Happy New Year!
It's funny that this new year is marked, for me, by anticipating an end...to winter break. I should have no complaints, but man, do I feel like complaining. So here goes.
When I was working office jobs, winter break was a source of stress. The kids had two weeks off of school, but neither my husband nor I could afford two weeks off of work, so we had to juggle one of us working from home (with the kids plugged in to various electronic devices for hours) then switch, playdates with other desperate parents, begging relatives who'd come to town to visit, and a general sense of too much going on and not enough to do it all.
This year, with me freelancing from home, winter break is still a source of stress. The assumption is, well, I'm home. Might as well take care of the kids. For Two. Solid. Weeks. My husband was extra busy at work, too, coming home at 7:30 or 8 each night, and on one lovely evening, 10. At night. And I felt I couldn't be angry because he was so wiped out.
And what did I have to complain about anyway? I got to spend the whole day at home with the kids hanging out! Making crafts! And lunch! And dinner! And laundry! And dishes! And do it again the next day! And the next! Wash, rinse, repeat! (Oh yeah, they're overdue for baths...)
Relatives are in town again, and they watched the kids a little here and there, but two energetic boys are pretty exhausting for grandparents, and the older folks ended up coming down with nasty colds (not from us, I swear!). Not a reliable source of kid-sitting, plus heaping helpings of guilt. Yum.
So the boys and I made and bought and wrapped presents, made ornaments and gingerbread houses (a whole village!), crafts, stews, cornbread, YouTube yoga, movies, the zoo (which was a bust when the kids were cold and wanted to go home after 15 minutes and me yelling "I told you to wear coats!" Lovely.) Too much TV and video games, too many bored games (ha), too many fights and "Go to your room!" and "There's nothing to dooooo."
And not enough writing. Almost no writing. All kids and no writing makes Mom dull, listless, frustrated, angry, irritable...
...and two weeks seem like an eternity.
No wonder I have been having such a hard time getting out of bed this week.
Although part of me feels bad for not doing more (the aquarium! museums! playdates! cleaning and rearranging their rooms like we've been talking about for months!) and for being SO HAPPY to ship them back off to school (sorry guys, I know it's going to be like this for the rest of your lives, having to get up and be somewhere every morning and do what you're told and be cheerful about it)...
...most of me is looking forward to Monday like it's Christmas.
(ps--I hope that I don't even need to mention that I love my kids, I love that I am able to be home with them, I am blessed by their presence and all of our health and grateful beyond measure for all of the good things we hold and the small things to complain about. But Erma Bombeck is my muse. Complaining is healthy. Internal sensor, and potential trolls, be quiet.)