline might not look so great by the end of this school year!), and I try to take some time for myself on the weekends.
If I can sneak away for a walk, or spend some time watching my Ravens play football, even grocery shopping by myself can be relaxing. I know that seems counterintuitive to my rant above about not getting enough time with my family, but sometimes you need to take care of yourself too. And when you work with small children all day and have small children at home you sometimes need quiet!
What stresses you out? What do you do to regain some patience, peace, and calm when life seems to be spiraling out of control? Share your strategies here, please.
If you get an opportunity to have a spur-of-the-moment date night, take it! Meghan and I were fortunate enough this past Friday. We received a text from Meghan’s mom asking to take the kids for the night. It’s last minute. It’s a surprise. And it’s absolutely amazing.
At what point should we stop being frustrated with our kids getting out of bed because they’re not tired? So, the later summer hours have definitely had an impact on our kids since the start of the new school year.