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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Expectations - Part 2

(Read Part 1)

What’s different?

The work schedule may look the same, but the life schedule is not.

I always thought it would be easier to work once the kids were older and in school. It just seems logical that you could work while they are at school. However, the landscape changes once you have a grade-schooler.

Pill, one of my girlfriends from college, and I decided that it is much easier to work when your kids are little, baby and pre-school age, than when they are older. When you are done at work you pick them up, eat some dinner and then pretty much, you’re done for the night. They go to bed early and you can even have a little bit of an evening to yourself.

Once they are in school age all the homework and extra-curricular stuff begins. There’s piano to practice, piano lessons, piano recitals, soccer practice, soccer games, and meetings at school… along with everything else we were already doing at church and any other special events such as a school musical with rehearsals and performances. They are not going to bed as early and have more to do in a day. And it only gets more involved the older they get.

So, that's where I am. The grade school stage with so many responsibilities outside of just going to and from work.

Here’s a glimpse into my weekly schedule:

Each day (M/T/Th/F):

5:15 am – up for quiet time and exercise before getting in the shower.

6:45 am - get Sarah up to get ready (including practicing piano) for her dad to take her to school at 7:45 am. At some point during this time, Nathan has usually emerged and is usually thrilled to be awake.

8:30-9:00 – get to work after getting Nathan ready and to daycare. The big question of my day at this point: “Oh coffee pot at the office, are you full or empty?”

Leave work at 5 pm & pick up Sarah from after school care (homework should already be done - but almost invariably there's a little to do still) and Nathan from daycare and head home. For now, this is our one night of calm. Figure out something for dinner and eat around 6:30-6:45 pm.

Leave work at 3 pm & pick up Sarah from school and Nathan from daycare. Maybe we have time to swing by home… maybe not.
Piano lessons at 4 pm until 5 pm.
Head home . Sarah does homework and I change and go to exercise class at 6 pm. The kids usually go with their dad to the gym so that he can exercise.
Meet back home at about 7:15 usually with Sonic in hand… it is, after all, family night – ½ price burgers.

Wednesdays (supposed to be my day off):
Leave home by 8:45 for BSF at 9:10 am… we’re NEVER on time any more.
Be at Sarah’s school by 11:50 (usually with lunch in-hand) to hang-out with her class during lunch to give her teacher a break.
Home by 1:20 to get Nathan down for a nap. Just in time to get him up again to go pick Sarah up from school at 3. (Some days he goes to day care for lunch and nap if I have a BSF Fellowship or an extra busy afternoon of errands and appointments planned.)
After school we run errands, go to the store… again… and sometimes have a little extra time to play before dinner. Or maybe we hang out at home and bake cookies.
Off to choir practice 7 - 8:30 then back home.

Leave work at 5 pm & pick up Sarah from after school care (homework should already be done) and Nathan from daycare.
Drive straight to Sarah’s soccer practice at 5:30 and meet Mike there for passing of the “kid baton.”
I head to exercise class at 6 pm.
Mike gets the kids started on dinner and I join them when I get home at 7:15 or so.

Leave work at 3 pm & pick up Sarah from school and Nathan from daycare.
Usually we have the afternoon free to just hang out. Maybe run some errands. Maybe we just go to the park if it’s nice out.

Each night:

Get the kiddos headed toward baths and bed at around 8 pm (they should be in bed by 8:30-9 pm).
Check email. Blog a little. Tweet a little. Check Facebook. Clean up from dinner. Maybe watch a show with my man. Get sucked into an old movie on TBS or TNT. I totally intend to do something productive like clean... but instead I fall asleep on the couch by 11 pm and head to bed when my man wakes me up at midnight.

Know what you don’t see? Any time for house cleaning.

If it happens, it's got to be on the weekend. But I find that in my time off from work during the week and on the weekends and when I’m not shuttling kids from one place to another, I just want to hang out with them and be their mom. I am finding myself more concerned about relationship with them than about the state of my house.

Which is a good thing, I believe.

And then, I come to weeks like last week when it totally hits me that I've been basically out of town or out of pocket for 3 weekends in a row and my house is a wreck and has been for weeks. I realize that to get to the cleanliness point that I’d ideally like to be, it would take days. Days of not going to the office while the kids still go to school and daycare. Days of concentrated effort.

Days that I simply don’t have.

And feel like I never will have.

Then I get completely overwhelmed, discouraged and beat down.


Just one more installment... come back for part 3 tomorrow.


elizabeth said...

While I know my words don't help at all right now, I just have to say that it does get better. I know there are frustrating times right now, but keep turning to prayer and not let yourself get overwhelmed. You are making the right choices with the kids and being there for them. The old poem about dust can wait comes to mind. In this season of your life it's ok to not have your house be totally what you prefer and go ahead and just enjoy your family. You are truly blessed with them and it shows.

Amber Saltamachia said...

I love your blog...and your banana bread recipe! I know how you feel! I work full time,my hubby is on trips alot and I have a 5 month old. We're trying to make room in our budget for a house cleaning service, b/c the time we do have together I don't want to be cleaning. It's hard enough keeping up w/ the laundry. Thanks for being so honest! I'm sure many of us feel the same way!

rusty'swife said... is a life saver...follow the plan exactly like she says to and your house will get where it cleans it's self.


Anti-gag said...


Here's a good video I found on YouTube about religion, you might like to view it and see if you have any answers for the questions it poses.

I think it makes a lot of good common sense don't you?

Chris Hill
Nice blog by the way.

Lolly said...

After reading that, I am tired! I remember those days. Enjoy every minute, because they will pass right before your eyes. Lots of fun times, but the empty nest is awesome!