So far, this summer has been a good balance of those crazy, busy, long weeks at work and then relief when I get to use some comp time the following week. Last week was a great example of one of those busy, super productive but also very fun work weeks. (I love what I do!) After working Saturday prepping for the week ahead, a Sunday evening reception, and then a late Thursday night closing dinner, I have some time to recoup this week.
As glamorous as it is not, I took off Monday to clean the house. After Wyatt’s 15 month pediatrician appointment, I had all three boys in school and spent the entire day working on the house. Cleaning, scrubbing, mopping, dusting, laundry. You know the monotonous drill. And after working, Josh took on the extraordinary task of taking on the garage. No fun at all, but it had to be done and in the end, it felt really good.
19,000+ steps, 8.6 miles and many (not all) things checked off my mental to-do list, I felt accomplished. Today I woke up with a soreness in my arms from mopping and achy feet from those miles, mostly all spent inside the house. There are many things I have wanted to do for a long time but they don’t get done in the day to day busyness that surrounds our home and the people that live in it. Some times I feel bad sending the kids to their summer camp and day care/ pre-school when I am home from work but the reality is, things need to get done and they certainly aren’t helping me.
Moms, how do we get all of the things done? I have asked and get this question myself from time to time. “How do you do it all?” I guess the answer for me is that I need to take off from work to clean the house. Or my parents watch the kids/ they are in daycare while I work. Or Josh gives me quiet time at family get-togethers so that I can do my school work. Or I study late at night after everyone has gone to bed. It isn’t ideal but life won’t always be this way, as busy and demanding as it is right now. Whatever it is, we need help to do it all.
How do we balance all that we have in front of us? We should say an extra prayer for all of those who lend their time and efforts to help our families. For the grandparents who take care of your children at a moment’s notice or help you save on day care costs. For the extra special aunts who have no limit to the days they spend playing with and loving your kids like their own. For their teachers, day care workers and everyone else who typically spend their days with your children when you cannot. They all deserve an extra thanks and prayer. And I think the greatest gift you can give children is time.
My Monday “Comp Day” was ending. I picked them up at normal time but today the lasagna was already in the oven for dinner (and an extra in the fridge for our family members who had babies recently)! Their beds were made with fresh sheets, all clothes folded and put away. Their play room and bedrooms were picked up, vacuumed and toilets were all cleaned. (Well, except the one with the remote control stuck in it. Don’t ask me who tried to flush the remote but that toilet needs to be replaced… ) Many other boring things happened in the house as I cleaned and sweated and ran around like a hurricane but with the extra time we had in the evening, when I wasn’t cooking, packing lunches and doing laundry simultaneously, I got to visit the garden with the boys and make a surprise trip for ice-cream.
Now, flash back to just 2 weeks ago and after that particularly busy work week, I used my recuperation (or compensatory) time with my boys. I spent Wednesday and Friday off, all day, just me and them. I rarely get to spend all day long with the boys when it isn’t vacation or a sick day or our weekend. Just us and the whole day together. I was living the SAHM life those 2 days and it was absolutely amazing.
We started off Wednesday with just a few small things on our list. If they helped me run my errands, I would take them where ever they wanted, their choice, I told them. Hunter and Deacon speak for Wyatt since he is still too young to speak or voice his preference. It was a unanimous “Jumpin Joey’s!” and so we did. We started the day off early, in the car by 9 AM. They joined me for the chiropractor, we donated 6 large boxes of clothes and other items from the basement to Goodwill, we went to the bank, Lowe’s, jeweler, car wash, got hair cuts and met Daddy to go to the Nursery for a few items for the garden. And yes, they ended their day with 90 blissful minutes in Jumpin’ Joeys (like Chuck E Cheese for my east coast friends) playing games and running around. Even Wyatt loved it!
We had so much fun on our 2 days off that it inspired me to carve out more time this summer. Because in all of my career, it has always been my busiest time, I have not taken much time off outside of our planned family vacation. Or, for 3 out of the past 6 years, I am just returning from maternity leave and have used up all of my time off. My goal this summer is to continue to balance my very busiest weeks with a day or two home with my little boys who are only young (and out of school!) for so long.